If you’re pregnant and are looking to improve your fitness, stress management, and even your sleep, practicing yoga might be the answer you’re looking for. Adopting a regular yoga practice during pregnancy can have many benefits for both you and your baby.
Every pregnant woman should be looking out for the health of her body, mind, and baby during the nine months as she’s carrying that precious cargo.
However, it’s important to know that every pregnancy—and every woman—is different, so you should consult with your doctor before beginning a yoga practice if you haven’t already started one. If they give the green light, check out this article on the importance of yoga during pregnancy to learn more about how yoga can help pregnant women and what poses are recommended during this special time in life.
Benefits of yoga in pregnancy
- Yoga during pregnancy is an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety, maintain healthy blood pressure and heart rate, and improve your general mood.
- Many women find that practicing yoga during pregnancy provides an opportunity to connect with their baby on a spiritual level, too.
- Yoga helps you feel physically fit even though you’re not working out as much as usual.
- Prenatal yoga exercises have been shown to relieve some common discomforts of pregnancy like back pain and constipation.
- Yoga can also help reduce feelings of isolation experienced by many pregnant women.
Here are the 5 Benefits of yoga during pregnancy
#1. Yoga helps prepare both you and your baby for labor:
While there are plenty of benefits to prenatal yoga, one of our favorites is helping you have a healthy pregnancy and birth. The breathing techniques in yoga help activate muscles in your pelvis that help open up so the baby can make his or her entrance into the world (another benefit of pelvic floor exercises). The balance poses teach you how to stand on one leg while keeping yourself upright; doing so when pushing out your child will give more strength and support than simply leaning on someone else or holding onto something nearby.
#2 Provides relief from common pregnancy complaints
Women report a number of complaints during pregnancy, and back pain is one of them. According to a 2007 study, pregnant women experience lower back pain than those who aren’t pregnant. Yoga is a great way to manage and relieve common pregnancy complaints such as back pain. Yoga poses are designed to help improve range of motion, strengthen muscles that support your spine, stretch and elongate tight areas in your body, relieve stress and anxiety—all symptoms that can affect you while you’re expecting.
Also check: Do's and don'ts of safe pregnancy
#3 Tones important muscle groups
When you’re pregnant, your body will experience changes that make it more difficult to maintain proper posture and body alignment. The best way to combat these symptoms is by strengthening your abs, back, hips, and legs with a consistent yoga routine.
Yoga poses for pregnant women include Warrior I and II, as well as Triangle, pose; try doing each exercise three times per week in addition to your prenatal exercise routine. Yoga during pregnancy may also help alleviate symptoms of constipation and back pain.
#4 Promotes connection with your baby
- Yoga poses teach you to open your body and mind. Practicing yoga during pregnancy may help you feel a deeper connection with your baby, as well as improve energy levels and mental clarity.
- Prenatal yoga poses can help make it easier for you to cope with changes in hormones, emotions, fatigue, morning sickness, and other common conditions associated with pregnancy.
- Additionally, postures like gentle stretching, light backward bends can open up your rib cage and expand lung capacity during pregnancy.
Also check: 10 kegel exercises for pregnant women
#5 Gives you a healthier pregnancy
Yoga can help you have a healthier pregnancy by increasing flexibility, which allows your body to adapt and make room for your growing belly. It also reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue so that you can relax more fully during pregnancy.
Exercise, in general, is an important part of a healthy pregnancy:
- It helps reduce prenatal depression and blood pressure;
- Improves sleep patterns;
- Eases back pain, labor pains, constipation, and swelling;
- Promotes healthy skin;
- Strengthens your immune system so that you’re less susceptible to infection (and therefore illness);
- Increases energy levels;
- Encourages deep breathing—which can lead to better digestion—and releases endorphins that keep both mother and baby happier.
But remember—whether you’re just beginning yoga or have practiced regularly for years—always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program if you are pregnant.
Yoga poses vary in difficulty level, so always take into account how far along in your pregnancy you are when deciding which postures might be best for you at any particular point in time.
Yoga poses that can be done during pregnancy
There are dozens of prenatal yoga poses, but some of our favorites during each trimester include:
- Abdominal breathing, anjayeyasana , goddess pose, anulom vilom pranayama
- Cat-cow pose, downward dog, warriors 1, kegel /pelvic floor asana
- Seated mountain pose, badhkonasana, malasana, left side-lying savasana with support
You should always work with a certified instructor while pregnant so that they can ensure you’re in a comfortable position.
Precautions to be taken while performing yoga during pregnancy
While prenatal yoga is wonderful during pregnancy, women should take certain precautions to ensure that their practice remains safe.
- Some poses might be contraindicated during pregnancy, so please check with your doctor before attempting any asanas.
- In addition, make sure to hydrate after every class—it’s particularly important in hot yoga classes, which are a great way to detoxify and stretch during pregnancy!
- Finally, stay aware of how you feel; if something doesn’t feel right or doesn’t sit well with you physically or emotionally, don’t do it.
Prenatal yoga isn’t just about postures—it should be an outlet for stress release, too. Choose what works best for you at any given time and enjoy your new yoga practice! Also, take proper care of your lifestyle and nutritional needs during pregnancy.
Don’t just jump into your prenatal yoga practice; introduce yourself to yoga slowly. Your body is going through a lot right now and it needs time to get used to each position. Make sure you always listen to your body; if something hurts, modify or don’t do it at all.
Yoga poses to be avoided during pregnancy
- During the first trimester, you must not perform: Intense backbends, twists, and forward bends. These yoga asanas exert a lot of force on your abdominals.
- Regardless of the trimester, avoid poses that require you to lie on your back, such as Locust or Bridge Pose (Salamba Sirsasana) because the pressure on your abdomen can be painful and restrict blood flow to your baby.
- Also, regardless of the trimester, avoid poses that require lying flat on your belly, like Cobra (Bhujangasana), because they may put too much pressure on your uterus.
FAQs (Prenatal pregnancy yoga)
For how much time should a pregnant woman exercise?
It's good for you and your baby to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. You don't need to do extensive workouts or yoga to reap the advantages.
Why should I join a yoga class during pregnancy?
Since prenatal yoga is different from normal exercises, it is advisable to perform yoga for pregnancy under the supervision of a yoga instructor to avoid any complications. Another benefit of joining a yoga class is: Taking a prenatal yoga class is a fabulous way to meet like-minded, other pregnant women and to become part of a community. It's good to have people going through the same phase talk about their experiences as others can benefit from it. Being in an optimistic, corroborating environment with others can give you a boost and keep you motivated.
Is walking a good exercise during pregnancy?
Walking is one of the best cardiovascular exercises during pregnancy. It helps you stay fit without giving you knees or ankle aches. It is also effortless and can be done almost anywhere. You don't require any exercise equipment or tool to do so. All you need is a comfortable pair of footwear. It can be done throughout the nine months of pregnancy.
What if this is the first time I am doing yoga? Is it still safe?
Yes, it is completely safe for a pregnant woman to perform yoga even it is the first time! Prenatal yoga doesn't require you to be a pro at yoga. As long as your gynecologist has given you permission to do so, yoga is an excellent activity for all moms-to-be.
While exercising during pregnancy is generally a good idea, pregnant women need to be mindful of their physical activity. Yoga is a gentle and safe way for expecting mothers to keep fit without over-exerting themselves or doing any harm to their unborn children. By using these yoga poses during pregnancy, expectant mothers can enjoy much-needed physical therapy while also preparing themselves for childbirth.