Yoga has been around for ages for a good reason. It’s a whole body exercise that’s
easily tailored to different skill levels. In addition, not only does it strengthen your
muscles, but it also relaxes your mind. Considering this, we can’t recommend it
When you’re pregnant, you can benefit from a yoga routine. If you’re a newbie, look
for a practice run by a certified prenatal yoga instructor. If you’re already a yogi, you
can continue with your routine and make modifications as needed (some poses
aren’t recommended). No matter your experience level, keep the following in mind
if you’re practicing while pregnant:
- Ask instructor for adjustments if necessary
- Don’t hold poses for longer than is comfortable
- Use a prop to raise your upper body when you’re lying down
- Don’t do headstands or other inverted poses
- Don’t do hot yoga for fear of overheating
- Don’t overstretch stomach muscles
- Drink lots of water
It Calms You Down
There’s a tremendous focus on breathing as you strike each pose. A special technique is practiced where you slowly take a breath in through your nose, filling your lungs as you expand your belly and then slowly exhale and deflate your stomach. This conscious breathing is calming and centering. Not only will it help you to concentrate on your movements, but it will help you to relax during stressful times.
It Mellows You OutThe yoga breathing is a great tool for pain management and may help you to tolerate
the discomforts of labor and delivery. When you focus so intently on slowing down
your breath you’re less inclined to tighten your muscles when pain hits. The more
relaxed you can be, the less pain you should feel.
It Straightens You Out
Your body experiences a whole lot of changes in a short period of time when you’re
pregnant. Suddenly your belly is growing beyond your toes, stretching your stomach
muscles to new lengths and straining your lower back like never before. While we
don’t advocate doing intense core workouts, certain yoga poses are ideal to
strengthen abdominal and lumbar muscles.
It Goes with the (Blood) Flow
When you gently stretch your muscles during a yoga routine, you’re increasing the
blood flow within your body. You may not realize it, but circulation actually plays an
important role when it comes to keeping your body in shape and feeling good. With
enhanced blood flow, you can decrease swelling, joint pain and muscle fatigue.
What’s more, your immunity is boosted and that means an overall healthier you
It Helps You Sleep
Since sleep will be a luxury as soon as baby arrives, you want to log as many hours
of shut-eye as possible while you still can! Yoga calms and centers your mind and
helps to relieve your body of aches and pains so you’ll have a much easier time
drifting off for a good night’s sleep.
It Prepares You
You’d never run ten miles without training, so there’s no reason to face labor and
delivery without preparation. The yoga style of breathing plus the array of
movements and poses build strength and stamina that will help you when it comes
time to have your baby.
It Connects You (to Baby)
Taking time out of your busy day to take care of your body is a wonderful way to
bond with your growing baby. As you concentrate on specific yoga postures you’ll
narrow your focus on what is happening in all parts of your changing body.
It Connects You (to Others)
Joining a prenatal yoga class is a great way to meet other moms-to- be. While you
don’t have to form life-long friendships on your yoga mat, it’s always satisfying to
connect with like-minded women and share stories.
It Connects You (to Your Other Kid)
Invite your older child to join you for a gym workout! Many yoga studios offer
childcare or classes for toddlers on up. Make a day of it: after the gym, hop on bikes
or scooters and head to your favorite lunch spot for a healthy meal. You and your
kid will always remember this special time together.
It (May) Safeguard You (and Baby)
We’ve all heard that healthy mothers mean healthy babies. So it’s not surprising to
learn that studies have shown that mothers who actively care for their bodies
(through diet, exercise etc.) are more likely to carry babies for the full term.
With yoga, moms-to- be begin to care for their babies even before they’re born. By
strengthening their own bodies and minds, pregnant women are ensuring that their
babies are growing in the healthiest environment possible. While yoga prepares
them for the challenges of labor and delivery, ultimately, it primes them for the
demands and joys and all that motherhood has to offer.