Is It Safe To Do Yoga During Pregnancy?
Giving up your yoga classes due to pregnancy is not an option. You know why? Because staying active when pregnant is very beneficial. Prenatal yoga is a vital ingredient to a happy, healthy pregnancy. During pregnancy, yoga can help you relax, meditate, de-stress, improve energy, increase flexibility and strength. As if that is not enough, prenatal yoga will help you develop relaxation techniques and proper breathing for more comfortable and relaxed labor.
Before starting a yoga practice
What are the key things to be mindful of before beginning yoga practices?
- Have doctor’s approval – It is essential to discuss with your doctor before starting yoga classes so that you can be cleared to exercise.
- Involve the instructor – In case you have not signed up for specific prenatal yoga practice, be sure that the instructor understands pregnancy modifications.
- Stay hydrated – Drink a lot of water and ensure you carry some during your workouts. During pregnancy, keeping your body hydrated is very vital because dehydration can lead to preterm labor later on.
- Focus on strength – When doing yoga, control your movement to a point you feel the muscles activating and striving to keep you on those poses. It is essential because you will achieve the benefits of accumulating strength. Also, try yoga poses, which make you feel strong.
Once you have all these cleared, here are some poses that you should avoid in your prenatal yoga practice.
Throughout pregnancy; the body produces a hormone known as relaxin. This hormone will soften your inflexible body parts such as ligaments and bones to create room for the fetus and be ready for birth. So, overstretching may cause an injury. Also, avoid doing poses beyond your limit because a stretched ligament is an injury which takes longer to heal. Your knees are very fragile during that time.
Gentle backbends can be very helpful during pregnancy. But avoid deep backbends such as the upward bow pose unless you have been doing them before getting pregnant. Such poses can subject you to abdominal separation risk (diastasis recti).
Extreme twists from the belly, like Ardha matsyendrasana, compress the internal body organs, uterus included. Instead, twist more from the shoulders, or do the open twist. Ensure your tummy has enough room by turning further from the forward leg, to avoid squashing your belly.
Lying on the back
At 20 weeks, exercises on your back should not go past 90 seconds. Additional pressure is applied on your vena cava as the uterus and baby mature, the principal vein that carries to your heart from your lower back. So doing this pose may lead to lowered blood pressure and dizziness.
Lying on the belly
The moment pregnancy has been confirmed, it is advisable to avoid any pose that includes applying pressure directly to your belly because the fetus should not have any compression.
Blood flow rises during pregnancy, and so your primary temperature may increase as well. Therefore, taking yoga classes in a very hot room must be avoided. Usually, when this happens, you and your baby become at risk of having dangerous rises of core maternal temperature.
Avoid inversions, especially if you never did them before getting pregnant. However, if you have been an avid yogi and had done inversions before, then carry on. They make your body comfortable. Again, time spent in inversions may reduce as pregnancy progress, you may decide this yourself. But if your doctor has instructed you to stop, then listen.
Safest poses for yoga during pregnancy
When done the right way, these are the safest prenatal yoga poses.
- Hip openers – Doing poses like a triangle, knee to ankle and pigeon creates the flexibility that makes labor more comfortable.
- Side stretches – Differences on side planks and gate pose plus other side stretches, start to feel amazing when your abdomen feels overcrowded.
- All fours – This pose employs positions such as cat-cow. It’s recommended because it helps the baby to get into an ideal position (the head facing down). Additionally, this pose can be used when giving birth if recommended by your doctor.
- Standing poses – As the pregnancy progresses, try standing poses in order to widen your posture. Move your feet hip-distance apart to create more space for your bump. Again, make sure you are bending forward.
Here are some health benefits of prenatal yoga.
Supports your changing body
Our bodies are ever-changing, but during pregnancy, the body goes through an accelerated pace of transformation. As a result, the body needs help in compensating and adjusting. Yoga in pregnancy is vital since it supports the changes occurring to a pregnant woman. Offering women the safest and healthiest way to strengthen and stretch their muscles (more so the lower body) influences the process of supporting a maturing tummy.
Tones important muscle groups
In preparation for delivery, prenatal yoga tones the body especially hips, pelvic floor as well as abdominal core muscles. Toning of muscles helps reduce pains and aches for the entire nine months.
Prepares for labor and delivery
Paying attention to yogic ways of mindful and deep breathing helps the body relax and loosen.
Provides relief from common pregnancy complaints
The typical pregnancy complaints like nausea, lower back pain, insomnia and headaches can be relieved through prenatal yoga. Through toning muscles and stretching, blood circulates in your body in a very healthy way. Prenatal yoga will not only make you connect with the unborn child, but also have a smooth and healthier pregnancy. Moreover, in prenatal yoga classes, you will make friends with other moms-to-be and share your experiences.
In a nutshell, yes. Yoga during pregnancy can be beneficial and is safe, but only if you take caution and follow your doctor’s and yoga instructor’s advice.
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