Pregnancy is not necessarily accompanied by a passive lifestyle. Prenatal yoga is one of the main types of exercise that are recommended and promoted by specialists. Preservation of mental and physical health is of great importance since a woman is responsible not only for herself but also for the child.
This goal can be achieved only through a balanced diet and several soothing and relaxing rituals. The inclusion of prenatal yoga in the weekly routine of a mother’s life is a wise decision that will help to stay in shape both during the entire pregnancy and during the birth itself. What’s more, prenatal yoga is a way to relieve tension and restore strength and peace of mind.
Yoga During Pregnancy
In recent years, yoga has become really popular. This is a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual practices aimed at achieving a balanced state, improving physical health, and learning to control your body. In the course of training, exercises for the body and various poses (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama) are usually performed. Different ways of relaxation and meditation are also practiced.
Yoga classes not only train different muscle groups but also help maintain mental balance, help to feel the connection with the future baby better, and tune in to a successful outcome of the forthcoming birth.
In this regard, to improve the gestation period, it is recommended to perform asanas and breathing exercises during pregnancy (prenatal yoga).
Yoga classes under the guidance of the instructor will be very useful for future mothers, provided that the exercises are specially adapted for pregnant women. The benefits of performing asanas or respiratory gymnastics according to the yoga technique are the following:
- the work of the central nervous system is normalized;
- the body is better saturated with oxygen;
- yoga improves metabolism;
- there is strengthening of the muscles responsible for maintaining a correct posture;
- prenatal yoga reduces the likelihood of constipation and varicose veins of the legs;
- improves the elasticity of the musculoskeletal apparatus, so that the process of labor is easier;
- the hormonal balance in the body is normalized;
- a future mother learns to relax properly, which is very important for the upcoming birth;
- the level of attention is trained, memory is improved;
- the emotional mood get better.
Yoga classes will be most useful if you are attentive to your state of health and do not allow discomfort in the process of performing asanas or various exercises.
More About the Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
To those women who have followed the training plan even before pregnancy, prenatal yoga will seem one of the most creative ways for keeping the body in shape.
In addition to the aesthetic effect, these exercises also have a number of medical advantages. This Indian practice fosters the fusion of the mind and the physical body in harmony.
Different poses in combination with appropriate respiratory techniques are aimed both at training the muscles and on eliminating tension and relieving stress. Here are some of the most important benefits of prenatal yoga.
Elimination of Pain in the Back
Due to weight gain and other factors, a woman’s back is under constant pressure.
Indeed, the relief of pain is one of the greatest goals that can be achieved through yoga postures. And as a result of doing stretching exercises, the back will become stronger. What’s more, the posture will also be improved.
Calming The Nerves
A few weeks before the birth of a child, women tend to be tense and worried because of impatience or fear of pain. Those who practice prenatal yoga can confirm that it can calm the nervous system.
The fact is that exercises help masterfully deal with anxiety in the most critical situation. In addition, relaxation, which is achieved with the help of proper breathing, and stretching contribute to successful delivery.
Development of Flexibility
One of the key qualities of the body, which brings real help during childbirth, is flexibility. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to pay special attention to this factor.
Prenatal yoga promotes the stretching of muscles and even tissues. In addition, increased circulation of oxygen in the blood is another proof of the effectiveness of exercise. Also while meditating and achieving inner harmony, mothers will be able to establish special relationships with their children.
Normalization of Sleep
This is a common situation when future mothers cannot sleep because of back pain or other problems. Undoubtedly, yoga can be an excellent remedy for this kind of discomfort.
Physical exercises increase the blood supply to the spine and also stretch the muscles, which is of paramount importance in such situations. Good sleep will contribute to the good mood of the mother. This will certainly positively affect the well-being of the fetus.
Ease of Delivery
It may seem impossible, but even simple exercises and poses will help you in the future. During childbirth, women feel a tremendous strain in the body. Relaxation is a key moment that can facilitate childbirth. Yoga will teach you to control muscles and movements not only on the physical but also on the spiritual and mental levels. And stress can also affect your breathing, which during birth should also be kept under control.
Teaching of Childbirth
Exercises of yoga can be turned into the ideal “training” of childbirth. Instructors will help you master the basic postures and prepare for this great day both morally and physically.
Features of Practicing in Different Periods of Pregnancy
You can start attending classes from the very first month of pregnancy. But it is necessary to consult the doctor in advance about possible contraindications and the regime of the permissible load.
It is advisable to practice in a special group for pregnant women. If this is not possible, you can visit an ordinary women’s group, but warn the instructor about your condition.
During the period of the most active hormonal reorganization of the woman’s body (from 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy), extreme care should be taken and only prone exercises should be performed.
Asanas in the sitting position should be performed on a soft comfortable mat, in a standing position – with the obligatory use of reliable support. Additional support is especially needed in the last trimester of pregnancy.
In the last weeks of pregnancy, you should perform asanas aimed at opening the pelvis and training the appropriate muscle groups.
During the lessons, you should follow the recommended safety rules, designed to preserve the health of the mother and future baby:
- It is better to perform exercises regularly, gradually increasing the load. In the event of an emergency break, the previous level of training should be renewed gradually.
- Avoid jumping, abrupt movements and squeezing the abdominal area during the exercise.
- In the third trimester, it is necessary to exclude all the asanas in the prone position from the complex, as the vessels of the back are squeezed.
- Do not start exercising right after eating.
- Refuseperforming breathing exercises associated with delayed breathing.
- At occurrence of a discomfort or painful sensations immediately stop doing the exercise.
Do not practice prenatal yoga in the presence of the following contraindications:
- increased risk of miscarriage;
- the appearance of bloody discharge from the vagina;
- the development of gestosis or other disorders in which bed rest is required;
- the presence of cardiovascular diseases (arrhythmia, tachycardia).
The Dangers of Prenatal Yoga
Professionals also advise getting more detailed information about the risks associated with prenatal yoga, as well as precautions that will help to avoid complications.
In order to expand your knowledge, you should take a closer look at the warnings, the purpose of which is to inform you about the factors that could undermine the effectiveness of training and threaten successful childbirth.
As the fetus grows, your body also becomes larger. This is one of the most important factors you should consider when choosing exercises. In order to avoid accidents, skip poses that require you to lie down. This can lead to a slowing of the blood flow in the uterus, which can harm the child.
In the first trimester, when the placenta is not completely fixed, jumping exercises can put the pregnancy at risk. Miscarriage is the worst thing that can happen in this period. Instead of exposing yourself to unnecessary risks, it is highly desirable to replace these exercises with those that have a relaxing effect.
In addition, they will require less effort and will preserve the health of both the child and the mother.
Take care of your joints and ligaments during prenatal yoga. Indeed, during these months a special hormone, called relaxin, makes the ligaments softer. Therefore, avoid excessive efforts and choose safe exercises for muscles.
Ask your instructor for help if you have doubts about the safety of certain poses.
Pregnancy is really a gift. However, it is very important to stay in shape both morally and physically.
Those who want to continue to lead an active and dynamic lifestyle should resort to safe and relaxing exercises. And prenatal yoga is an excellent way to free yourself from the accumulated tension that is quite common for these months.
Prenatal yoga allows effectively preparing the future mother for the process of the forthcoming birth from a psychological point of view. Thanks to the use of the acquired skills, a woman will be able to relax and breathe right. This significantly reduces the likelihood of complications in the delivery process.
It is better to perform asanas under the guidance of an experienced instructor during classes in special groups for future mothers. You can do it yourself, but you should only choose the exercises recommended for pregnant women.
Consultation of a doctor before joining a group of yoga is mandatory, since a woman may not take into account all possible contraindications to this type of load.
As a result of regular exercises, the emotional state of a woman improves, the level of stress decreases, which greatly increases the probability of a healthy baby’s birth.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.