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Can You Do Yoga While Expecting?

By Yann, published on 12/02/2019 Blog > Health and Fitness > Yoga > Prenatal Yoga

“Yoga teaches you how to listen to your body.” – Mariel Hemingway

Whether you’re pregnant or not, anyone can enjoy yoga. With all the different poses, breathing exercises, and mindfulness meditation, regularly practising yoga (prenatal or otherwise) is a great way to improve your mind, body, and spirit. When you’re expecting, practising yoga is a great way to be more relaxed and peaceful.

During pregnancy, you may encounter back pain, weight gain, or just want to improve your flexibility before the big day. This is where prenatal yoga comes into it. Prenatal yoga can help pregnant women prepare for the birth of their child by helping them improve their flexibility.

In this article, we’re going to look at yoga during pregnancy, how it can help you to relieve pain, relax, and do gentle stretches that are good for the mind and body of both you and your baby. Of course, not all yoga postures are suitable for pregnant women and practising yoga should only be done once you’ve asked the professional opinion of a medical practitioner or a doctor. Even if you think that yoga class for beginners will be easy, the routine they do may not be suitable for expectant mothers. There are specific pregnancy exercises that yoga teachers will cover in specialised classes.

What Is Prenatal Yoga?

When you do prenatal yoga, you need to listen to your body and your baby’s. You can even get private yoga classes with a tutor, attend group classes for expectant mothers and meet other women to talk to about pregnancy and their concerns. Whatever your reasons, prenatal yoga is a good way to prepare for the birth.

What are the benefits of pregnancy yoga? There are plenty of benefits to doing yoga while you’re pregnant. (Source: Pexels)

Prenatal yoga is a yoga class specifically designed for pregnant women and is available for women at certain stages during the pregnancy. The goal is to learn more about your body while improving your flexibility so that when the big day comes, it’ll be as relaxed and serene as possible. A yoga session can have many benefits for pregnant women.

Prenatal yoga is more than just a yoga course and more than just physical exercise, it’s a way to help expectant mothers during their pregnancy until the day they give birth. It’s about helping create harmony between the mother and her baby and make yoga exercises easier for pregnant women.

Don’t forget that there’s also yoga for seniors.

The Benefits of Yoga for Pregnant Women

Prenatal yoga can work on your hips, teach you how to breathe correctly, and improve your circulation in time for labour. It’s also a discipline designed for pregnancy whose poses are adapted for expectant mothers with particular breathing techniques and lighter muscle toning than you’d find in a dynamic yoga session. The benefits include:

  • Enjoying being pregnant
  • Mentally preparing yourself for giving birth
  • Meeting other pregnant women
  • Being mindful of your body when you’re pregnant
  • Seeing that pregnancy doesn’t need to be the end of an active lifestyle
  • Making the most of the first few months to alleviate aches and pains
  • Easing the concerns of the father during the first months
  • And many more

What is pregnancy yoga? Doing yoga when pregnant can help you enjoy your pregnancy even more. (Source: FotografieLink)

In short, prenatal yoga is a physical activity practised by a good number of pregnant women before they give birth allowing them to alleviate back pain, follow their pregnancy, and prepare themselves mentally at the same time. This means that there are certain yoga poses that they won’t do since they aren’t really suitable for pregnant women.

Advice for Doing Prenatal Yoga

There’s some advice that those doing prenatal yoga should take on board. It goes without saying that a pregnant woman is more fragile than usual and not necessarily capable of doing all the poses from a typical yoga session. This is why prenatal yoga isn’t recommended right up to the due date. You don’t want to complicate things.

How do you manage stress when you're pregnant? Yoga can help make pregnancy less stressful. (Source: StockSnap)

Don’t ignore advice and warnings about practising prenatal yoga. One of the most important things to remember is that it isn’t advised to do prenatal yoga during the final trimester. This is the time during which the baby’s nervous system is being formed and you should avoid many types of physical activity, including yoga.

During this time, prenatal yoga may be too physically demanding. Of course, you should always check with your doctor before starting any new fitness programme, including prenatal yoga. Thus, even if want to alleviate back pain, sciatica, etc., you need to be fully aware of the possible complications of doing yoga while pregnant.

This is why you’ll need to avoid twisting poses and other yoga poses that stress the stomach, of course. Additionally, avoid poses and activities that involve the sensitive parts of your body and activities that are too physically demanding for you and your baby. It’s a good idea to be aware of both the benefits and consequences of doing yoga while you’re pregnant, even if your instructor will probably know even more than you.

Don’t forget that those with physical disabilities can also do yoga!

Yoga Breathing Techniques for Pregnant Women

When you decide to do prenatal yoga, you mightn’t have realised everything that it includes. You’re going to develop a better understanding of your body, master certain yoga poses, and see your pregnancy differently, but you’re also going to learn how to control your breathing.

In fact, breathing is an important part of yoga. You’ll often hear talk of pranayama, controlling your breath as part of your yoga practice. In fact, pranayama is said to control your life force and enable you to:

  • Manage stress
  • Adopt a better posture
  • Push harder
  • Oxygenate your lungs
  • Do certain poses that would otherwise be impossible

In short, breathing is a useful tool for doing certain yoga poses. In fact, there are tonnes of yoga poses that you can’t do if you’re not breathing correctly, especially if you also happen to be pregnant. Of course, you should probably ask your yoga tutor or instructor for more information.

Find out more about couples’ yoga sessions.

Your Yoga Instructor, Your Guide to Prenatal Yoga

During prenatal yoga, just like any other type of yoga, the instructor or tutor is an essential part of the learning process and getting the most out of your sessions. In prenatal yoga, they’re even more essential as their advice will affect both you and your baby. A good instructor will have the answers to all your questions and concerns.

How do you master yoga breathing techniques? Managing your breathing is an important part of yoga. (Source: lograstudio)

When you take a prenatal yoga class, the instructor is there to reassure you, make you aware of what you’re doing and the benefits of doing it, as well as help you manage your pregnancy as much as possible through yoga. Furthermore, prenatal yoga classes are specifically for these reasons. The goal is to benefit the mother and the baby with yoga.

Thus, you can do yoga when you’re pregnant and it comes with a lot of benefits. Whether you’re stressed, relaxed, or just interested in giving it a go, prenatal yoga is probably a good activity to help you see yoga in a different light. In fact, you’ll see your pregnancy and your future baby in a different light, a more positive one.

So are you ready to give it a try?

Don’t forget that once you’ve had the baby, you don’t have to stop doing yoga. While you mightn’t be ready to start doing hot yoga, power yoga, or ashtanga yoga just yet, there are always postnatal yoga classes! As you may have guessed, these are classes that involve the same levels of relaxation, awareness, and calm that you can expect from most types of yoga but they focus on strengthening the parts of the body that were most affected by pregnancy, doing workouts designed for women who’ve just had their babies and enjoying all the other benefits of yoga after pregnancy.

For those interested in yoga, consider looking for tutors or instructors on Superprof. You can find yoga tutors and instructors offering one-to-one tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials.

While one-to-one tutorials are usually the most effective, online tutorials tend to be cheaper as the instructor will have fewer expenses. Of course, with pregnancy yoga, online tutors aren’t really advised as they can’t physically correct you if you’re doing a pose incorrectly.

If these two options are too expensive, consider getting private yoga instruction in groups. This allows the tutors to earn more per hour but charge each individual student a discount.

With free tuition for the first hour being offered by many instructors, you can try out a few different yoga instructors before deciding who you get along with.

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