Pregnancy is such a sweet phase of bringing a new life into creation. It gives a woman the feelings of joy and fulfillment. When a woman gets pregnant her body goes through a lot of physical and mental changes. Where waiting for a small creation for nine months to become handy is a joyful and exciting feeling, pregnancy is also a journey with discomfort, pains, twinges, anxiety, and depression.
To make your journey happy and healthy, you should do everything that makes you feel relaxed and happy. And when we talk about relaxation and getting relief from pains in pregnancy, there is no other way better than yoga in pregnancy
Prenatal yoga not only helps you to stay fit, healthy, and relaxed, but it also prepares your body for labor and promotes your baby’s health.
What is yoga?
With 4000 years of history, yoga is an ancient way of meditation in East Asia.
In yoga, you move your body in different ways, attain different positions, and do breathing practices to relax your mind and to become more fit.
Yoga works for your inside body organs. It can help to maintain your heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. Besides, it also improves your mental health, a reason why money people are quitting gyms and adapting yoga asanas.
Yoga in pregnancy
Yoga in pregnancy is safe and can be advantageous for you if done correctly. There are a number of yoga postures that are proven to be beneficial for pregnant women.
Prenatal yoga is good for both the mother and the baby. It brings many benefits to both of them.
No matter if you are a beginner or have been doing yoga before, always ask your yoga instructor for safe yoga postures when you are expecting.
Benefits of yoga in pregnancy
As we said above, prenatal yoga brings many benefits for expecting mommies. It prepares you for childbirth, giving you mental peace and relaxation.
With gentle stretching and breathing techniques, it makes your muscles flexible and they can endure more when you are in labor.
Women who participated in yoga programs during their late pregnancy (second and third trimester) were found to felt stronger and had great overall well-being says a 2014 study.
Not only it helps you to prepare your body for labor, but also has the perks of giving you relief from anxiety and depression for the entire 9-month journey of pregnancy. (A study published by NCBI in 2015)
Many outcomes of pregnancy can be solved by just doing some simple yoga postures. Back pain, shortness of breath, nausea, headaches, stress, and anxiety, you can win against all these in one go by joining prenatal yoga classes.
Which yoga postures you should do during pregnancy
For tight hips
- Yoga squat; (try it with a block), strengthen the pelvic floor
- Pigeon pose; great for lower back stress too
- Low lunge twist pose; supports fresh blood flow (seek your healthcare provider’s advice before starting any twists)
For back pain
- Seated side bend; great for a cranky back
- Ankle-to-knee; gives you relief from glutes and muscle tension
- Standing forward bend; perfect for lower back tension
For relieving belly weight
- Cat-cow pose; takes off pressure from your belly
- Wide-knee child’s pose; just like cat-cow pose, releases pressure off from your growing belly
- Wide-angle seated forward bend; takes off the pressure from the lower back
For tight shoulder
- Legs-up-the-wall pose; also good for sore and swollen feet
- Dolphin pose; great for upper back and shoulder tension
- Squats; widen the pelvis and supports dilation in the cervix
- Rocking cat; gives relaxation to mother and supports baby to fit in the best birth position
- Side-lying; opens the pelvis outlet and extremely beneficial when mom’s activity is limited and she is tired
- Bound angle pose; a great pose for tired moms, stretches pelvic floor and thighs, helps baby to descend
- Wall lean; takes off the lower back pain and gives mom relaxation in labor
Which yoga positions to avoid in pregnancy
- Belly down postures; it’s the best to avoid all such poses (like cobra or locust poses) that put pressure on your belly.
- Lying on your back; lying on your back for more than 90 seconds can disrupt your blood flow. Avoid lying on your back postures (like Corpse pose) or modify them with side-lying or use blocks.
- Crunches; crunches like boat pose compress the abdomen and should be avoided in all three trimesters.
- Twisting Postures: twisting chair, revolved triangle, revolved half moon, and twisting crescent, they all put pressure on your abdomen like crunches. It’s better to avoid such postures too.
- Heating breathing techniques: though cooling breathing techniques are highly recommended for safer pregnancy and childbirth. However, heating breathing should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Hot yoga; avoid doing yoga in hot temperatures and in heated rooms. Hot yoga can raise your core temperature.
- Inversions; are only recommended if you have been practicing them before. If not, it’s not the right time to start. Inversions can hurt your cervical spine.
The Saffona Note
Although yoga in pregnancy is proven for its beneficial effects, still the team Saffona recommends you to not to start prenatal yoga all by your own. If you are a beginner, ask your healthcare adviser first, s/he will recommend you after seeing your health condition whatever is suitable for you.
On the other hand, if you have been doing yoga before pregnancy, inform your trainer or yoga instructor about your pregnancy.
We also advise you to do yoga practice under your instructor’s supervision, keeping yourself hydrated enough.