When you are pregnant, you will receive a ton of advice from your relatives and friends. Most of them will ask you to rest during those nine months, but is it legitimate? Of course, your body is undergoing several changes and you aren’t as energetic as earlier, but fitting in some exercise into your daily regime never hurt anyone. After all, what’s better than staying in shape and feeling relaxed at the same time? This is why pre-natal yoga is being preferred by pregnant women across the world. It not only helps you stay fit but also prepares you for labour, and is also beneficial for your baby’s health.
Let’s understand how pre-natal yoga is good for you and your baby.
Benefits of Pre-natal Yoga
You could think of pre-natal yoga as a child birth preparation workshop that encourages stretching, mental relaxation, as well as focused breathing. According to several studies, pre-natal yoga is absolutely safe and can have a calming effect on the mother as well as the baby. What’s more – you can achieve weight loss during pregnancy or control weight gain.
Firstly, it helps you connect with your body and understand the changes it is going through. When you perform this type of yoga, your sleep cycle improves as your mind is freed from stress and anxiety. That’s not all – it increases the strength, flexibility as well as endurance of muscles, which is very important for child birth. Besides, it helps to control lower back pain, nausea, headaches, and other pregnancy-related symptoms.
What does Pre-natal Yoga focus on?
There are a few techniques that a professional yoga practitioner will follow when teaching pre-natal yoga. To begin with, you will be encouraged to follow a breathing pattern through the nose. This will help tackle any shortness of breath you experience during pregnancy and work through contractions during labour.
Next, you will be encouraged to practice gentle stretching and move different parts of your body. After some gentle stretching, you will gradually move your body into various postures that will help you develop your strength, flexibility, and balance. In case you require support, you can always use blankets or cushions.
The last step will be to cool down and relax. After each session, you will relax your muscles and bring your body to a state of rest. Pay close attention to your breathing and other emotions, and achieve a sense of calm.
Journey through the three trimesters
In the first trimester, postures are generally the same as other forms of yoga, since your belly doesn’t really show up by then. If you feel nauseated or tired, do not push yourself. Listen to your body and then follow an exercise routine.
During the second trimester, begin doing pre-natal yoga. Your belly will start to appear now, so you need pregnancy-related poses. Make sure you do not perform any exercise that requires you to lie on your belly. Avoid deep twists to prevent any discomfort.
The belly becomes more prominent by now and it isn’t possible to perform all exercises. It is better to take a wider stance to feel more stable, which is helpful so that you don’t fall. Do only those exercises that are comfortable for you.
Here are a few poses that are a must for pregnant women:
Cat-Cow Stretch: This is a gentle way to exercise your spine and also helps your baby gets into the best position for delivery.
Gate Pose: This side stretch helps you to tone your belly fat
Warrior Pose: This standing posture helps to strengthen your legs and opens your hips
Cobbler’s Pose: This is a gentle hip opener that tones the inner thighs
Legs Up the Wall: This pose helps in dealing with swollen ankles and feet
You may want to get back to yoga after your pregnancy, but doctors generally recommend six weeks of recovery time for new mothers after a vaginal birth or a Caesarean section. Get a nod from your doctor before you start your exercise regime. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!