Many women are frightened or weary of maintaining their exercise routine once they find out they’re pregnant. However, continuing the routine that you once had can be extremely beneficial and healthy for both you and your baby. Yoga is one form of exercise that can be a sustaining routine for women during their pregnancy, for a variety of reasons.
As the body rapidly changes, yoga can be an exceptional tool in adjusting aches and pains that have been brought on by the body’s expanding form. It can also be a huge asset in terms of mental preparation, stress management, and relaxation to help prepare mamas-to-be for the big day ahead.
It is important to talk to your doctor before you start or continue your yoga practice, as certain pregnancy-related conditions may affect your ability to practice safely. Most doctors will recommend against practicing in a hot room during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester.
Best Types of Yoga for Pregnancy
Each woman’s body is unique, so there is no one-size fits all class for expecting mothers. Prenatal yoga, however, is a great option if you’re looking for a class specifically for those who are pregnant. This form of yoga is taught with the changing bodies of a pregnant women in mind. These classes tend to be gentler and move at a slower pace than typical yoga classes. At YogaSix, our Y6 Flow and Y6 Stretch are the most popular classes among pregnant women.
Despite what kind of yoga practice you decide to engage in, modifications will have to be made. If you have never taken a yoga class before or practiced at home, you will most likely find the most comfort in taking the prenatal class.
Best Yoga Poses for Expecting Mothers
Your ability to practice different yoga poses will change with the changing of your trimesters. In the first few months of pregnancy, women are advised against deep twists and forward folds. During this time, you want your body to adjust to all of the changes that are happening. Once you’ve passed through your first trimester, these two poses will be safe to practice as long as you don’t overstretch in either position.
While pregnant, the body produces a hormone called Relaxin that helps ligaments stretch in preparation of labor. As a result, pregnant women are often incredibly flexible. Keep this in mind, as it is especially important to not over-stretch. This can later lead to issues after delivery. It is also good to note that you shouldn’t be laying on your stomach once it starts to be uncomfortable.
Poses that are extra beneficial to pregnant women include ones that put focuson opening up the hips. The garland pose, specifically does a great job at preparing the hips for labor. After 16 weeks, it is advised that pregnant women take savasana on their left side, as not to put pressure on the vena cava, which is what provides blood flow to the baby.
How Long Can I Practice Yoga While Pregnant?
Determining how long you want to continue your yoga practice into your pregnancy is totally your own decision. I even practiced a week past my due date. It’s important to pay extra attention to your body during this time to figure out when it may be time to stop.
A yoga practice is different for everyone. Finding what works for you and your body is the key to continuing your practice into pregnancy. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Some positions may be harder or easier than they were before you were pregnant. Use your practice as a way to relieve stress and prepare your body for the excitement that lies ahead.