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17 August 2022

Tips for yoga during pregnancy

Pregnant mothers doing prenatal yoga stretches

The benefits of yoga during pregnancy

Yoga can be beneficial during your pregnancy as it helps you to stay fit, improve your energy level and allows you to become more in tune with your body.

It can also be a great way to stay flexible and prepare you for birth! Through a series of gentle stretches, yoga exercises help tone the reproductive organs, pelvis, and rest of your body to ensure an easier childbirth. Posture is also improved by yoga, and this can help ease back problems, which are common in pregnant women.

However, as with any exercise program, it is always best to consult your physician before beginning!

pregnant woman resting due to a backache

Should you practice yoga during your pregnancy? 

Yes, mommies-to-be, you should practice yoga during your pregnancy!

Here are the many reasons why you should:

1. Increases overall strength, flexibility and well-being 
When you are practicing yoga, you are not only stretching your muscles! Instead, you are also stretching the tissues that cover your muscles, stimulating your organ systems, improving the flow of blood and oxygen, breathing more deliberately, and focusing your attention inward through imagery and meditation.

2. Reduces low back pain & sciatica 
In yoga, you learn to be very aware of how your body is aligned so that you can carry yourself and your belly as a whole. This helps to reduce the degree of pelvic tilt associated with pregnancy and significantly reduces the lower back pain that it can cause!

3. Reduces aches and fatigue in the thoracic and cervical regions of the spine 
During pregnancy, it can be difficult to find a space for yourself when trying to sleep at night. As a result, spinal alignment can become compromised during the night. This can leave congestion and muscle tension in the middle and upper regions of the spine. Practicing yoga regularly can create more fluidity in the spine by stretching the paraspinal muscles. It also involves very gentle rotation of the upper torso! When these sequences are combined with directed yoga breathing, it can have the effect of relieving stress. Therefore, create more breathing room in these regions of the spine!

4. Reduces swelling and inflammation around your joints
Asana, which is a sitting meditation pose, helps and improves the flow of blood and oxygen throughout your body when you do it regularly and consistently. This, in turn, reduces swelling and inflammation around the ankles and wrists!

5. Aids in digestion
As your little one grows in your belly, your intestinal organs get pushed around, which may affect your regularity and cause indigestion. Regular practice of safe and gentle rotations and forward folds can help to promote regularity and aid in overall digestive flow.

6. Helps prepare you physically for giving birth 
Regular practice of squatting asana helps to tone the muscles of your pelvic floor and helps you gain strength to remain comfortable in a squatting position. You will want to be able to use these muscles efficiently and effectively when nature calls upon you to push your baby into the world!

7. Improves your emotional well-being
When you take a prenatal class, you can get support from other people who know what you're going through. It will be a place to make new friends with whom you feel similarly situated as well. The combination of the physical or asana portion of yoga with the emotional and spiritual components can be an aid in reducing pregnancy-related anxiety. It will also help mommies-to-be to fully experience the miracle and empowerment of pregnancy.

Yoga poses

Yoga poses can help you deal with pregnancy symptoms, making your labour and delivery easier and helping you get better faster after giving birth. Do take note that these poses that put pressure on the abdomen and other difficult poses should not be done during the advanced stages of pregnancy. To begin with, please be seated in a comfortable position.

When to avoid yoga during your pregnancy? 

The different yoga positions that you should avoid during pregnancy depend on the stage of pregnancy you are in!

During the fifth month of pregnancy, the uterus is growing rapidly, and you'll also be gaining more weight. Due to the heaviness of the uterus, lying on your back for more than 10 minutes may cause some compression to the blood vessels, which would decrease blood supply to the uterus and oxygen to the baby.

During the fifth month (or sometimes sooner), it may be uncomfortable to lie on your stomach. Therefore, these types of exercises should be avoided. A good rule to follow is to not try any positions that are uncomfortable or do not feel right for your body during that period.