What’s Inside –
- Can yoga help during pregnancy?
- Yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy
- Want to learn prenatal and other forms of yoga? We have the place for you!
Is Yoga Good During Pregnancy?
Short answer? Yes!
Pregnancy can be an incredible and exciting adventure, one that will culminate in something even more amazing – the birth of your child. But for all its brilliance, it cannot be denied that pregnancy is a hard job. It changes the body and mind, and also brings about the worries of roles and responsibilities, and of securing a good future for your child, and of course, maintaining good health throughout.
While the gym may be off-limits, the yoga mat is not. Indeed, many studies have shown that prenatal yoga (that is, yoga specially designed for pregnant women) can provide a host of benefits to both the mother and child. These benefits of yoga include reduced symptoms of pregnancy, such as lower back pain and sleeping issues, better relaxation and stress-reduction, which comes with better focus and decision making, and increased strength and flexibility to ensure that your body is able to tackle whatever pregnancy and birth throw at you. The benefits of yoga in the prenatal stage are thus wide and holistic and can benefit the mother and child in the long run.
And the best part is, you don’t only benefit from the yoga poses – joining a prenatal class can also help provide you with the social company of other expecting mothers, and allows you to share your experiences and worries with others who know exactly what you are going through. This can be a secondary way in which the benefits of yoga help you out during the prenatal stage.
Keeping Safe – Yoga Poses to Avoid
While yoga, on the whole, is an exercise that can be taken up at any level of fitness, there are always some precautions and contraindications that should be followed. In the case of pregnancy, these are also important to help protect the health of the mother and the child. Hence, here are some yoga poses that you should avoid in your prenatal yoga practice –
- Yoga poses such as the cobra pose, the bow pose, and upward facing dog poses, such require you to lie down on your abdomen, should be avoided as you would like to keep unnecessary pressure off your womb during your pregnancy. This does not mean, however, that you do not have to engage your core at all during your exercise. Instead, the focus should be on gentle stimulation and strengthening the abdominal area to support a strong back.
- Yoga poses that involve strong backbends, such as the camel pose, wheel pose, etc. can create a strong stretch on the abdominal region, which you would want to avoid. Instead, the focus should be on opening up the chest, shoulders, and the upper back to help these regions of the body support the increased weight of the lower body.
- Yoga poses that involve inversion of the body such as headstands and shoulder stands are also best avoided. It is suggested that these should be practised (under expert supervision), only by those individuals who have been training in them well before their pregnancy. If you want to learn these inversions now, it is best to wait till after the birth of your child to learn these.
- The type of breathing exercises that should be undertaken also vary. Breathing is a very important component of yoga, and can also be a great asset during the process of labour. However, to ensure that only the positive benefits of yoga reach you and your child, it is best to avoid some form of pranayama such as kapalbhati, or any other practice that involves breath retention or heating breathwork
- As your pregnancy progresses, it is also best to skip or modify forward bends to protect your baby’s resting space and your lower back. Not only would these be uncomfortable, but can also create unnecessary strain on your abdominal region. You can use a wider stance and blocks to help you stretch yourself in a more comfortable and safe manner.
- After you reach the point of twenty weeks, lying flat on your back for more than ninety seconds can cause extra pressure on your vena cava, as a result of which you can face lowered pressure and dizziness. So lie down on your side, or support your back with blocks to help you out.
In the end, it is important to remember that this list is a general set of contraindications – what you will eventually be and not be able to do would depend upon your own fitness level, medical background, the month of pregnancy, and of course, comfort level. So be sure to always have an open channel of communication with your yoga teacher and your doctor to help you exercise well and take the best benefits from yoga. Prenatal yoga can be a great way to boost your health and that of your child during pregnancy, so don’t hesitate to try it out.
Want to Learn Prenatal Yoga and More?
If you are interested in learning prenatal yoga, or any other form of yoga, why not do so under the best experts? Hith Yoga Studio can provide you just that. At Hith Yoga, the focus is always on your health, safety, comfort, and your fitness and wellness goals. World-class ambience combined with over a decade of experience, helmed by highly qualified and experienced teachers makes Hith Yoga the one-stop destination for the ultimate yoga experience. So do not hesitate, and contact Hith Yoga for a trial class today, and change the way you experience yoga.
And, while we did mention about what not to do, we had, in our previous blogs talked about what all should pregnant women do or in other words, which yoga poses can benefit expectant mothers. Sharing those links again for a quick reference.