Yoga For Pregnant Women

1. Can I practice Yoga throughout my pregnancy?

The postures practiced during pregnancy are dependent upon each mother’s levels of fitness, health and state of pvregnancy. To determine the suitability of practicing pre-natal yoga, it is advisable to consult your own Gynaecologist.

During pregnancy, you are recommended to only practice Pre-natal Yoga from the second trimester pregnancy (from the fourth to eight months). Pre-natal Yoga when practiced under trained supervision, is generally considered a safe form of yoga as it helps improve the general flexibility of the body and strengthens the pelvic muscles, which is the core muscle used during delivery. Not only that, it improves blood circulation in the body and stimulates the organs and glands, thereby aiding in normalizing blood pressure.
2. What are the benefits of practicing yoga during my pregnancy?

Ideal way to stay in shape: Pre-Natal Yoga can be an ideal way to stay in shape during pregnancy as it keeps you limber, tones your muscles, and improves your balance and circulation, with little, if any, impact on your joints.

Helps diminish swelling and joint inflammation: Swelling and inflammation is caused by water retention and decreased blood circulation. Since yoga helps promote blood circulation, it is effective at preventing and reducing the common swelling of the ankles, feet and hands during pregnancy.

Prevents and decreases pain in the lower back: Lower back pain is a common complaint during pregnancy. Regular prenatal yoga practice stretches the muscles of the lower back and strengthens these muscles and the spine. This reduces muscular tension and improves posture which alleviates the back pain.

Stress Relief: To adjust to the physical demands of the pregnancy, birth and motherhood, yoga provides the mother’s body with physical and emotional stress relief throughout the pregnancy. Achieving a more balanced hormonal system, pregnant mothers can maintain a greater sense of well being through breathing and relaxation exercises that calm both the body and mind.

Natural remedy: Pre-Natal Yoga provides natural relief from common pregnancy discomforts with no external application of medication.
3. If I have not practiced yoga prior to my pregnancy, can I still do so during pregnancy?

Yes, this is possible. A pregnant woman will find that practicing yoga during pregnancy will benefit the mind and body. Pre-natal classes are designed with the needs and limitations of pregnancy in mind. In addition, most pre-natal yoga poses can be modified to suit an individual’s level of fitness, health and state of pregnancy
4. What should I look out for when practicing yoga when pregnant?

With regards to pre-natal yoga, mothers-to-be must take care to avoid certain yoga postures, especially those that are strenuous, or those which may affect the abdominal region. Pregnant ladies are advised to do the exercises to the best of their ability and not to overstrain themselves. If they find difficulty in doing the postures, they can use the various props to assist them, such as the pillows, straps, blocks and chairs. It is also advised that they do the postures slowly, without sudden jerks as they might hurt themselves.
Do not attempt to do a headstand or shoulder stand and skip positions that stretch the abdominal muscles too much, such as deep forward and back bends as well as deep twists. Bring in a bottle of water during class to hydrate yourself. Steer clear of Hot Yoga as it can cause dangerous overheating.
5. What kind of effect will exercising yoga have on my foetus?

Mothers who practise pre-natal yoga also learn various breathing techniques which help them relax. This is vital for expectant mothers as the process of pregnancy may be rather stressful for the mind and body, especially when her hormonal patterns may be irregular, causing her to suffer from mood swings. Pre-natal yoga postures and breathing techniques will help expectant mothers to relax, and indirectly, helps the foetus to relax since mother and child are so intimately connected. The right breathing techniques also makes sure that the foetus gets complete oxygen flow.

Pre-natal yoga helps the foetus to develop healthily as different yoga postures help the expectant mother to stretch her body, and thus, preparing the expectant mother’s body for the labour process
6. Will practicing Yoga after giving birth help me in losing weight from pregnancy?

Most women deal with two major issues after pregnancy, namely, weight gain and unwanted flab.
Yoga deals with these two issues simultaneously, achieving positive results.

The use of various stretches, postures and controlled breathing techniques require an individual to maintain endurance with great precision and control. This will encourage a more efficient metabolism rate in your body, leading to burning more calories which helps in shedding your weight gained during pregnancy.

Unlike weight training which focuses on an isolated muscle group, with yoga, all muscle groups are involved during practice. A regular yoga regime coupled with a proper diet and cardiovascular exercise helps in developing leaner, longer muscles and a toned body after pregnancy.
7. When should I start practicing yoga after giving birth?

Post-natal yoga should be done 3 months after a natural birth and 6 months after a caesarean delivery. . It is important to remember not to over exert and to only do what you physically can. Bear in mind that it takes approximately 6 months for a woman’s body to fully recover from pregnancy and childbirth so it is vital to be careful of how you exercise during this period. If in doubt, please consult your doctor for medical advice before proceeding with any exercise.
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