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Prenatal Yoga: Practicing While Pregnant

Yoga has a long history of proven benefits for the mind and body. While yoga asanas stretch your limbs, massage your body and encourage deep breathing, they also encourage an inner tranquility that can help you meditate. Millions of people have become fans of yoga. Despite this popularity, many expecting mothers are hesitant to get involved. This article will describe some of the benefits of prenatal yoga, some exercises that many expecting mothers enjoy and a couple of precautions to take while enjoying yoga.

Benefits Of Yoga During Pregnancy

Staying in shape is important during pregnancy. You want your body to be healthy to ensure a safe and problem-free childbirth. Unfortunately, being pregnant often means perpetual discomfort. Exercising can ease much of the discomfort. But, high-impact exercise such as running or lifting weights is generally discouraged. Yoga offers a low-impact exercise routine that can alleviate much of the discomfort of pregnancy while helping your body remain fit and relaxed.

During yoga, your body is forced to stretch and relax simultaneously. The physical benefits of performing yoga poses include developing a body that is stronger, toned and more limber. The mental benefits include being more relaxed while your stress disappears. Plus, yoga helps to develop a deeper breathing style that allows your lungs to make better use of the oxygen you inhale. Pregnancy and childbirth can be uncomfortable and stressful. By focusing on flexibility, relaxation and breathing control, prenatal yoga can help relieve the discomfort and stress.

Top Prenatal Yoga Exercises

Several prenatal yoga poses are perfect for maintaining balance, increasing strength and encouraging your body's flexibility. For example, inversions can be useful during the first trimester. They can also be beneficial after giving birth because they increase circulation, regulate hormones and prevent water retention. The "Cat and Cow" pose is useful during the first several months of pregnancy and helps to strengthen your abdominal muscles while focusing on breathing control.

Other useful prenatal yoga exercises include the "Child's Pose" and "Pelvic Tilt." The "Child's Pose" helps increase the openness of your pelvis and chest. The "Pelvic Tilt" concentrates on building strength in your lower back, abdominal area and buttocks. The "Chest Expansion" pose helps open the chest (much like the "Child's Pose"), but also strengthens your lower back while encouraging breathing control. Finally, the "Relaxation" exercise is a perfect way to end your yoga session. While this exercise focuses on developing flexibility in your hip area, it's also useful for relieving headaches.

Important Prenatal Yoga Precautions

There are 2 important points to remember when practicing prenatal yoga. First, take care not to stretch any part of your body too much. Being pregnant makes you more susceptible to bodily injury. Second, some prenatal exercises may cause you discomfort. If this happens, avoid doing that exercise. Your body will continue to change during your pregnancy. Adapt your yoga routine according to what feels comfortable.

Don't Wait To Get Started

It's never too early to get started with prenatal exercises. In fact, the earlier you start during your pregnancy, the better. These exercises are designed to help you as your body changes up until childbirth. The flexibility, strength and breathing control that you'll gain from these poses will help alleviate much of your discomfort and stress during this critical time in your life. Don't wait to get started. Find a local yoga instructor and get involved today.