Prenatal Yoga: Practicing While Pregnant
Benefits Of Yoga During PregnancyStaying 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 ExercisesSeveral 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.