מורת יוגה can not only help you stay fit through a pregnancy, but also boost mind and body, helping to keep your pregnancy hassle-free. As an ancient Indian practice, tracing its roots back almost 5000 years, yoga is a tried and true means of dealing with your overall well-being, both mind and body. Each yoga pose, or asana, is tied to breathing techniques, or pranayamas, and focuses on specific parts of the body to ensure a complete body effort.
Specific to pregnant women, yoga asanas helps to open muscles of the pelvis, reducing pressure on ligaments and easing lower-back pain. Additionally, it promotes flexibility, strength and stamina, as it focuses the entire body on releasing and relaxing. No activity does better at centering the mind and relieving stress, while gently toning the body. Not only does the mother benefit from yoga, but the baby does as well by receiving increased levels of oxygen and endorphins. The benefits of yoga for pregnant women are described in detail below.
One of the most common benefits of yoga for pregnant women is to help stay in shape throughout the pregnancy. Regardless of your fitness level or skill level, yoga is a gentle, but highly effective way of toning the muscles throughout the pregnancy. Additionally, many yoga instructors are trained and certified in yoga for pre-natal women and can help to customize your yoga workout to ensure the greatest level of safely and the most effective workout possible. Yoga can help to target specific trouble areas for pregnant women during pregnancy, such as helping to strengthens abdomen muscles and pelvic floor.
One of the benefits of yoga for pregnant women is that it can help to boost circulation and help with fluid retention. This is extremely important as you are doing the work for two during pregnancy. Additionally, asanas help to relieve aches and pains. Working with your instructor, you can tailor your workout to focus on specific areas of pain and discomfort. As many asanas focus on proper alignment of the body, yoga will help to improve posture, helping to ease back pain, which is common in pregnant women.
Another one of the benefits of yoga for pregnant women, and for people in general, is that spending time focusing on the combination of body position and breathing, you begin to obtain an increased awareness of your body. Through this greater awareness, you are able to better understand what is happening to your body throughout pregnancy. Some aspects of pregnancy, such as weight gain, morning sickness and decreased sexuality, can bring about feelings of depression and low self-esteem. Yoga can help deal with these feelings by allowing you to refocus and balance your energy, helping to shift into a positive mindset.
As a safety precaution when starting yoga, always remember to check with your doctor if you are unsure of a safe level of physical exertion for yourself during the pregnancy. When looking for the right class, make sure to take both the style of yoga and instructor into consideration. Certain styles of yoga are better for pregnant women, such as Ananda, Hatha, Kundalini, and Iyengar, are better for pregnant women as they are more focused on proper alignment of the body and breathing than on a high intensity workout such as Power or Bikram yoga. If you are unfamiliar with yoga or the specific style of yoga you will be taking, make sure to take a supervised class, at least initially. Good instructors will be able to help you customize your workout to meet your unique needs. Additionally, make sure your instructor is certified in prenatal yoga though an accredited yoga institute.
Regardless of your skill level, make sure to start slow to best understand your bodies capability during this time of change. The best rule to follow when practicing yoga is, if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. As you get comfortable with the asanas, feel free to practice on your own, but again, talk to your instructor to discuss poses that will provide the greatest benefit and that are safe to practice alone. Many yoga books and videos are also available that are focused specifically for pregnant women.