Prenatal Yoga – What’s Safe?
We know full well how tricky it can be to find the right kind of exercise for YOU throughout your pregnancy.
Prenatal yoga is a great option – it will maintain your fitness and has also been proven to improve sleep, reduce anxiety and help your body in preparation for labour.
As with all pregnancy exercise, it is important to know which exercises are safe, and the modifications you’ll need to make.
What is prenatal yoga?
Prenatal yoga classes can vary, but usually combine slow breathing exercises, teaching mothers-to-be how to reduce shortness of breath, gentle stretching, moving between postures and a relaxation at the end.
Hatha yoga and restorative yoga are also great options when pregnant, but it’s advised to avoid hot yoga (Bikram) or intense vinyasa flows. If you aren’t attending a specific prenatal class, make sure to tell the instructor that you’re pregnant and how far along you are!
Any yoga classes that are safe for mums should avoid postures lying on your back, or deep twists.
How much yoga can I do during my pregnancy?
This really varies from person to person, as well as on your yoga experience, and generally how much exercise you did before falling pregnant. Make sure not to overdo it though – you want to be able to hold a conversation throughout every workout you do, and you want it to energise you, not exhaust you!
Prenatal yoga can be most effective during the second and third trimesters as there is a real focus on breathing techniques and prepping the body for the birth. You might also meet some friends in the same boat as you along the way!
What are the benefits?
There are SO many benefits, but here are a few:
- Mindfulness: yoga is fantastic for really honing in on the breath and focusing on the moment. It gives you the opportunity to stop and quiet the chatter in your brain.
- Connecting to the body: what better time to feel connected to your baby than in a relaxing prenatal yoga class. You’ll be encouraged to deepen the relationship with your baby, really appreciating how magical it is that you’re growing someone inside you!
- Breath work: a huge focus for yoga in general is the breath. This can have real benefits when pregnant as you will learn to control your breathing, slowing it down, which can serve you very well when it becomes time to deliver the baby!
So, as long as you are practicing a form of yoga that is safe for pregnancy and feels good to you, go right ahead and enjoy all of the lovely benefits for you AND baby!