You have all seen Anushka Sharma do the headstand when pregnant and she also spoke a lot about the importance of exercising during pregnancy. She did have her trainer with her when she did this pose, but whether or not we have a trainer with us, how safe and beneficial is it exercising during pregnancy?
Well, if you were never into hardcore exercising before your pregnancy, you should definitely not take it up when you are pregnant. But, what about yoga? Even if you have never done yoga before, you can always start with simple yoga poses during your pregnancy to stay active and healthy.
PRENATAL YOGA – WHAT IS IT?
Prenatal yoga is a great for not only keeping yourself fit and healthy during pregnancy, but also for preparing for your labour. Prenatal yoga can also help improve the health of your unborn child.
Prenatal yoga helps would-be moms to stay active physically and mentally. It can help them to develop focused breathing and destress.
HOW IS PRENATAL YOGA DIFFERENT FROM REGULAR YOGA?
Regular yoga includes a lot of positions which are not beneficial for pregnant women. In fact, some positions may actually be more harmful than helpful. Prenatal yoga focuses on positions which are specifically aimed for pregnant women. Prenatal yoga emphasizes on breathing techniques, stretching and strengthening positions which are specifically designed to help a woman’s body prepare for labour.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PRENATAL YOGA?
Prenatal yoga is the perfect form of exercise to start with during pregnancy, even if you’ve never worked out before. Some of the benefits of prenatal yoga are:
- Increases stamina and strength: Prenatal yoga helps stretch the muscles of the body, strengthening them and making them flexible – which is needed for child birth. It helps the body adjust to the changes it’s going through and make the body string enough to support the growing tummy.
- Lower pregnancy-related risks: Yoga is a sure shot way of reducing stress and anxiety. High stress levels during pregnancy can lead to several complications and in some cases miscarriage. Prenatal yoga focuses on breathing exercises and meditation, which in turn reduces stress and hypertension.
- Manage your weight: Prenatal yoga is a physical activity and like all physical activities, it will help you manage your weight, which is very crucial during pregnancy.
- Regulate your blood pressure: Breathing exercises done during the yoga sessions helps regulate the would-be mom’s blood pressure by lowering the heartrate. This in turn helps the mom stay calm, especially during labour
- Experience a better delivery: Prenatal yoga prepares the would-be mother’s body for the upcoming delivery. By toning and strengthening the muscles, she may experience an easier and smoother delivery. It can also help them stay calm during the delivery, if they can keep doing the breathing exercises.
PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE WHILE DOING YOGA WHEN PREGNANT.
To begin with, ensure you speak to your doctor first to find out if any form of exercise is a no-no for you. Only if your doctor gives you the permission, should you join a prenatal yoga class.
Make sure you are in a yoga class which is specifically for pregnant woman. Do not join a regular class, as that might be harmful for you. Ensure your yoga teacher is a certified prenatal yoga instructor.
Avoid doing difficult yoga poses, especially during the final months. After the first trimester, do not attempt any poses that required you to lie on your back, for the reason that you are instructed not to sleep on your back, but on your sides.
Invest in a high-quality, comfortable yoga mat.
Do not push yourself to do more. The idea here is to relax your body and mind, not tone your body or lose weight or any of those goals. So, avoid doing more than what your body can handle.
Stay hydrated at all times. Drink plenty of water during and after your sessions.
Avoid positions that are beyond your level of expertise and comfort level. Avoid positions that will put more pressure on your back. While performing an asana, bend from your hip and not your back. Avoid backbends, twisting and any kind of abdominal work.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT CLASS?
If you are deciding to go for an offline class, choose a class conducted by an instructor who is certified. Visit the classes a few times before enrolling, to ensure you are comfortable with the class size, the instructor, the method of teaching etc.
If you are going for an online class, the same holds well, as with offline course. Go through couple of online classes (live or taped) to ensure you are comfortable with the pace of the teaching, the instructions and the instructor.
We will recommend not to start practicing prenatal yoga on your own without the assistance of a trained instructor.
CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR
If you experience any of these symptoms, during or post your yoga class:
- Discharge of fluid from vagina
- Change in the movement of the baby
- Backaches or cramps
- Pressure on your pelvic area
- Any kind of swelling
- Anything out of the ordinary which is worrying you
Did you enroll for yoga classes during your pregnancy? How was your experience? Did it help you at all? Share you story with us.