One of the most rewarding and greatest achievements a woman can have is to become a mother. Being pregnant involves a lot of overwhelming emotions and physical stress due to the constant and rapid changes happening in your body as your baby grows. There are several ways to ease the said discomforts, and one of them is yoga.
Yoga is proven safe and beneficial to mothers but certain poses are best avoided at different trimesters. Since yoga exercise involves a lot of breathing and stretching exercises, it can help to prepare the mother to face labor pains and the actual childbirth. Yoga also calms the mind, which is essential to expectant mothers, in order to go through the whole process of pregnancy with less emotional and physical stress.
Considering a prenatal yoga class is a wise decision to make, especially if you are a first time mom. This is your way to meet other expectant mothers, where all of you can share experiences, thoughts, and insights about your pregnancies. You’ll also get guidance by a trained teacher for what is best for your body. There are different schools of yoga such as kundalini, hatha and bikram and they may not have the same recommendations for poses, so it is good to ask questions and feel comfortable with the advice given.
If you are attending a prenatal yoga class, try to avoid poses that might restrict proper blood flow. Some yoga poses that are recommended for pregnant women are the butterfly stretch, cat-cow, modified seated forward bend, side angle pose, modified standing forward bend, and the modified triangle pose.
Remember, your body is susceptible to strains, and other injuries, due to your soft tissues caused by the pregnancy hormones.
Be mindful about your balance especially during your second trimester, when the weight is already causing pressure. Always have something that will support your weight such as a chair or hold on to a handle bar (if there is).
Yoga exercises also involve twisting of the body. When doing this, make sure that you twist your shoulders or back only, without placing too much pressure on your tummy. Also, only twist your body as far as you can. When you are already feeling the pressure on your tummy, it is an indication that you need to stop.
Let your instructor know if the poses or exercises are causing discomfort. He or she will be able to redesign a program for you, according to your body’s capability. I attended a yoga class last year where someone was pregnant and the teacher gave her substitute exercises to do . For instance, some of the ones that involved lying on the tummy and stretching were modified for her to do on her back. For example instead of doing the bow on her belly, it was done on her back like a bridge.