Is yoga safe during pregnancy? Whether you’re an experienced yogi or you just want to reap the benefits of exercise, yoga is a great way to keep mobile and active. Regular physical activity during pregnancy is essential to keep your body healthy and strong and prepared for birth – and yoga is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise.
But is yoga safe while you’re expecting? Advice from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for moms-to-be is that modified yoga is a safe exercise during pregnancy. However, like with all new exercises during pregnancy, it’s recommended that you get the go-ahead from your health care professional before joining a class.
• Related: Best resistance bands
Yoga is a popular way for expectant moms to increase flexibility and strength, ease tension and stress and help relieve some common prenatal symptoms, from lower back pain to tight hips. And best of all, all you require is comfortable, loose-fitting clothes, a supportive maternity sports bra and one of the best yoga mats .
We spoke to the experts about everything you need to know about yoga during pregnancy, any potential issues that could occur and the benefits of yoga during pregnancy.
Yoga during pregnancy: What you need to know
Yoga supports your changing body
"Yoga can be a great way of maintaining strength and flexibility throughout your pregnancy," Leanne O'Brien Consultant Women's Health Physio at Six Physio told Live Science. It also strengthens and tones important muscle groups, especially your hip and abdominal core muscles and pelvic floor in preparation for labor and delivery.
"However, it’s important to be mindful of how far you’re stretching your joints when pregnant as you’ll naturally have more joint mobility due to a hormone called relaxin. This hormone encourages the joints around the pelvis to slacken slightly in preparation for vaginal delivery. Because of the additional mobility, you’re more prone to over-stretching and potentially straining the muscles or ligaments."
• Read more: Can yoga fix your posture?
(Image credit: Getty)
Start doing yoga in your second trimester
Although there’s no evidence that yoga in your first trimester is harmful, it’s generally recommended that you should start in your second trimester. The British Wheel of Yoga recommends that you don’t attend a yoga class before you’re 15-weeks pregnant. "As your body changes during pregnancy, it’s important to adapt the practice as well. The most important thing is to start listening to what works and what doesn’t because this can change daily," Indaba Yoga Teacher, Giulia Lurza told Live Science.
Be aware of your changing body
"Your center of gravity changes during pregnancy to accommodate your growing bump, and this can make it more difficult to maintain your balance when completing more challenging exercises," O'Brien said. "Yoga is a great way of growing more accustomed to your changing center of gravity by allowing you to practice maintaining your balance in different positions. By challenging your balance, it helps to stimulate the neural pathways in your brain responsible for balance and helps you grow accustomed to your ever-changing center of gravity."
"This does mean that you may need to be more cautious in yoga classes and use blocks for support. You may also want to position yourself close to a wall in case you need to reach out and steady yourself," she said.
Which type of yoga is best during pregnancy?
Though there are a variety of different types of yoga , it’s important to do a class that is suitable for your nine-month stretch. Most classes typically involve physical postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama) and relaxation.
"If you’re starting yoga for the first time whilst pregnant, I would recommend that you find a prenatal yoga class," suggested O'Brien. "Prenatal yoga classes have an adapted repertoire of exercises that prevent you from over-stretching the ligaments and muscles around the pelvis. The poses are less intense and focus more on balance and postural control. It’s incredibly important to remain strong and active during pregnancy, however, exercises often need to be adapted to ensure you can complete them pain-free," explained O'Brien.
If you practice yoga regularly, you may want to reduce the intensity of your sessions depending on how your body is feeling. Hatha and restorative classes are good options due to their gentle and slow-paced style. According to Lurza, Forrest yoga has a lot of variations for pregnancy. "It works on posture, builds up physical and emotional strength and helps you bond with your growing baby."
What are the benefits of pregnancy yoga?
There are a variety of different benefits of practicing yoga in pregnancy, including:
1.Pregnancy yoga helps relieve stress
Pregnancy can be a stressful time for some women and with mental health affecting physical health , yoga can be a good source of stress relief. "Yoga is a great way of alleviating stress and tension in the body, allowing you to connect with your thoughts and your breathing. Your breathing becomes shallower in the second and third trimester as the baby restricts your diaphragm from lowering effectively, so you naturally become breathless more quickly," O'Brien explained.
2.Pregnancy yoga improves your posture
Your posture changes during pregnancy as your pelvis tilts forward due to the weight of the bump. According to O'Brien this can encourage the upper back and shoulders to slouch forwards slightly, creating tension and stiffness in some women. "Moving the upper back and shoulders during a yoga session can alleviate this tension and ensure that the postural muscles are working to support your back."
(Image credit: Getty Images)
3.Pregnancy yoga prepares your body for birth
"It’s important that women maintain their ability to squat and bend forwards comfortably during their pregnancy," O'Brien said. "Squatting forms the basis of the most effective birthing positions and is essential for daily movement. Yoga can be a great way of keeping you active and maintaining strength in the pelvis and leg muscles to assist with squatting and to improve your ability to bear down and push during labor. It also helps to strengthen the pelvic floor."
4.Pregnancy yoga improves your mood
We all know that exercise has a positive impact on our mental wellbeing, including reducing anxiety and depression. But yoga during pregnancy also has the ability to boost your mood. One study in the Nursing Science Quarterly journal found that pregnant women who took part in a 6-week yoga program during their second and third trimester felt stronger, more optimistic and had better overall wellbeing.
5.Pregnancy yoga promotes better sleep
It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to suffer from sleep problems due to fluctuating hormones, physical discomfort and worries about motherhood. But studies show that regular yoga practice can improve the quality of your sleep. One study published in the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice journal found that yoga reduces sleep disturbances, as well as anxiety and prenatal depression.
Pregnancy yoga safety tips
Here are some ways that you can practice yoga safely:
• Always tell your yoga teacher that you’re pregnant, so they can modify postures, and check that they’re trained to teach pregnant women. Or better still, go to a prenatal yoga class. • Don’t exhaust yourself – if you can’t hold a conversation while moving, you’re working too hard. • Always listen to your body – Mentally check in with how you’re feeling throughout the session to ensure you don’t over-stretch. • Avoid yoga positions that involve lying flat on your back from 19 weeks onwards, O'Brien recommended. “This is to reduce the risk of your uterus pressing against the main blood vessels in the abdomen. Poses that place a lot of pressure on your abdomen, such as boat pose, should be avoided.”
Today's best Yoga Mats deals
76 Amazon customer reviews
Show More Deals
Karen Gordon is a freelance writer and web content editor with a special interest in health, and is based in the United Kingdom, As well as contributing to Live Science Karen has written for a variety of other publications, including NetDoctor, Patient. co.uk, Good Housekeeping, Prima, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar and others.
Safety Guidelines for Early Pregnancy
Practicing yoga during the first trimester allows you to carve out valuable time for yourself that you can use to get in touch with your body and emotions. You may also end up exploring the more subtle aspects of yoga relating to topics such as the chakras, meditation, or yoga nidra.
A solid yoga routine can provide physical and mental benefits that may help you navigate your pregnancy and the road beyond.
There are prenatal yoga guidelines specific to each trimester. This article will guide you through yoga poses to practice and avoid during the first trimester. You’ll also learn more about the benefits of prenatal yoga and tips for practicing safely.
It’s safe to practice yoga during the first trimester as long as you follow the safety precautions, modify as needed, and stay away from certain poses altogether.
While it’s usually OK to do most yoga poses, called asanas in Sanskrit, cultivating a less-is-more attitude is preferable to pushing yourself beyond your limits.
For the most part, you can likely keep up with your usual yoga practice or fitness routine in the first trimester. However, you may need to adjust your practice slightly and make modifications.
For example, when doing twists, choose open twists that don’t compress your belly, and twist at the level of your shoulders or upper back instead of from the base of your spine.
Instead of allowing your head to drop down during forward bends, hold your head up with your hands or props such as cushions or blocks.
During the first trimester, avoid:
intense backbends, twists, and forward bends
poses that involve forceful contractions or engagement of your abdominals
poses that put lots of pressure on your belly
inversions (unless you are highly experienced or are working closely with a qualified yoga instructor)
During the first trimester, do yoga poses that release tension, improve flexibility, and build strength. Focusing on poses that help you feel more calm, centered, and grounded may be helpful as you move through the changes of pregnancy.
Here are a few asanas that are safe to do during the first trimester.
Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
This classic balancing pose helps build awareness of and improve alignment, posture, and balance. It builds strength in your back, core, and legs.
Do this pose near a wall, table, or chair for support.
Experiment with your balance by closing your eyes partway or slowly turning your gaze toward the ceiling.
Avoid pressing your foot into your knee.
From standing, shift your weight onto your left foot and lift your right foot.
Place your right foot on the inside of your left ankle, lower leg, or thigh.
Raise your arms overhead or push your palms together at your heart center.
Gaze at a fixed point straight ahead.
Stay in this position for up to 1 minute.
Repeat on the opposite side.
Share on Pinterest
Malasana (Garland Pose or Squat)
Malasana strengthens and stretches your hips and pelvic floor muscles. It helps elongate your spine and improves digestion.
Do not do this pose if you are prone to prolapse.
Place a block or cushion under your hips for support.
Place a folded blanket or mat under your heels for support.
Do this pose next to a wall or chair for balance.
Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart.
Turn your toes to the sides at a slight angle.
Raise your heels or place them on the floor.
Slowly lower your hips to come into a squat position.
Push your palms together at your heart center.
Push your elbows into your knees.
Remain in this pose for up to 1 minute.
Share on Pinterest
Lunges help elongate your spine, stretch your hips, and lengthen your thigh muscles. They also help improve alignment, balance, and posture.
To reduce the intensity, lower the knee of your back leg and place your hands on either side of your front foot.
Experiment with arm positions by interlacing your fingers behind your back or extending your arms out to the sides.
You can also press your palms together in prayer position in front of your chest or behind your back.
Stand in a high lunge position with your right leg forward and your left leg back.
Keep your back heel lifted, your back leg straight, and your hips facing forward.
Extend your arms overhead with your palms facing inward.
Gaze straight ahead or up toward the ceiling.
Remain in this pose for up to 1 minute.
Repeat on the opposite side.
Share on Pinterest
Supported Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
This forward bend improves digestion, promotes relaxation, and helps you turn your attention inward.
Sit on the edge of a cushion or folded blanket.
For support, place cushions underneath your knees.
Stack blocks and cushions to support your chest and forehead.
Sit with your legs extended in front of you.
Maintain a slight bend in your knees.
Extend your arms overhead and elongate your spine.
Slowly fold forward, placing your hands on your legs, your feet, or the floor.
This hip opener stretches your abdominals, pelvis, and inner thighs. It has a calming effect that helps alleviate tension and stress.
For support, place blocks or cushions under your thighs or knees.
Use an eye mask to relax more deeply.
To reduce the intensity, move your feet farther away from your hips.
From a seated position, bend your knees and press the soles of your feet together.
Make an incline support using blocks and cushions, if that’s more comfortable than lying flat.
Gently lie back, placing your arms in any comfortable position.
Stay in this pose for up to 5 minutes.
Share on Pinterest
First trimester yoga offers several physical and mental benefits.
Physically, yoga asanas build strength, improve flexibility, and release tension. They may help reduce headaches, alleviate morning sickness, and improve digestion (1).
Yoga also has a positive effect on circulation, swelling, and inflammation (2).
Through your prenatal yoga practice, you may gain a deeper awareness of your alignment and movement patterns as you improve your overall posture, balance, and stability. This may help you adapt to the physical changes of pregnancy and your shifting center of gravity.
Yoga can help boost your energy levels while simultaneously teaching you to relax, which promotes a sense of calm and ease. It can also help improve sleep patterns and relieve anxiety and stress (3).
Practicing prenatal yoga can also help you prepare for birth by strengthening your pelvic muscles and improving your mental outlook. According to research, prenatal yoga may be effective in reducing labor pain and improving birth outcomes (4).
Other studies suggest that prenatal yoga may help alleviate fears related to childbirth and improve childbirth confidence (5).
Make sure you feel comfortable, supported, and at ease while practicing first trimester yoga. Along with prenatal yoga classes, you can do slow, gentle types of yoga such as Hatha, restorative, or Yin. Avoid hot yoga classes and getting overheated.
If you are taking classes online, look for a teacher who provides a contact option in case you want to ask questions, request feedback, or gain a deeper insight into your yoga routine.
Create a balanced yoga routine that includes yoga poses, meditation, and breath awareness. Listen to your body and make sure you can breathe comfortably in each asana. Avoid any type of forceful or retained breathing.
If an asana doesn’t feel right or causes discomfort, modify or replace it. You can use blocks, cushions, and straps for additional support and comfort.
Avoid pushing yourself too hard, and hold back slightly from your limit or edge.
On days when you’re too tired for a physical yoga practice, experiment with mantras, hand mudras, or yoga nidra. You may learn to develop a peaceful inner awareness and recall this stillness when life inevitably gives you challenges.
Talk with your doctor before starting a prenatal yoga routine, especially if you take medications or have medical concerns, including pregnancy complications.
Stop practicing yoga and call your obstetrician if you have (6):
lightheadedness or dizziness
unusual vaginal discharge, spotting, or bleeding
chest, abdominal, or pelvic pain
shortness of breath before exercise
If you’re just starting your yoga journey, cultivate a wide-eyed beginner’s mindset and enjoy the process. Go slowly as you learn poses, breathing techniques, and relaxation practices. You can stay motivated to develop your yoga practice without putting pressure on yourself.
Relax, take it easy, and have fun. Learn more about the elements of yoga that you find most interesting or rewarding and allow your practice to grow from there.
During the first trimester, you can safely practice yoga and enjoy its numerous physical and mental benefits. You may learn to get in touch with and balance your emotions.
If possible, seek out a skilled prenatal yoga teacher who can ensure you are practicing safely. Taking classes in a studio may provide you with a sense of community and help you meet people on a similar journey.
Most of all, stay patient and appreciative of your changing body and all it’s capable of.
how to practice correctly so as not to harm the child
By Daily Baby
#pregnancy #sport #yoga
Yoga is said to work wonders. Improves sleep, relieves nervous tension, helps to gain flexibility and muscle endurance, teaches you to breathe correctly. Excellent - what you need during pregnancy and in preparation for childbirth. But will all these “twisted” asanas harm the expectant mother and child? We will understand the features of yoga for pregnant women - how to do it so that it is beneficial, and what is best to avoid.
What are the benefits of yoga during pregnancy
There is no such magical yoga pose that would instantly relieve drowsiness or, for example, remove nausea - the very unpleasant symptoms that bother many pregnant women. Neither stretching nor proper breathing will definitely give such “miracles”. Yes, and yoga will not teach you to give birth “correctly” - nevertheless, there are special courses for this. There is no scientific evidence that regular exercise is the “cure” for a quick, painless birth.
But nevertheless, yoga during pregnancy can do a lot. Some "bonuses" from classes will be extremely useful for expectant mothers:
Gentle stretching will help keep all muscle groups in good shape, maintain their flexibility and increase endurance. This is important because a woman gains weight during pregnancy. Yes, and during childbirth, good physical shape will not be superfluous.
Properly chosen asanas can relieve pulling pains in the neck and spine. Unpleasant symptoms characteristic of the 3rd trimester.
Yoga classes involve the legs. It is believed that work with this muscle group becomes an effective prevention of edema and varicose veins.
Through a combination of breathing and physical exercises, yoga sessions relieve anxiety. And this, as doctors say, is a common problem for pregnant women - especially in the 1st and 3rd trimesters. An interesting study was conducted at Newcastle University - it was found that one yoga session reduces the level of the stress hormone by 14% in the expectant mother.
By practicing proper breathing techniques, late dyspnea can be managed. This is confirmed by many mothers who exercise regularly.
In general, yoga improves the general well-being of a pregnant woman. Provided, of course, that all the rules for conducting classes are observed.
Contraindications for yoga
According to certified yoga trainers, there are no contraindications for practicing yoga. But with a serious caveat - if the pregnancy is proceeding normally. Any complications associated with bearing a baby are a strict “no” to physical activity, including yoga. And even when a woman feels great - cheerful, full of energy and tuned only to the positive - a consultation with a doctor is required! Ask "permission" from your gynecologist, even if it's only the middle of the 1st trimester. The specialist, taking into account your condition and the development of the fetus, will outline important recommendations for physical activity.
As for the rest, everyone can practice yoga, even those who didn't bother to go to the gym before pregnancy. But the fact is that a number of asanas will be strictly prohibited. And this must be clearly monitored - otherwise, classes will do more harm than good.
When is the best time to start practicing? Provided that there are no contraindications from the doctor. And even in this case, a mandatory adjustment of classes is necessary, since the expectant mother can afford far from all asanas. There are quite a few restrictions.
But for those who literally just got the idea to do yoga to improve their well-being during pregnancy, it is better to postpone classes until the 2nd trimester - at least until the 13th week.
And in the case of IVF, doctors advise to completely delay this moment until the 20th week - and even then, provided that the pregnancy proceeds without complications.
The fact is that the 1st trimester is a potentially dangerous period. It is at this time that most miscarriages occur. There is no evidence that physical activity can cause abortion, but it is better to play it safe.
The main rules of safe yoga for pregnant women
Classes will be useful only if they are performed correctly. You can practice at home or in special yoga classes. Moreover, it is advisable for beginners to choose the second option, given the large number of prohibitions on certain exercises. Classes "on YouTube" can be dangerous when there is no certain knowledge in this area. And those who have been practicing yoga for more than a year often simply adjust the “discounted” pregnancy plan and practice at home.
Expectant mothers, if they decide to go to the gym, it is better to give preference to "pregnant" groups with certified trainers who work specifically with perinatal yoga. Each exercise here will be safe for mom and baby. And if you want to train in the same group as before, be sure to tell the coach that you are pregnant.
No matter which option a pregnant woman chooses - training at home or in the gym - for safe training and benefit, it does not hurt to follow important rules:
Supply fresh air to the classroom.
Drink water between exercises.
Reduce stress and do not overexert yourself.
Monitor your well-being.
Wear comfortable clothing that will not "tighten".
And the most important rule for yoga during pregnancy is to avoid asanas that are potentially dangerous for the fetus.
Which loads to say “no” to
In the practice of yoga there is an excellent postulate - "listen to your body." A good rule to help you get to know yourself. But during pregnancy, you will have to forget about it.
You can listen to your own body as much as you like, but still not hear that this or that position is harmful to the baby.
What should a pregnant woman avoid while doing yoga?
complex postures that involve maintaining balance and equilibrium;
breathing exercises, including prolonged breath holding;
deep stretch marks;
exercises lying on the stomach;
exercises involving tension of the abdominal wall;
deep crunches and squats;
Pregnant women have many questions about the safety of inverted asanas. And strangely enough, experts say that such poses are very useful for expectant mothers. From the outside it looks scary, but it is believed that neither mother nor baby will be harmed by inversion. But even here there are many nuances.
Firstly, such exercises are recommended only if there are no contraindications. And secondly, it is also important to stand upside down correctly - so that there is no strong pressure on the throat, neck and head, so that the stomach is free and the weight is evenly distributed. In most cases, especially in the 3rd trimester, a support is used.
Beginners will definitely not be able to do that. Therefore, we perform asanas upside down only “under the supervision” of a trainer, and not at home. Yes, and experienced people are not recommended to abuse inversions - the stomach becomes large by the end of the term, which means it is more and more difficult to maintain balance.
"Controversial" postures also include those performed on the back. They are recommended to be abandoned already from the 2nd trimester. However, many certified yoga trainers say that there is nothing dangerous in such asanas. Here it is better to focus on the testimony of a doctor so as not to risk the health of the child!
How the lesson plan changes from trimester to trimester
Even if the pregnant woman feels great, experts advise adjusting the classes to suit the specific period. The body of the expectant mother is changing, which means that the exercises should change.
One of the most critical periods of pregnancy. Now you will either have to postpone classes altogether, if the doctor insists on it, or perform asanas with extreme caution. In the 1st trimester, jumping, poses on the stomach, twisting, sharp turns and torso are prohibited. There will be benefits from asanas associated with the opening of the pelvis.
Golden time for yoga. It is assumed that the placenta has formed, and the fetus has strengthened. This means that a pregnant woman can start classes according to a special program. Yoga during this period brings not only tangible benefits to the body, but also inner joy. The complex can include asanas that will become the prevention of varicose veins - these are, for example, inverted postures. And exercises in a sitting position with an open chest will help to cope with heartburn, a frequent companion of pregnancy at this time. Shallow forward bends, stretching and light twisting are the prevention of lower back pain.
In the 3rd trimester, many asanas are already difficult to perform - even for trained women. During this period, more attention is paid to postures that improve blood circulation in the legs and pelvic area. Some asanas for pregnant women are now strictly prohibited, as they can squeeze the grown belly. Now a woman needs more sports equipment - to reduce the burden of exercise and adapt some asanas for pregnancy. Blankets, pillows, coasters, bolsters, even chairs.
7 useful "pregnancy" asanas
The time of practice can vary from 10 minutes to 2 hours. It all depends on the well-being of the mother and the available contraindications. It's great if you can devote at least a little time to the exercises every day - 15-20 minutes will be enough. As coaches advise, we listen to our own feelings - even if there is a slight malaise, we immediately stop classes!
Let us give as an example seven extremely useful asanas that a pregnant woman can practice.
Favorite posture of pregnant women. Traditionally, it refers to deflections, and yet it is not dangerous for the expectant mother and her baby. Even vice versa. It is believed that the pose of a cat (or a cow, as it is also called) improves blood circulation in the pelvic organs, minimizes pain in the neck and lower back, and strengthens the spine.
The simplest standing position, and most importantly - safe at all stages of pregnancy. Despite all its "simplicity", the exercise is of great benefit in each trimester - it helps to strengthen the spine, maintain correct posture and relieve back pain, eliminate cramps in the calf muscles.
This exercise can be combined with overhead raises to make it even more effective.
Baddha konasana, "butterfly"
Another pose recommended for pregnant women. It improves the flexibility of the muscles in the thighs, relieves pain in the spine, normalizes the pressure of the uterus on the large pelvic veins, and relaxes.
During the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, a "lighter" version of the butterfly pose is usually performed. The stomach becomes larger, so the exercise is carried out strictly sitting on a support.
Poses upside down may be forbidden. But there remains one more asana with legs raised up - Viparita karani. Relaxes, soothes, helps to train breathing, relieve swelling in the legs and back pain, improves blood flow in the pelvic area.
During the 2nd and 3rd trimester, pregnant women are advised to use padded pelvic supports to facilitate exercise.
Pregnant women should not do deep bends, they squeeze the stomach. But it is quite possible to “modernize” the Ardha uttanasana asana a little - use a high stand to lean on it. This is a shallow forward bend in a standing position, which will “unload” the spine a little. It is also believed that exercise can relieve stomach pain and normalize blood pressure levels.
Supta baddha konasana
This pose will help relieve lower back pain and improve blood circulation in the legs and pelvis. Since asanas on the back are forbidden for many pregnant women, in this case, support for the upper body is required. Thus, the load on the fetus is removed.
This asana is usually done after training and should definitely be included in your exercise plan during pregnancy to relieve excess muscle tension. A posture of rest and relaxation. It is usually performed lying on your back. But from the 2nd trimester, we will definitely adapt it to the growing belly - we perform it strictly on the side with support for the leg. By the way, a comfortable sleeping position that every pregnant woman can take note of.
- share with your friends!
Red flags during pregnancy: when to see the doctor urgently
Pregnancy Exercises: Rules and Workouts for Each Trimester
Yoga for kids: 10 best centers in Moscow
Yoga for Pregnancy - Safe Pregnancy Exercises
Yoga for Pregnancy will help a woman prepare for such major changes in her life as the birth of a new life! In the East, hundreds and even thousands of years ago, in a time when there was no medical care, women practiced yoga - to prepare for pregnancy, and yoga after childbirth served to restore the body.
Yoga for pregnant women
Expectant mother experiences great physical and psychological stress during pregnancy and especially during childbirth. And even the most hardy and physically healthy women face unpleasant, painful sensations.
Today, even in the presence of qualified medicine, doctors also recommend that patients engage in breathing practices, simple exercises, psychological relief (all this is included in yoga in a broad sense). And even in the presence of complications, when prolonged and heavy physical activity is prohibited, pregnant women can perform light exercises to maintain the tone of the whole body.
There are easy asanas for pregnant women that can be safely practiced:
for beginners, even if the woman has never done yoga or other physical activity before pregnancy;
in the presence of complications - to maintain tone throughout the body, as well as special breathing practices to relieve pain;
in late pregnancy, to prepare for labor and childbirth.
More information about the recommended postures, breathing exercises, the order of their implementation depending on the trimester (yoga for pregnant women 1 trimester, yoga for pregnant women 2 trimester, yoga for pregnant women 3 trimester) and other nuances, we will tell in this and other articles of our site.
Prenatal and Perinatal
In articles on yoga for pregnancy, you may come across such terms as "prenatal", "perinatal", "postnatal", with the first two terms often used as synonyms or interchangeable words. We will also use these terms, and in order to avoid confusion, at the very beginning we will define their meaning.
Prenatal means intrauterine, prenatal; this term is applied to the late stages of embryonic development, when the fetus already has subjective sensitivity.
Perinatal - pertaining to birth; the term is used in relation to the period from the 28th week of intrauterine life of the fetus to the 7th day of the life of the newborn.
Postnatal - after birth; the term includes the postpartum period.
There are two sections of yoga designed specifically for expectant mothers. The first is prenatal yoga, focused on the period of pregnancy. Its goal is to stabilize the state of the body, prevent muscle strain, teach a woman to relax and be in a state of comfort, not stress. In addition, thanks to some prenatal yoga asanas, the chance that the fetus will be positioned correctly in the womb significantly increases.
The second section is perinatal yoga, directly related to the preparation for childbirth. This is training the muscles responsible for the safe birth of a child, and strengthening the spirit on the eve of such an important event. The purpose of perinatal yoga is to help a woman overcome the milestone after which she becomes a mother without stress and without unnecessary pain. Many exercises belong simultaneously to these two sections and give a complex effect.
Most often, such a clear division into prenatal and perinatal yoga is not made, and all activities related to yoga practices for pregnant women are called one of the above terms without distinguishing between them.
Of course, in Russia and other countries, where yoga itself is still a novelty for many, it is worth starting to practice under the guidance of an instructor. You need to carefully consider the training program and choose asanas that will benefit the body, not harm. If there are no opportunities to attend yoga classes with an instructor, then carefully read all the articles on yoga for expectant mothers.
Yoga classes for pregnant women
You can start doing yoga before pregnancy (yoga for conception), or at any stage of pregnancy. There are cases in which expectant mothers started practicing yoga just a few weeks before giving birth, while the classes gave a positive result, since prenatal yoga can not only help you prepare for childbirth, but also indirectly contributes to the health of your child.
The main thing to consider when practicing yoga (as in any other activity that involves physical activity) is the state of the body in terms of medical indicators and the level of physical fitness. If you already have experience in yoga as such, then you can not dwell on learning the basics in detail, but go straight to single or group training under the guidance of an instructor.
Rules, the observance of which will allow the expectant mother to feel the most pleasant effect and benefit from yoga:
the choice of sequences and asanas for practice should be adequate to the current physical condition;
to perform asanas in a standing position, use a support - a wall, and not a sports equipment;
in a seated position lean on a bolster or several blankets folded together;
do not strain the stomach, lie down on it and perform deep twists;
forward bends should be soft and smooth, not deep;
compound backbends are prohibited or only performed under the supervision of a prenatal yoga instructor.
Breathing exercises are done with great care - reclining or sitting on a chair. Complicated breathing exercises are limited.
In this article, we will consider only the basic rules and precautions that pregnant women need to follow when practicing yoga, read detailed recommendations in separate articles in this section.
It should be remembered that yoga recommendations for pregnant women are of a general nature. They proceed from the fact that everything is in order with the woman’s body, and the pregnancy proceeds without deviations. Before starting classes, should consult with a doctor and make sure that physical activity (or yoga, in particular) will bring benefits to the body, and not harm.
If the diagnosis reveals any pathologies, deviations from the normal course of pregnancy, it is worth doing the exercises with great care, carefully dosing the load. It is important to select the program individually, consulting with the instructor. Any exercise, even from the recommended list, is corrected or canceled if it causes pain.
A reasonable approach to safety, taking care of your own health and the health of your unborn baby is a guarantee that a woman will not put herself at risk. With the right selection of exercises, yoga brings only positive results.
Expectant mothers should pay special attention to yoga related to breathing and devote most of their time to pranayama.
supply the body of a woman and her unborn baby with oxygen;
prevent shortness of breath;
contribute to a good mood;
prepare the expectant mother for a special breathing technique during labor and delivery. Directly during childbirth, the ability to breathe properly is completely indispensable - the child is born without delays and difficulties, the risk of birth hypoxia is reduced.
The most popular exercises that expectant mothers recommend are deep yogi breathing through the nose, Ujjayi (hissing breath) and Viloma (breathing with interrupted inhalation).