Yoga is considered an excellent practice for pregnant women as it offers both physical and emotional benefits that are especially relevant to pregnancy and delivery. Read on about yoga for pregnant women.
Prenatal yoga has become quite popular in the last couple of years as women all over the world are waking up to the amazing benefits it has on pregnant women’s changing bodies. As your belly starts to grow and your body readies itself for labour, there are yoga poses to help you every step of the way and prepare your body physically and your mind mentally. Coupled with some cardiovascular work such as walking, pregnant yoga can be the ideal way to stay in shape during your pregnancy.
Prenatal yoga and Hatha (gentle) yoga are best suited for pregnant women so you should try and find a class in either of these. If however you can’t, make sure to let your yoga instructor know that you are expecting.
Benefits of yoga for pregnant women
- Increases flexibility through positions
- Eases pain and facilitates delivery
- Improves posture and can help with back pain
- Relieves worry and stress
- May prevent stretch marks
- Tones and strengthens muscles to help with delivery
- Minimizes pregnancy discomforts
- Increases energy levels
- Improves sleep
Popular prenatal yoga positions
Squatting is a great exercise to do daily as it strengthens and opens the pelvic muscles. Using the back of a chair for support, keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed and lower your tailbone towards the floor as if you are about to sit in a chair. Exhale and push yourself up. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable.
The Pelvic Tilt or Cat-Cow pose is a great position to deal with back pain, which is common among pregnant women. Go onto your hands and knees. As you inhale, lift your chest and tailbone to the ceiling whilst letting your stomach drop to the floor while looking straight ahead. As you exhale, round your spine upwards like a cat stretching. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable.
As you embark on your pregnancy journey the most important thing to remember is to trust your intuition. If it doesn’t feel good or comfortable, don’t do it. If it feels great, repeat as many times as you like.
Enjoy this incredible time alone with yourself and your baby – you deserve it!