Why should you have to stop exercising when you’re pregnant? Well, you shouldn’t and it would be unhealthy to do so. The second trimester is the best time to get into a rhythm of exercise because any morning sickness has usually passed and you are still able to move comfortably.
Prenatal yoga exists; you just have to find the type of practice that is right for you. Before continuing your yoga practice or starting prenatal yoga it’s important to understand the benefits in addition to any safety precautions you may need to take, so be sure to get your doctor’s approval first.
Research has shown that prenatal yoga is safe. In addition to being a form of exercise, practicing yoga while you’re pregnant can benefit you and your baby greatly. Yoga will enable you to battle stress and anxiety therefore sleep is improved. Lower back pain is decreased along with headaches, nausea and carpal tunnel syndrome if you happen to suffer from that. Practicing yoga increases strength and flexibility from head to toe and when faced with the task of childbirth these benefits will help you tremendously.
What should you expect from a prenatal yoga class? A big focus is on breathing because not only will this technique help relax you, it will also aid you throughout your contractions when you’re in labor. If you didn’t already know, remembering to breathe in and outside of yoga is essential before, during and after pregnancy.
Prenatal yoga works through gentle stretches that focus on areas of your body that might be tight and uncomfortable such as your neck or back. In addition, you will practice yoga postures that will help you build strength, balance and flexibility while continuing to focus on breathing. As with every yoga class you will wind down through relaxation poses that allow you to find calm and peace before venturing back out into the world.
Some additional benefits of practicing prenatal yoga are being able to surround yourself with other women experiencing the same thing that you are. Being a part of a class and a community with a common goal to support and learn from one another is priceless. On the other hand if you feel more comfortable practicing yoga at home can be just as rewarding. Here is one of the best prenatal and postnatal yoga DVD's here. Another fantastic bonus is when you stay in shape throughout your pregnancy it is much easier to transition back to your former self after giving birth.
Read more from NY Yoga Writer Cristina Pierce here.