Yoga has been shown to have many health benefits, but for the soon to be pregnant or already pregnant woman is yoga a safe way to get in shape and/or relax? Research suggests that it can help to improve sleep, reduce stress, anxiety, headaches, lower back pain as well as prepare the body for labor, by increasing flexibility. “Although it’s safe to begin yoga when you’re pregnant make sure to listen to your body on a day to day basis,” says Jessica James, yoga expert, celebrity trainer, and creator of the DVD, We Heart Yoga: Prenatal Flo. As a matter of fact in her own practice, while pregnant James had to modify her routine. She cautions against twisting moves (especially in the third trimester), because although they can be detoxifying they can interfere with much needed blood flow to the baby. As well as avoid any poses that put weight or pressure on the abdomen. So before starting this or any other workout program it’s most important to speak with your physician.
Here are some of James’ favorite poses-
Malasana (a yoga squat) - Strengthens the pelvic floor and relives low back pressure. It is also a great position for giving birth. For those who need the modified version try placing a folded blanket under the heels and lie your hands on the floor for support.
Cat-Cow- When these two poses are linked together they help to supply nourishing oxygen to mom and baby.
Butterfly (Bhadrasana) – This move can help to stretch the inner thighs and hips preparing the body for an easier labor by getting the body more flexible.
Chair pose (Utkatasana) – Try this to improve the strength in your legs and pelvic muscles. Because of the extra weight from the baby you need the strength to support it as well as the power to push when it is time for delivery.
For more tips and moves visit http://weheartyoga.com/about/