Prenatal Yoga? Yeah baby!

A Climbing Adventure

There are a myriad of benefits for performing prenatal yoga throughout your pregnancy (some of which I will go over!), and luckily for us pregnant folk, classes now are more popular than ever.
Yoga (done along with a cardiovascular exercise such as walking) is a perfect way to stay in shape throughout your pregnancy. Your yoga practice will help to keep you limber, it will keep your muscles nice and tone, and it will help to improve your balance and circulation. Yoga is a wonderful form of exercise for pregnant women because it has little to no impact on your joints.

Another great bonus from practicing yoga, is learning how to perform ujjayi breathing which can help during labor and childbirth. Learning to breathe deeply and fully can really help you to relax when you need it most. The ujjayi technique teaches you to take in air slowly through your nose filling up your lungs, and then exhale completely pulling your belly button inward.
Lastly, taking prenatal yoga classes is a great way to meet other pregnant women and to become a part of a community. Being in a positive and supportive environment can give you a nice emotional boost and help to keep you motivated to continue exercising throughout those nine months.

However, there are some things that you will want to be conscious of throughout each trimester, since every trimester is so different.
During the first trimester, you won’t have as many restrictions, but you will need to keep in mind that your normal routine will require some modifications as time goes on. It is most important during this trimester to listen to your body and do whatever feels best for you. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout to help keep your body nice and hydrated.

The second trimester is when you begin to notice some changes. Your joints are loosening up and many things have begun to shift within your body. Your belly has probably expanded some and it is best to proceed with caution as this can affect your sense of balance. You shouldn’t hold your poses for quite as long, and remember to get into the yoga poses slowly and carefully to avoid any injuries. Steer clear of lying on your back during this trimester, so that your blood can keep flowing as it should to your uterus. This is definitely not a time to overdo it. As always, listen and trust what your body is telling you.
The third trimester is also a time when you want to keep your body moving, so continue to not hold the poses for a very long time. Your belly is definitely getting bigger as this stage and you are probably feeling less and less graceful. Make sure to have props (either stand by a wall or have a chair nearby) to support your balance throughout standing postures. You will most likely discontinue downward facing dog during this trimester, but talk with your yoga instructor about incorporating a variation of this pose that can help to energize your entire body. Continue to focus on breathing techniques and always listen to your body so that you don’t overexert yourself.

Some words of caution: pregnancy is not a good time to start an inversion practice. If you are familiar with these poses and feel comfortable, many inversions can be performed well into your second trimester. It is advised to avoid these poses altogether however, during the third trimester. You also want to make sure not to over stretch the abdominal area too much. You are more likely to tear and strain your muscles now due to the lovely pregnancy hormones, so take care and proceed with caution during any deep forward bends, back bends and/or twists. And one last word of caution is to avoid any heated classes 90 degrees or higher. Pregnancy itself causes you to heat up your insides, so being in a hot room can cause dangerous overheating. It is best to find non-heated yoga classes to enjoy.

Lastly, enjoy this wonderful and crazy time in your life! You are producing a miracle inside of you, so take extra time for yourself, and see if prenatal yoga classes help to keep you happy and calm. If you are happy and feeling great, then your baby will reap the benefits too!

3 thoughts on “Prenatal Yoga? Yeah baby!

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