Prenatal Yoga: Everything You Need To Know
Prenatal yoga has become quite popular for the sole reason that it works wonders for women during their pregnancy and after. It helps prepare your body for childbirth, relieves stress and improves sleep. It also helps reduce nausea, back pain, shortness of breath and headaches. Although it is highly beneficial, it is important to keep in mind that overdoing it can cause injury. There is no harm in doing prenatal yoga twice or thrice a week under the guidance and advice of your doctor.
As a precautionary measure, always listen to your body and its needs and do yoga only when your body is asking you to. If your body is giving signs that you need to rest, then rest. If your body needs some support, then take help of support. Don’t perform any breathing exercise (pranayama) that requires you to hold your breath because when you stop breathing, your baby stops breathing as well. You should also avoid jumping or doing any kind of yoga pose that might cause you to fall.
A typical prenatal yoga class might involve the following.
You may be asked to gently move your body into different positions while sitting, standing or lying down. You can take support from various props like a table, cushions or books as you do these poses. Different yoga asanas are aimed at strengthening different parts of your body and help improve your balance and flexibility. Avoid any poses that are too dangerous, especially ones that may cause you to fall. Always listen to your body - if it is telling you that you can’t do this pose, don’t force it. If it is an asana that involves lying on your back for more than a few minutes, avoid it, as it may cause nausea and shortness of breath.
Breathing exercises help reduce the occurrence of shortness of breath. It also helps with contractions during childbirth. It involves breathing deeply and slowly, in and out of your nose. But remember to not hold your breath for even a short period, as your breath is the only source of oxygen for your baby. Also, while performing any asana, ensure you don’t run short of breath - if you are not able to talk while doing them or your heart starts beating rapidly, then it is too strenuous and you must avoid it.
There are certain yoga asanas aimed at relaxing your body. You would be encouraged to pay attention to your breathing and all the sensations in your body. You may be asked to chant some mantras or a hymn to help create a sense of peace and erase all the negative thoughts from your mind.
4. Gentle Stretching
You may be required to gently stretch different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, to help increase or maintain flexibility and to ease pain in these areas. If you drink enough water every day and perform these gentle stretches, you will definitely see a difference. However, avoid over stretching your muscles, as this can lead to injury. You may feel like you can go deeper into a position, but this may be because of the hot yoga environment or because your body releases relaxin hormone, which reduce your body’s ability to stabilize joints.
This is all the information you need to keep in mind before you join your yoga class. Do consult your doctor too. Share this with all the beautiful mothers you know!