Doing yoga during pregnancy can be a superb way to get rid of stress and prepare your mind and body for childbirth. Prenatal yoga is the best-suited type of yoga to practice during pregnancy.
But before actually taking a step on your mat, it’s always the best idea to consult your healthcare provider whether or not prenatal yoga is right for you even if you’re already a pro yogi. Moreover, your healthcare provider may disclose some vital advice that is beneficial based on your situation.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about prenatal yoga, the benefits, the unique ways to practice fitting for every trimester, and have some FAQs answered if you’re interested in taking the class.
- Prenatal Yoga Class Explained
Prenatal Yoga Class Explained
So, a prenatal yoga class constitutes the three fundamental components of yoga: the breathwork, body poses, and meditation. Your yoga instructor expects you to achieve these qualities altogether in a yoga session for at least an hour.
Breathwork focuses your attention on slow and deep breathing patterns through the nose. Body poses constitute a gentle stretching yet therapeutic for the muscles of the neck, back, and arms, which will be a good foundation for normal delivery.
Prenatal yoga poses basically done while sitting, lying on the ground, and standing. With that, it’ll strengthen the muscle-power and stamina of the body. Some yoga gears include blankets, cushions, etc. are also recommended for added comfort and support.
And ultimately, in the stage of meditation, you must rest your body to lower down the heart rate and breathwork intensity. Also, the mind should be relatively focused during these moments and stop your ever-wandering thoughts as this promotes calmness in mind.
An online prenatal yoga class that has been released recently is immensely useful if you want to perform your yoga session at home, especially during the pandemic outbreak.
Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Boosts Flexibility & Strength
During pregnancy, a woman’s body is understandably changing at a not-so rapid pace. The body has to adjust to the change quickly. And it’s important to eat healthily plus do prenatal yoga to support the body to adapt and gain strength.
Prenatal yoga allows pregnant women to make a safe stretchy-poses to strengthen the extended muscles around the belly to the lower back. Also, it ensures the pregnant to move with ease and feel an improved opening.
Helps Maintain Weight
Maintaining the right weight during pregnancy is no easy task. Whether eating too much or not can cause complications like gestational diabetes, difficulty at childbirth, and other psychological matters.
So it makes perfect sense why you need the right diet to support the change of your growing body without depositing unwanted calories. Prenatal yoga helps you to check your body weight trouble-free continually. Apart from boosting your flexibility and strength, this yoga routine allows pregnant women to support their changing bodies and stay in good shape.
Encourages Better Sleep
Burning the midnight oil because of not getting a night of adequate sleep is not a new complaint among pregnant women. Professionals have studied that 75% of expectant mothers suffer from fatigue and insomnia. Which later on can cause complications like c-section birth/s and difficult at childbirth.
This is where prenatal yoga really shines because it increases the relaxation of your mind and body while practicing deep breathing patterns regularly. Women, pregnant or not, who perform yoga experience a better yet healthy sleep routine and wake up refreshed than ever.
Helps Prepare a Normal Delivery
Since prenatal yoga boosts the overall flexibility and strength of every pregnant woman, the body is well-sparred in handling a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Yoga strengthens your core muscles, lower back, spine, and legs. If the core muscles function the way it should be, then pregnancy complications are not an issue here– as strong pelvic muscle floor ascertain normal delivery and less labor stress.
Anxiety-Reduction & Stress-Free
Pregnancy isn’t natural as it seems because, for some, it’s their source of anxiety, and that’s perfectly normal. Moodswings is a not-so-new problem among pregnant women. It’s because of the sudden change of metabolism, hormonal changes, physical discomforts, and sleep deprivation.
The level of adrenaline that stabilizes the mood is disturbed due to the abnormal levels of hormones. Prenatal yoga is one way to help the mind and body reconnect through meditation and deep breathwork. And this helps concludes psychological issues like stress, depression, and anxiety under controlled.
Reduces Pregnancy Discomforts
The frequent pregnancy discomforts are nausea, fatigue, insomnia, back pain, increased urination, and headaches. Prenatal yoga reduces pain and uneasiness on so many levels. These poses for each trimester will help you tone, stretch, and proper blood circulation throughout the body. Deep breathwork ensures more healthy oxygen is taken by the body and transferred to the baby for a risk-free pregnancy.
Improves Social Life
During the post-partum (end of pregnancy), most new parent/s are at home or on maternity leave. This can result in isolation, which can cause mental stress and depression. In a prenatal yoga class, you will meet mothers like you and make new mama friends who can offer advice on or before pregnancy. Socializing with your newfound group will definitely reduce the stress of motherhood and transform it into a rewarding, fun experience.
Prenatal Yoga, Step-By-Step Guide
There are over 300 yoga poses, not to mention those modifications that are specifically used today. Some of them are problematic and may be dangerous for some beginners, so it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider before doing yoga, especially if you’re soon to be a mama.
Prenatal yoga poses focus on improving the body areas where there are more pain and discomfort, such as the core-part and the lower back. Moreover, it boosts the flexibility and strength of pelvic muscles, core, and legs to help women prepare delivery at childbirth.
Shoot your yoga instructor info you’re pregnant and what trimester you’re in your pregnancy. A seasoned prenatal yoga teacher can see authoritatively, and select yoga poses that are best suited in what trimester you are and help pregnant women during their classes uniquely.
There are several do’s and don’ts to take note in the first trimester. Yoga poses for pregnant women shouldn’t include turns, jumps, or turns during the first trimester. This ensures the body from moving into positions that could interrupt the fertilized egg embedded on the uterine wall.
These five standing poses are fitting for pregnant women in their first trimester:
1. Warrior I
2. Warrior II
3. Warrior III
4. Extended Triangle Pose
5. Extended Side Angle Pose
Balancing poses should be done near a wall to support your balance if needed.
These two balancing poses are great for people in their first trimester:
1. Eagle Pose
2. Tree Pose
Hit openers and back extenders are beneficial yoga poses for pregnant women.
These four poses increase your flexibility and strength for your pregnancy:
1. Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
2. Bound Angle Pose
3. Reclining Big Toe Pose
4. Reclining Bound Angle Pose
The uterus in the first trimester is at its most critical state. The hormones in this state are preparing your body to labor by relaxing your joints, ligaments, and muscles. And if you stretch too far, you’ll jeopardize yourself and the baby. Fine-tune to your body and if it feels good, keep going, and if it asks to rest and do it.
Most pregnant women don’t prefer to do yoga in their first trimester– they don’t feel as active as they do in the later trimesters– so do what you feel like and take it easy.
In the second trimester of pregnancy, your bump starts to show plus the weight and pressure on your lower back and front torso doubles. However, pregnant women are stronger and more active in the second trimester– you can continue doing suitable poses in the first trimester– add these two yoga poses to your routine on your second trimester:
1. Chair Pose
2. Half-Moon Pose
Also, in the second trimester, the pressure on your pelvic floor increases, so it should be supported. In poses like Warrior II, sit in a chair to assist the front of your thighs and decreases the pressure off your pelvic floor. This offers you the strengthening advantages of the pose while running extra pressure off.
The bread tissue raises and swells during this trimester, reinforcing strain to your back.
Add these two poses to support your back and build up the core in the second trimester:
1. Reverse Prayer Pose
2. Cow Face Pose
On this trimester, it’s crucial to remember not to lay flat on the backs for extended periods because the weight of the baby can add pressure on the vena cava, a vital vein that connects from the lower back to the heart. Incorporate these three hip openers and back extenders to your prenatal yoga routine and add some yoga blankets or wedges:
1. Reclining Hero Pose
2. Reclining Big Toe Pose
3. Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Moreover, this is an excellent trimester to integrate breathwork exercises. It boosts and prepares you for the deep and intense breathing you will need during childbirth. Try these two breathwork exercises:
1. Victorious Breath
2. Alternate-Nostril Breathing
In the last trimester, your body has changed dramatically, and any prenatal yoga poses you do will have to be supported. In this state, pregnant women need to focus on balancing the new weight of the moving baby and run off the pressure on the pelvic floor. They also need to focus on improving your leg’s strength and core muscles for childbirth.
Your prenatal yoga poses are limited because of your uterus’ restricted mobility, so consider these five poses instead:
1. Hero I
2. Hero II
3. Tree Pose
4. Extended Side Angle
5. Extended Triangle
Additionally, add these two hip openers that are great for the third trimesters:
1. Seated Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose
2. Bound Angle Pose
Cat pose is also fitting on this trimester as it helps and pushes the baby lower into the uterus and can shift a good baby position at childbirth.
Can anyone join the prenatal yoga class?
It’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider before diving in any form of exercise. And if the doctor allows you to perform it, be realistic and avoid overdoing poses as this will cause pain and discomforts. My unsolicited advice is: stay hydrated to prevent nausea or dizziness during class.
What should I wear during the class?
Wear comfortably and stretchy yoga athleisure that will keep your body light and supported. Most activewear offers maternity options, so it shouldn’t be problematic to find the clothing that suits your needs. Yoga bras support a significant amount of stretch for natural movement, and more exceptional breathability.
What yoga type I shouldn’t perform during pregnancy?
There are styles of yoga that are immensely a red flag during pregnancy. Bikram or hot yoga isn’t suggested during pregnancy; however, if you’re used to attending the class before pregnancy, you may have qualities that can withstand this type of yoga.
Above all, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider before attending and letting your yoga teacher know you’re pregnant– because these yoga poses require intense poses in a heated room for at least 40 degrees Celcius (105 Fahrenheit).
Heated and unventilated rooms are red lights for pregnant women and shouldn’t be stayed because it’ll encourage dizziness and nauseous that can also lead to pregnancy-related problems.
On the flip side, discover the science-based benefits of Hot Yoga: Hot Yoga: What Science Says About It
Are there particular safety guidelines for prenatal yoga?
You can never go wrong if you always listen to your body. Should a pose feel odd or uncomfortable, stop immediately. That pose needs to be modified even further to fine-tune your body. Never settle for any yoga type or pose that feels painful or putting too much pressure on your joints.
Don’t overdo poses, avoid problematic position, stay calm and hydrated, encourage good pacing, set realistic goals, notify your yoga teacher that you have this and that, and consult to your healthcare provider before performing yoga.
There are many hard and straightforward rules about doing yoga while pregnant, and not all apply to you. It’s better to consult with your healthcare provider regularly and always choose what’s best for your body just as you will know your baby best. Above all else, enjoy the process. Namaste.