Keeping Fit with Yoga during Pregnancy: how to practice and why

By: Jojo Yang

Yoga is generally great to keep the body fit, nimble, and flexible, all skills you definitely need to chase after young children! The gentle de-stressing power of yoga is especially good for pregnant women seeking to stay fit during their pregnancy. Of course, always make sure that your physician gives you the okay to exercise during your pregnancy to ensure your safety and that of your unborn child.

A variety of different yoga styles exist, and some of them are definitely safer than others for pregnant women to practice. Some of the safe forms of yoga practices during pregnancy include:

Hatha Yoga

This type of yoga is great for overall strength and posture. We all know that your posture can suffer during pregnancy, so strengthening your back and other core areas can be helpful. Hatha yoga also promotes steady breathing and other factors that help with relaxation, which can be extremely beneficial if you find yourself stressed. Balance is key, and hatha yoga can help you achieve it.

Integral Yoga

In integral yoga, various types of yoga are combined, forming a style that focuses on the elements of breathing, strength, relaxation, meditation, and comfort. Due to its flexible nature, it is ideal for pregnant women, as it makes it possible to change the flow to accommodate your changing body, offering a safe experience for your and your baby.

Sivananda Yoga

This yoga style encourages healthy living through meditation, a vegetarian diet, positivity, and breathing exercises. Many of the principles from this yoga practice can be adopted to encourage a healthy and active pregnancy. Most importantly, this yoga practice can help you take time out for yourself to relax, regroup, and refocus.

There are many benefits to practicing yoga during pregnancy. Not only will it keep you fit and strong, it will also help you to take some time out for yourself, which will make things better for you and baby in the long run.

Here are the top benefits of prenatal yoga:

1. Fosters a sense of community

If you're participating in a prenatal yoga class, you’ll likely encounter other pregnant women who can sympathize with what you’re going through as your body changes and your baby grows.

2. Increases circulation

As you progress through the various yoga poses and do breathwork, your circulation increases throughout your body. This is beneficial not only to yourself, but to your growing baby, as any swelling you’re experiencing tends to decrease and your immunity is enhanced.

3. Prepares you for labor

Since yoga is a practice that focuses on breathing and being in tune with your body, the skills you learn here can transfer over to when it’s time to deliver your little one. Learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable will bring you important peace of mind for the time when labor starts.

4. Relieves tension

As your baby keeps growing, he will cause more stress on your belly, lower back, hips, and various other parts of your body, which may cause discomfort and perhaps even some pain. Practicing yoga regularly can help with relieving those aches and pains, making your overall pregnancy more enjoyable.

5. It keeps you fit

Overall, yoga is a great practice to keep your body fit during pregnancy. Yoga poses promote strength throughout your body and help to keep your energy levels up during pregnancy.

With the many benefits that accompany yoga, it’s easy to think that all types of yoga will be helpful and safe during pregnancy. However, not all types of yoga are created equal, and some are too strenuous for both you and baby. Especially if you're new to yoga or didn't have a consistent practice before pregnancy. If you weren't practicing yoga before pregnancy, try to avoid these styles:

Power Yoga

Power yoga is a very intense form of Hatha yoga. It consists of a fast flow that gives you little time to rest between each pose. This will cause extra stress on your body rather than promoting the beneficial effects of a gentler form of yoga, and so should be avoided.

It may also make you sweat a lot, which is great if the goal is to detoxify a non-pregnant body, but during pregnancy, this can be problematic.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga is a style that is usually conducted in a room heated to 40 degrees Celsius or hotter, which makes it very dangerous for a pregnant woman.

The exhaustion and profuse sweating has been known to cause high blood pressure and other medical problems. In severe cases, practicing this style of yoga may cause miscarriages or premature births.

Hot yoga could be a great way of getting back in shape after your little one is born. Once you get the clearance from your doctor, you could give these type of yoga styles a try.

Hopefully this article has given you some ideas on how to stay fit while pregnant, all the while gleaning the amazing benefits of yoga.

Featured Image: Ikuzo Yoga

Author Bio:

JOJO Yang is a writer from Check Pregnancy. Her passion is providing helpful information for mommy and baby’s health. More than just focus on basic knowledge about health, this website also focuses on how to establish a good parent-child relationship. You can also some find fun reviews and topics, just visit Check Pregnancy to see more.

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