Can I do yoga during pregnancy?
During pregnancy we make changes in our eating habits, lifestyle, but we don’t have to stop enjoying exercise, as many would suggest. Studies suggest that yoga actually can be good and even beneficial for you during pregnancy.
If you did an activity, before your pregnancy, you can continue to enjoy it throughout pregnancy. You will only need a few modifications to stay safe and support all hormonal, physiological and anatomical changes that happens to your body during pregnancy.
Focusing on yoga more specifically, it can be very beneficial during pregnancy. During the first trimester some women who may find themselves facing the challenges of nausea and fatigue , yoga can actually help you through the nausea and fatigue period easily.
Yoga helps you breathe and relax, which in turn can help you understand and adapt to the physical demands of pregnancy, labor, birth, and motherhood. It calms both mind and body, giving the physical and emotional calmness your body needs throughout pregnancy.
Taking a pre- or postnatal yoga class is also a great way to meet other mums-to-be and go on this journey together.
Our recommended guidelines:
- If you're attending regular yoga classes (one not specifically for pregnant women), make sure to inform the teacher you're pregnant, and which trimester you're in.
- Don't do any poses on your back after the first trimester. They can reduce blood flow to the uterus.
- Avoid pushing and stretching your muscles too much, in particular the abdominals. You're more at risk for strains, pulls, and other injuries, as your body keep producing a pregnancy hormone, called relaxin. This hormone helps the uterus to expand and softens connective tissue.
- Avoid any Pranayama practices involving breath retention. Remember to breath smoothly, evenly, and continuously to keep all muscles relaxed
- Do any standing poses closer to the wall or use a chair for support or you can ask your teacher to stand near by. Especially after the second trimester your center of gravity will start to change and losing your balance during standing pose can cause injury to yourself or your baby.
- Avoid hot yoga, or any yoga classes held in overheated room. According to studies, overheating can endanger the health of your growing baby.
- When you are bending forward from seated position, put a towel or strap around your feet and hold both ends. Always bend from the hips to avoid compressing your abdomen and bend only until it is comfortable. If your belly is too big for this movement, you can place a cushion under your buttocks to lift your body slightly, and open the legs to give your belly more room to come forward.
- When you practicing any twisting poses, be careful twisting from your waist. Focus more on your shoulders and back to avoid putting any pressure on your abdomen.
- Always listen to your body. If you feel any discomfort, just stop and adjust the position. Ask your teacher to help you alter your yoga to fit the stage of pregnancy you're in.
- Stay Hydrated. Drink plenty of water, keeping a bottle next to you during any exercise class. Hydration is especially important during pregnancy, as dehydration can cause preterm labor or false early labor.
Cat Cow Sequence
Poses to avoid: