4 Reasons to Do Yoga While Pregnant
Prenatal yoga classes help women in all stages of pregnancy participate in healthy, safe exercise. These specially designed classes teach breathing and meditation techniques, provide support for stressed moms-to-be and use asanas (yoga poses) that help expectant mothers build strength and stamina.
Yogis who lead these classes also avoid poses that may be risky for moms and design classes for all women, even those who have never done yoga before. If you currently practice yoga, be sure to tell your yogi that you are expecting so that he or she can help you stay safe.
New studies continue to reveal the benefits of prenatal yoga. So, with your doctor’s approval, unroll that mat, breathe deeply and get ready. After practicing yoga while you’re pregnant, you might experience:
Many pregnant women experience sleep problems that make dealing with the physical symptoms of pregnancy more difficult. However, exercise during pregnancy can help you achieve better sleep. Yoga, for instance, reinforces natural circadian rhythms. Our bodies follow these rhythms to determine when we should be awake and when we should be asleep. By keeping to this rhythm, you may find you fall asleep more easily.
Throughout a yoga class, you are encouraged to center your mind and focus on your breathing, clearing away stressful or anxious thoughts. Research shows that after a yoga class, pregnant women have fewer stress hormones like cortisol in their bodies. Breathing and meditation techniques can also be used outside of class to help you cope with a difficult pregnancy or work through pain during labor.
Research also reveals yoga can reduce symptoms of depression during pregnancy. Depression is associated with a higher risk of pre-term labor and low birth weight, so it is vital to reduce symptoms so both mom and baby enjoy better health.
Fewer Pregnancy Symptoms
It’s no secret that for some people pregnancy comes with some unpleasant symptoms like shortness of breath, back pain, nausea and headaches. Prenatal yoga classes can help you reduce these symptoms without having to rely on medicines. To help with pregnancy symptoms, you can:
- Use breathing exercises to overcome shortness of breath
- Practice relaxation techniques and certain poses to reduce nausea from morning sickness
- Build core and back muscles to reduce back pain
- Improve posture and stress levels to experience fewer headaches
Easier Labor and Delivery
Yoga asanas build strength and flexibility throughout your body. During yoga for pregnancy, you focus on asanas that assist with labor and delivery. These asanas help the muscles in your hips, abdomen and back grow stronger and have better endurance for a more comfortable, faster labor and delivery. You can also use breathing exercises you learned to get through the pain of contractions.