Anatomy, HypnoAthletics, Science, Special Populations, Yoga Advisor

Beyond Pre-Natal Yoga: Tips For Practicing Yoga Or Not When You Are Pregnant

(Exercising Your Mind) Practicing Yoga is one of the best things you can do for your body as your only form of physical exercise, or, in addition to other things you may be practicing.

This is the same when you are a pregnant woman. There are so many benefits to your overall health, wellness and fitness that come from a consistent yoga practice. But anytime you take a yoga class with a caring and expert instructor, you will do yourself a lot of good.

Expecting a baby? Congratulations!

I asked a few Yoga Teachers who are not Pre-Natal Specialists what they thought about having pregnant women in their classes.

So far the common theme I am getting from different Yoga Teachers is that for those who are pregnant, it is best if you have some experience of yoga in level 2 and 3 classes (intermediate & advanced).

Otherwise it is best to only do prenatal classes, and some level 1 classes as long as you let the teacher know.

“Prenatal Yoga provides a safe and calming environment for pregnant women to nurture their bodies during this wondrous time of life. This class will help improve balance, circulation, and toning with postures modified for the needs of each trimester. The deep breathing you will learn in Prenatal yoga will be a huge help when it’s time to give birth. Get to know other expectant mothers and learn relaxation techniques that will take you far beyond pregnancy.” – YogaWorks West Hollywood

Have you heard of this book?

Iyengar MotherhoodThere are some commonly accepted basics about practicing yoga while you are pregnant.

A Few PreCautions Now, Some More Later

  • Make sure that you have been given the okay by your doctor to practice, and ask them for any tips or recommendations they may have for you before you start your yoga practice.
  • If you are in your first trimester, you should avoid doing yoga that is not led by a Pre-Natal Teacher or is not a Pre-Natal Classs. This is especially true if you are new, or have had complications with pregnancy in the early stages before. This is because your body is in a state of fast and intense change which may benefit more from rest than yoga.
  • If the class is not a PreNatal Yoga Class, ask the teacher if they feel comfortable with you in their class. Especially if you are new to yoga because they may not realize if you are doing something that is not good for baby and you. If you are an experienced yogi, you should still ask them and let them know if it is not obvious so they can help you modify the poses.

Lets Talk About How Yoga Is Good For You

  1. Relaxation from deep breathing is one of the main benefits of yoga. Deep breathing improves the function of your immune system, it helps your digestive system work better, and helps you to sleep better. This is because deep breathing turns on our parasympathetic nervous system which is in charge of immunity, digestion and sleep.
  2. Get relief from tension in your neck, shoulders, chest, hip and lower back by practicing yoga. A baby growing inside puts more stress on these parts of your body, but practicing yoga gives you and your baby relief from this tension.
  3. You will get stronger and be able to do things longer if needed. A yoga practice helps to build the strength and stamina that are needed as the baby gets bigger. It will not get easier, but it will feel like it is getting easier because you are getting stronger from practicing yoga.
  4. You will improve your circulation because of how a yoga practice can help you to lengthen your joints and muscles. Your baby will be in a healthier environment because improved circulation boosts your immune system and reduces swelling.
  5. Calm and cheerful feelings come from practicing yoga. And when you are calm and cheerful, your baby will be too! Again, this is a benefit of deep and mindful breathing.

Find A PreNatal Yoga Class

WeHo PreNatal

Okay, Some More Cautions and Then We Talk More Good For You Stuff

  • Do not do deep twisting postures or anything that puts pressure on your belly like…
  • Laying on your belly. Don’t do that.
  • The reverse is also true. Don’t lay on your back for a long time.
  • Speaking of reverse, Don’t go upside down. Just don’t do shoulder or headstands.
  • When you are lying down, do so on your left side and use props like pillows, bolsters or rolled up towels to support your body and to feel comfortable.
  • If you feel discomfort or pain in a pose come out of it immediately and rest and/or move into something that feels good.
  • Do not practice if you feel morning sickness. Drink the right amounts of water for you and let the ill feeling pass before you practice. Your baby is telling you something here.

Here Are Some Yoga Goodies Again!

  1. Relieve back pain with a pose that seems to be very well designed to help your back feel better. Welcome the cat pose into your practice. Alternate this with the cow stretch and you will have a happy back and happy baby. It is called Bidalasana and is especially famous with pregnant women as being one of the best poses and movements in all trimesters.
  2. Smoothing out rough emotional periods so that you can feel more in control of your feelings while your hormones are making radical shifts. A yoga practice can help you to deal with any moodiness you may experience by helping you feel less moody, and giving you the tools to better deal with it.
  3. Be more prepared for the childbirth process by learning deep breathing exercises and practicing those deep breathing techniques. Control of your breathing is very important while delivering a baby which is why Lamaze breathing classes have been so popular with pregnant women. That breathing stuff works.
  4. Connect with your baby on an emotional and physical level by practicing yoga. Before your baby is born you can develop a strong relationship with baby by becoming more aware of your body’s changing needs and the needs of your baby. This mindful and aware practice that is created through yoga practice is just the thing you need to nurture this beautiful connection.
  5. Be in more control of your physical and psychological balance through a yoga practice. Your body will change it’s center of balance, your weight changes, hormones and fluids will all be pumping around in new ways and can throw you off balance in body and mind. Practicing yoga gives you the tools and techniques to find your center and reclaim your balance.

So there you have it. Some yoga tips for pregnant women from a guy. I am sure that I do some really great research to provide you with awesome information that will be useful. At the same time, it is a very good idea to do some of your own.

Congratulations! You have a new family member on the way. All the best to you in happiness and health. Stay well…


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