A prenatal yoga program will help you keep in shape throughout your pregnancy and can help you avoid excessive weight gain. One of the benefits of Prenatal Yoga is that it stretches the muscles as well as the connective tissue so that you can retain your range of motion and flexibility.
During pregnancy, your body’s center of gravity changes as your very abdomen grows larger. Regular yoga practice and certain poses can help you remain steady and balanced throughout your pregnancy.
Prenatal Yoga Will Benefit You During Labor and After
During prenatal yoga, you learn a specific breathing technique that you can make use while in labor. In yoga, you breathe deeply, in through the nose. Your inhale until your lungs are full, the breathe out slowly, pushing all of the air out of your abdomen and lungs. This technique of breathing prepares you for meditation and will also keep you calm and collected during the birthing process.
A prenatal yoga class also puts you in touch with your body, which will be beneficial as you go into labor. Yoga lets you recognize where you are holding tension and gives you the tools to release that tension.
Holding tension in your body puts you at risk for injury. Holding tension during labor makes the process more painful and reduces the amount of the hormone oxytocin that your body produces during the process. Oxytocin allows labor to progress.
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Social Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Attending a prenatal yoga class allows you to connect with new mothers-to-be. Having other pregnant women around you to form a support group boosts your emotional well-being. You can learn from pregnant women in the class who have already had a child. Depending on the kind of class you attend, you may also get information regarding the labor process and plan the birth.
When Should I Start Taking Yoga Classes?
The poses you can perform during a yoga class or with a yoga DVD will change as your pregnancy progresses. As your pregnancy progresses, it is best to sign up for a prenatal class than continue with a DVD at home, as a class will provide supervised instruction from a trained professional. If you are not taking a class specific to pregnant women, be sure to tell your instructor that you are pregnant and which trimester you are in.
It is best to start a class after the first trimester of your pregnancy,that is, after 14 weeks. During the first trimester, your body is going through many changes and you may also be dealing with morning sickness. Rest and relaxation are recommended at this time until energy levels have returned to normal. If you are unsure, ask your doctor.
Poses that need you to just lie on your back should be avoided starting immediately in the second trimester, as such poses change the way your blood flows and may create problems for the baby. Once you reach the third trimester, most poses will involve the use of props to allow you to retain your balance.
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