We all know that exercise and physical activity is an important part of maintaining our overall health. This is just as true during pregnancy! With a care provider's OK, at least 30 minutes of focused pregnancy-tailored exercise several times a week is beneficial. As it is gentle and soothing, prenatal yoga is a popular choice!
Whether you have done yoga before, or are a yoga newcomer, it is important to make sure that you choose a class that is geared towards pregnant participants or a class (like Hatha or restorative yoga) with an instructor who is trained in prenatal yoga. Do make sure to avoid hot yoga, as overheating during pregnancy is a concern, and any positions that put pressure on your abdomen. If you are unsure about your options, or if a class is right for you, ask the instructor for their opinion! Also remember to pace yourself, keep cool, keep hydrated, and know your limits. If you feel you have to stop before the class is over, stop and rest.
So yoga is a good pregnancy option for physical activity, but why? What makes it so great? What are the benefits? Good questions!
Some of the noted benefits of prenatal yoga include:
-Improved senses of breathing and self awareness (great for use in labour!)
-Decrease in physical and mental stress
-Increase in flexibility, strength, & endurance
-Decrease in lower back pain
-Decrease in nausea
-Decrease in headaches
-Lowered risk of preterm labour
-Lowered risk of intrauterine growth restriction
-Decrease in carpal tunnel syndrome
In addition to these benefits, yoga classes also provide a social setting in which pregnant people can meet other parents-to-be and build a stronger, richer peer support system.
So if you are looking into exercise options for your pregnancy, give yoga a try! Who knows...You may love it!