Prenatal yoga for healthy mums and babies
Women who want to give birth naturally are advised by healthcare providers to take up prenatal yoga, as it has been proven clinically that this type of light exercise prepares and strengthens cardiovascular capacity and prepares a body for birth.
Pregnancy can be tough for some women and exercise programs like prenatal yoga provide relief from conditions such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and pressure on sciatic nerves. It also reduces back discomfort, a common occurrence amongst women with an inflexible body.
Once your doctor gives you the green light for mild exercises, you can prepare your body to give birth with prenatal yoga that includes slow and gentle stretching of muscles, rotation of joints and breathing exercises. If you continue with these yoga practices for a few months or even a few weeks, you will experience several benefits: such as better functioning of the heart and a well-regulated nervous system.
The typical asanas recommended during pregnancy are
- pigeon asana – helps to gently prepare the hip bones to widen during birth;
- extended triangle asana – helps to relieve back pain and stretch the groin;
- half-moon pose – to improve the balance of a pregnant woman.
All these prenatal yoga poses also improve the functioning of body organs.
The students in the prenatal yoga classes are strictly prohibited from practicing traditional yoga asanas as it may be harmful for the mother and the unborn child. The Ujjayi breathing technique is especially recommended for women nearing the second trimester, as it helps create more space for the foetus inside a womb.
Prenatal yoga contributes to healthy development of the child, but it is important not to push your body to its limits during exercise sessions. It is, therefore, advised by yoga instructors to close the eyes and be aware of the fresh oxygen that is going inside your body. The best time to begin yoga classes are after the passing of the first three months, as typically at this time the woman is free from morning sickness and her belly is not as big as those of women in their third trimester.
Don’t join any yoga classes if you have had any miscarriage or suffer from lower back ache. It is safe to do yoga at home but it is always good to join yoga classes and do exercises under supervision of a trained instructor. Do not continue an asana if you feel uncomfortable and have problem in breathing.