Whilst you are pregnant, it can be hard to stick to your normal exercise routine, because of the different stresses and strains which are being placed on your body during pregnancy. However, it is still important that you try to do some recommended forms of exercise whilst you are pregnant, for your own benefit and to help to promote your baby’s health. Prenatal yoga is one form of exercise which is very popular amongst pregnant women. Prenatal yoga offers a range of possible health benefits, and there are thousands of professionally run classes worldwide where you can go to practice this form of yoga in a safe environment.
One of the best things about prenatal yoga is that it is actually a multi-faceted approach to exercise which encourages mental well-being as well as physical health. When practiced properly, yoga is designed to encourage clarity of thought and mental centering, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety during the course of the pregnancy. Increased stress in a mother-to-be can affect the unborn child, so techniques which can be used to reduce stress and anxiety are considered to be very useful. The controlled breathing techniques which are used during prenatal yoga can also be used during childbirth, to create peace and inner calm, and to help control the birth.
Prenatal yoga improves the flexibility of the participant and helps to strengthen core muscles. Strengthening core muscles can lessen the impact of lower back pain during the late stages of pregnancy and relieve shortness of breath for some people take part. Improving the flexibility and endurance of these muscles can also make a difference during childbirth itself.
If you do decide to take up prenatal yoga, attending professionally run classes is advisable in the first instance. Even if you have been practicing yoga for a while, attending special classes may be a good idea, so that you will be able to learn how to do the stretches and exercises in a way that is most beneficial to your changing body. A prenatal expert will also be able to tell you which classic yoga stretches to avoid. Although some other forms of yoga may be suitable for pregnant women, exceedingly strenuous forms of yoga are not advisable. Bikram Yoga (otherwise known as hot yoga) should be avoided because it can raise the core temperature of the body to one which is considered to be unsafe for pregnant women.
If you choose to attend a prenatal yoga class, you may also find that this is an open and welcoming space in which to meet a lot of women who are in the same position as you. Because prenatal yoga classes are designed for women who are pregnant, you may end up making a lot of new friends who are all experiencing the same highs and lows as you are. This can be really beneficial if you do not have other friends who are pregnant at the same time as you are, but you would like someone to talk with about your experiences.