Pregnancy is one of the most magical times in a woman’s life. Those nine months are filled with a maelstrom of changes- physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. And for many women, being healthy has never been so important as during the time when she is carrying a little within her. One way that many soon-to-be-moms stay fit and healthy is through yoga.
Just to set the record straight, yoga is safe to do while you are pregnant as long as you are careful and move at a pace that is comfortable for you and your growing child.
Here are four reasons why yoga is so beneficial to pregnant moms:
1) Connection: Pregnant women are acutely in tune with their body during these life-changing nine months. For pregnant women, listening intently to their bodies can make a significant difference in how well they treat their bodies. Yoga facilitates this connection even deeper because it brings a greater inner awareness to what our bodies need and require rather than want and crave. In addition, this inner awareness creates an easier path for which moms can connect with the little life inside of her.
2) Calmness: No discussion of yoga would be complete without talking about the sense of calm that practicing yoga cultivates. The intricate connection between the breath and asanas (yoga postures) allows pregnant women to reach a place of peacefulness, slow down and appreciate the myriad changes that are occurring inside of her. And over time, pregnant yogis-to-be can call upon this serenity when they need it most, whether they’re in the throes of labor or overwhelmed with which color to paint the nursery.
3) Breath: Pregnancy teaches us a lot of things from the very complex, such as how amazingly intelligent our bodies are, to the very basic, such as how to breathe. Prenatal classes help to prepare women how to correctly breathe when they are in the many stages of labor. Yoga’s deep breath work takes these lessons one step further by teaching pregnant women how deep breath works throughout their entire pregnancy to increase the oxygen supply to their bodies and their baby. This increase in oxygen levels results in a more fit pregnancy and in some cases, a smoother labor.
4) Exercise: Yoga also offers a low-impact method of exercise so that moms can stay fit and in shape. The various postures have the power to relieve lower back pain, diminish nausea and improve cardiovascular capacity.
Be aware though that pregnancy increases flexibility as joints and muscles stretch and become more loose. Even though yoga postures can help to stabilize this increase in flexion, it is important to use caution when performing postures so that you are not over-stretching or pulling your muscles.
If you are new to yoga, talk to your doctor before taking a yoga class. Scope out the yoga studios in your area for prenatal classes taught by a qualified and experienced instructors.
Ready to start? Check out this video yoga routine with a 9-month pregnant woman.
November 16th, 2008