By G Harold

There are numerous therapeutic and beneficial effects a pregnant woman will experience when she practices yoga during her pregnancy. In addition to preparing her physically for delivery, it also produces positive influence on her mental and emotional state as she readies to undergo the life changing experience of childbirth.

If you are not a regular yoga practitioner prior to becoming pregnant, while pregnant is not the best time to begin. Why, because you are unfamiliar with yoga and have not given your body the opportunity to adjust to the practice of yoga, the stretches, the bends, the positions, etc. This may result in some uncomfortableness and potential problems as the onset of the bodily changes set in which come with the early stages of pregnancy.

If you are a regular yoga practitioner prior to pregnancy the first thing you should do is get an assessment on your condition. It is important that you talk to your yoga instructor and your doctor about your decision to practice yoga during your pregnancy. If you are physically able and have your doctors’ and yoga instructors’ approval, locating and enrolling in a prenatal yoga class taught by a qualified teacher is a good idea. An experience and qualified prenatal yoga instructor will be familiar with dos and don’ts of pregnancy and yoga and ensure your regiment is limited to those positions and exercises that are beneficial.

Following your first trimester, you should avoid poses that require you to lie flat on your back for long periods of time. During this term of your pregnancy, when you lie on your back, the weight of the fetus can restrict the flow of blood in your lower body. During pregnancy, hormones loosen connective tissues in the body. Therefore there is an increased danger of straining your muscles. Avoid exercises and positions which involve intense stretches, and poses that stretch your abdominal muscles.

Forward bends and twists put pressure on your abdomen and should be avoided during prenatal yoga sessions. You should also abstain from including any poise that requires you lie on your belly. A qualified yoga instructor can show you modified abdominal bends and poses to substitute for the standard practices.

As your body changes and the baby develop, you will begin carrying extra weight on the front of your body. Inverted poses such as shoulder stands and back bends add pressure on your spine and lower back. The addition of baby’s weight can lead to potential back injury; therefore, all inverted yoga poses must be avoided during pregnancy. An alternative is to lie on the floor with the soles of your feet flat against the wall, while your calves rest on a chair. Again, remember you must avoid lying on your back for extended period of time, even while in this pose.

Your body is your best barometer. Listen to it. It will reveal any discomfort or strain it experiences while you are performing a yoga pose. Whenever you feel the slightest uneasiness, terminate that pose immediately.

You will not be able to move as fast as you are accustom to and will have to modify many of your yoga poses while you are pregnant. This is okay. The benefit of yoga while pregnant is not in the speed in which you perform the bend, the stretch, or the pose; it is in the participation and experience of the yoga.

Continue to enjoy yoga during your pregnancy, but remember to go a little easier and birth a healthy happy baby.

Gharold, author of “Unclaimed Money Finders” has published numerous other opinions you may or may not find interesting at According to GHarold.