By Gopi Rao
Pregnancy affects women in a variety of different ways; some women feel wonderful the whole time, with only a protruding belly as evidence, while others experience any combination of nausea, muscle aches, joint strains, and generally ill feelings. Prenatal yoga provides many benefits for expecting mothers. Not only does it relieve specific aches and pains associated with a growing and changing body, but the practice of prenatal yoga can also be beneficial at easing anxieties and fears related to the impending birth and life-change. Women can also connect with other pregnant women at prenatal yoga classes, providing a sense of community and friendship during this special time of life. As more expecting mothers are trying to stay fit and healthy throughout their pregnancies, the benefits of prenatal yoga are becoming well-known.
Yoga gently stretches and tones the entire body, improves posture, and improves circulation and blood flow to the womb. The deep breathing associated with yoga also helps women prepare for childbirth, teaching them to breath deeply through the nose and slowly out through the mouth. This can help cope with childbirth pain, as opposed to tightening muscles and making it worse. Yoga poses can help improve posture, keeping the spine straight and strong, helping to hold the extra weight straining these muscles.
Pregnant women who are already adept at yoga can go about a normal routine during the first trimester with just a few considerations. She should make sure to notify the instructor of the pregnancy, drink plenty of water before, during, and after the workout, and be aware of any discomfort during the poses and adjust accordingly. Prenatal Yoga instructors should be ready to offer alternative poses to pregnant clients. During the second trimester, the joints become more loose to prepare the body for childbirth. Many women begin to bulge a bit at the belly as well, which can throw off balance. Pregnant women should be advised to move into poses with caution and be careful not to overdo it. It is also a good idea to avoid lying flat on the back to ensure proper blood flow to the growing uterus. Healthy pregnant women can still thrive at yoga during the third trimester, right up until the birth of the baby. During this last trimester, she should practice cautiously, using props or walls as necessary to ensure safety.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
Are you deciding how to become a certified prenatal yoga instructor? See our selection of affordable meditation and 200 hour yoga instructor certification courses.