When we think of yoga, often times what comes to mind is a body that’s been contorted into an impossible position. However, yoga is far more than that. In fact, for centuries, it’s been used to help people center themselves and relieve stress. This gentle art originated in India, and has become a very popular way of increasing strength and flexibility, as well as relieving tension. In fact, in many countries, yoga for pregnant women is the only viable option. Yoga is an excellent way to stay lithe, and get ready for birth.
If you are considering yoga exercises during pregnancy, it is always advisable to consult your physician first. Yoga is a flexible art, and has been adapted for pregnant women. However, every woman is unique, and only your doctor can evaluate your particular circumstances, and endorse an exercise program. One of the poses, or asanas, recommended for moms-to-be, is the Cat-Cow, or Pelvic Tilt. This position is good for relieving back pain, which is a common complaint during pregnancy. The Cobbler or Tailor’s pose is a sitting position that will help open the pelvis. Squatting is something you can do every day. It helps you relax and open the pelvis. It also strengthens the upper legs. As you begin to feel heavier in the later stages of your pregnancy, be sure to use props to help you with the squatting, like yoga blocks or stacked books. You can rest your bottom on these. Be sure to focus on your breathing, and let your breath drop deep down in your belly.
During pregnancy, you can also do some of the standing poses, like Warrior I, Warrior II, and Tree. All these poses will help to strengthen your joints. They also improve your balance. In fact, the Warrior poses actually help ease sciatica and backache. The Downward-Facing Dog is a pose that can energize your entire body, but do not try it during your third trimester. You can also use the side-lying position. It is an excellent resting pose at the end of your workout.
Your yoga teacher may recommend some variations with these poses, and they will probably offer you many other poses that are safe exercises during pregnancy. Like any exercises during pregnancy, however, there are some yoga techniques and positions you need to avoid. It would be wise to skip poses that require you to lie on your stomach or back for longer than a few minutes. This is most especially true after your first trimester. Other things to avoid would be the deep forward and back bends, as well as deep twists. Also, skip the head and shoulder stands during pregnancy, and any positions that make the abdominal muscles stretch too much.
With a bit of caution and common sense, Yoga for pregnant women is an excellent way to stay fit, and prepare for childbirth. With a qualified instructor, you can set up a very effective program that seamlessly meshes pregnancy and exercise.