Yoga is an ideal lifestyle choice for pregnant women. Even as a beginner, pregnancy is the perfect time to take up this ancient form of exercise. In addition to increased flexibility, pregnancy makes you more aware of your emotions, your body and what goes into it.
As a holistic approach to exercise, yoga takes a well-rounded approach to improved well-being. It’s about taking care of yourself, eating well, being fit and living a balanced life. There’s an added bonus for pregnant participants – all that breathing, meditation, relaxation and stretching goes a long way during your pregnancy, while in labour, and after the birth.
Here are just some of the benefits of yoga during pregnancy.
As a gentle form of exercise, yoga is safe during pregnancy and easy to get into. It’s an excellent way to get fit and stay in shape and you can benefit from just 15 – 30 minutes a day!
The breathing techniques will help you relax and manage pain. They will be particularly useful during labour.
The variation of techniques in yoga help alleviate stress and tension, ease back pain and improve circulation.
Increased strength and flexibility will go a long way in getting through pregnancy with minimal discomfort. The stretching also helps prepare your body for labour.
Like other exercise, the release of endorphins will make you feel good.
Leaner, stronger muscles, less stress and all those endorphins will leave you feeling AND looking your best.
Studies show that women who practice yoga during pregnancy are less likely to develop high blood pressure or go into premature labour.
There are poses to help create more space in your pelvis for the baby, to assist and speed up labour and to help speed up recovery after birth.
Yoga offers “you time” – a chance to calm your mind and refocus your energy. It’s just as important to invest in the psychological preparation of giving birth. You will be equipped with techniques to deal with emotional worries and stress. (It can also be fabulously relaxing.)
Yoga is also something fun you can do with your partner, friends or family. It’s a great exercise for everyone and a fun activity to get everyone involved with if you prefer.
Joining a yoga or an ante-natal class is a great place to make friends. Your technique will also benefit from the instruction a qualified teacher. And there’s no need to be intimidated – there will be plenty of beginners!
However, it’s also something you can do safely at home. You just need a mat and some comfortable clothes. There are plenty of guides online – via websites, youtube, etc.