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Yoga During Pregnancy: What Styles Should I Choose?

Have you taken into account to practice yoga during pregnancy until now? This is considered among the best possible methods to maintain your pregnancy safe and healthy, and also learn how to manage childbirth more easily when the time comes.

Yoga During Pregnancy

While expecting a baby physical effort and exercises are totally necessary for both your health your baby`s health. You may choose any kind of movement under the strict supervision of your doctor, but also depending on the yoga sessions, which are wonderful ways of staying in shape and prepare for birth.

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What Styles of Yoga Should I Choose?

There are different styles of practicing yoga, some much more intense than other ones. Prenatal and hatha (slow) yoga are the best choices during pregnancy. If these styles aren`t available, have a discussion with your instructor before starting your sessions.

As already mentioned, there are styles of yoga that are especially recommended by the doctor for pregnant women, one of the also being known as prenatal yoga. During the first trimester of pregnancy, when the symptoms of nausea and dizziness are frequent, you should choose sessions that only maintain your body and don`t require extra effort. More than that, try not to force yourself during yoga sessions, and when you are feeling tired, take small breaks so that your body can recover.

You should avoid Bikram yoga, also known as “hot” yoga, because it implies practicing some intense exercises in a room heated at 38° – 43° C. This yoga style may increase the body temperature, a condition known as hyperthermia. There`s research that demonstrated an increased risk of miscarriage or the occurrence of neural tube defects on the baby (serious brain and spine abnormalities), if the mother is exposed to increased temperatures during the first 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy.

Read more on Work-Related & Outdoor Activities That Are Dangerous During Pregnancy!

Additionally, ashtanga and other yoga styles that use force may be extenuating while pregnant if the woman didn`t practiced them regularly before pregnancy.

The most recommended yoga positions during the first 3 months of pregnancy are: the dove position (sitting with a straight back and chest towards the front), and the straight, vertical position with a straight back and hands close to the body.

You may choose to practice watershed or Greek positions, but also the one with the legs underneath. All these are wonderful positions for concentrating the entire energy, strengthening the thigh, abdomen and arms.

Choosing these yoga positions and reaching the state of calm and meditation will relieve your back pain and strengthen your leg muscles, but also your tendons and joints. These are positions of yoga recommended for improving the body`s flexibility, absolutely necessary during the first months of pregnancy.

During the second trimester of pregnancy, it`s recommended to practice those positions that will strengthen the abdomen and avoid back pain. Sit on the knees and use your hands to support yourself. Try to alternatively keep your back straight and then bend it, but stay in each position for a bit of time until you feel yourself a bit tensioned and then relaxed, depending on the position – pretty much like cats do when they stretch.

During the third trimester of pregnancy, when you`ll find it difficult to do the more complicated exercises, the most important aspect is to choose those positions that relax you, without using your muscles too much. You should avoid putting pressure on the abdominal area without forcing yourself. During the third trimester of pregnancy, the most important thing you should remember is to relax yourself.

Experts agree that yoga performed at the recommendation of a specialist (so you don`t risk to make dangerous movements for your baby or go over your limits) is quite beneficial for a birth without issues, where the pain will be controllable and can supported.  The yoga sessions are also required to relieve the emotions and stress of birth, tensions that you don`t need because they may affect your health.

How to Practice Yoga Safely during Pregnancy?

Follow these tips for you and your baby to be safe:

  • You should have a discussion with your obstetrician. Before starting to practice yoga, make sure you have the doctor`s agreement. It isn`t advisable to practice this type of exercises if you have an increased risk of premature birth or other medical conditions, such as a heart illness, or you have issues with your back.
  • Set yourself realistic goals! It`s recommended for most pregnant women to practice at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity in most days of a week, if not on a daily basis. Still, even practicing exercises that are less intense or for less time may help you stay in shape and be ready for your childbirth.
  • Establish your own rhythm. If you cannot talk normally while practicing prenatal yoga, the exercise is perhaps too intense for you.
  • Drink lots of liquids and don`t overdo it! Practice yoga in a room that is well ventilated so you may avoid hyperthermia. Drink plenty of liquids around your session of yoga to remain well hydrated.
  • You must avoid certain positions! You need to avoid sitting on your back or belly, leaning towards your back or forward too much, or to turn around if you feel pressure around your abdomen. For instance, you can change the position of rotation, so that you can move you’re your upper back, chest, and shoulders. You need to avoid positions that imply bringing your legs above your heart or head, if you aren`t experienced in practicing yoga. While your pregnancy evolves. While a pregnancy develops, try to support yourself during your yoga positions, in such a way so you can balance your gravity center. If you have doubts with a certain position, talk to your instructor about it.
  • Don`t exhaust yourself! Be careful with your body while practicing yoga. Start the session with light exercises and try to avoid those positions that exceed your level of comfort or experience. If you feel any pain on your arms or legs or if you notice any alarming signs – contractions, vaginal bleeding, diminished fetal movements – stop immediately and get in touch with your obstetrician.

How to Choose a Suitable Yoga Course?

If you want to practice yoga during pregnancy, look for a program with an instructor who is prepared in prenatal yoga. Start the program and see how the course evolve to make sure that the classes, the instructor`s style, duration of the course and the way the room looks are suitable for what you want.

Image courtesy of womenfitness.net

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