A good friend of mine is about 6 months pregnant and has recently been talking a lot about exercise. She wasn’t a runner before, and so she doesn’t want to begin running now (for health reasons, it isn’t recommended for any pregnant woman to begin strenuous exercise while pregnant that the body wasn’t used to doing before the pregnancy.) She enjoys hikes, walks and nature, but the average temperature in the Virginia summer right now is about 97 and humid everyday… being outside for too long is something nobody wants to willingly endure.
After hearing her complaints, I decided to invest some time into discovering how beneficial yoga is for a pregnant woman and the best poses to do.
Yoga is great for pregnant women for multiple reasons:
- It relieves the tension felt on the hips, chest, upper and lower back, neck and shoulders. Your muscles undergo a lot of stress that they aren’t used to as your baby grows and different parts of your body expand. By practicing yoga, you're giving your body a breathe of relief from the unfamiliar change and tension it's experiencing.
- You encounter many different up and downs in your emotions throughout pregnancy. Yoga helps to balance these moods, brings calmness to your body and mind, and relaxes and calms your body.
- Yoga can help you sleep better and allows you to focus and center your attention on your baby and the changes your body is going through.
- Motherhood is hard on your body, even after your baby has been born. Yoga will help to strengthen your muscles and core, which will come in handy when you find yourself having many hours of baby-holding.
- Your circulation increases when your joints and muscles are elongated. Swelling goes down while your immunities increase, which equals a great environment for a thriving baby.
Try these 7 prenatal poses, and see if you notice a healthy change in your body!
1. Sitting Side Stretch
2. Cat/Cow Pose
3. Downward Dog (If DD is too strenuous, try Puppy Pose. The movements are the same as Downward Dog, except it's done while resting on your knees instead. This will allow for you to experience the same benefits and stretch that DD has to offer, without the added stress of balancing with your belly.)
4. Gentle Backbends
5. Virasana, with happy baby breathing. During this pose, breathe deep, happy and full. Centering yourself and focusing on your breathing and your baby calm your nervous system and increases your flow of oxygen to the uterus. Practice this breathing now, and it will come in handy during labor too!
6. Sunbird (with both hands on the ground.)
7. Warrior 1
Disclaimer: This is an informative article and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your doctor about all exercise and health concerns during pregnancy. Always seek and consult your personal yoga instructor for any prenatal yoga concerns, or seek the advice of a yoga teacher before beginning practice.
|Sky Andersen holds down the role of blog writer at Yoga Accessories. Currently studying Public Relations at Virginia Commonwealth University, she writes for many different publications and is passionate about all things photography, travel and of course- yoga.|