Yoga can help women get through their pregnancy with minimal discomfort.
An ancient Indian form of exercise, yoga can trace its roots back at least five thousand years. Unlike other exercises, yoga adopts a holistic approach, tackling a person’s wellbeing as a whole , whilst the various breathing, meditation and relaxation techniques can be a real bonus during your baby’s birth. .
Yoga is an ideal lifestyle choice during pregnancy, at a time when you become so much more aware of your body, your emotions, your surroundings and nutrition as well as becoming naturally more flexible.
Yoga can help ease pregnancy aches and emotional worries as well as prepare for the labour and any recovery after the birth of your baby.
Joining pregnancy yoga classes with a qualified instructor will ensure you learn the correct techniques and be a great place to meet other mums-to-be as well. Don’t be intimidated that everyone will be more flexible and adept at the poses than you are – plenty of people use their pregnancy as reason to start practising yoga and the chances are there will be plenty of beginners!
Yoga works best when it is practised daily but sometimes it’s difficult to find time to set aside for a longer session but if you can find even 15-30 minutes on a regular basis you’ll see the benefits.
If you’d like to start practising a few poses – or would like some inspiration as to how to fit in some of the most effective ‘asanas’ into your daily routine take a look at our yoga options – including breathing techniques to help you focus and relax.
Yoga is so beneficial!
Yoga is such a wonderful way to maintain your pregnancy fitness. It has all the advantages of stretching with the added bonus of calming the mind and preparing your body for labour. The breathing techniques you practise during a yoga session are hugely beneficial when it comes to giving birth and you’ll be glad of the improvements to your strength and flexibility as well.
Yoga in pregnancy promotes health and well-being, is great for alleviating stress and tension, improves your circulation and releases endorphins to make you feel good too!
Studies have shown that women who practise yoga during pregnancy are less likely to develop high blood pressure or go into premature labour.
Many ‘asanas’ will help create more space in your pelvis for your baby and can help ease back pain.
Yoga soothes the mind, refocusing your energy and helps you to prepare psychologically for your baby’s birth.
There are a number of poses that can assist or even speed up labour, easing your baby’s entry into the world – and help speed recovery after the birth as well.
Breathing techniques, ‘pranayama’ can be invaluable during labour, helping you to relax and manage pain.
Joining a pregnancy yoga class is a great idea, especially if you can find a dedicated ante-natal class – but it’s also something you can practise at home as well.
You don’t need any special equipment -although wearing a supportive top will help improve your posture and spread the weight of your developing baby to your back and shoulders. And leggings that stretch as you stretch and cover your bump will be more comfortable
Alexandra McCabe is a founder of FittaMamma, the healthy pregnancy experts. FittaMamma is a free resource to help women enjoy an active pregnancy with workout videos, recipes and step by step yoga guides. Read here for benefits of pregnancy and postnatal yoga and how to fit it to your everyday life.