If you haven’t practised yoga before, you may wonder if you can actually start during pregnancy. The answer to this question is yes you can, however it is better to wait until the second trimester, purely for safety. This doesn’t mean that pregnancy yoga is risky, however the current advice is that if you haven’t been practising postures before, it would be better to wait until the second trimester. This is because the highest risk of miscarriages during the first trimester – 14 weeks.
The reality is that pregnancy yoga or prenatal yoga is amongst one of the most beneficial things you can do for your growing baby and yourself. Like any physical exercise, or health practice, you will want to make sure you are attending a qualified prenatal yoga instructor. So let’s look at some of the benefits of prenatal yoga.
The benefits of pregnancy yogaPregnancy yoga or prenatal yoga has been shown in studies to:
1. Increased strength – especially beneficial for you in your back, hips, shoulders and arms, in terms of the pressures of pregnancy and of course, also with the future in mind, when you will be caring for a newborn baby.
2. Tension is relieved in the areas mentioned above, which helps your body to deal with the adjustments that are happening in all of those areas as baby is growing.
3. Develop stamina.
4. Increase flexibility.
5. Circulation increases, which means that swelling decreases. When practising yoga your muscles and joints become elongated, and this is what enhances your circulation.
6. The focus and breathing that is part and parcel of yoga practice helps you to connect to your own body, and at the same time to connect to your baby that is growing inside you.
7. Balance is improved – naturally enough as your body is changing as your baby is growing inside you, balance becomes more challenging. Yoga helps fine tune your balance, emotionally, as well as physically.
8. Increase your muscles capacity for endurance.
9. It can also improve sleep.
10. Prenatal yoga can help reduce anxiety and stress.
11. The deep breathing involved in yoga practice calms your nervous system
12. Digestion is improved.
13. Strengthens the immune system.
14. Lower back pain can be decreased.
15. Nausea can be decreased.
16. Headaches can be avoided, or decreased.
17. The time or times that you practice prenatal yoga during the week serve as quality time for yourself, and time out from other more mundane aspects of life.
18. Practicing pregnancy yoga will of course mean that your within a group of other pregnant women, which will give you a sense of support and sisterhood.
All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.