Yoga during Pregnancy
Yoga can help women get through their pregnancy with minimal discomfort. Yoga during pregnancy helps the birth and post-delivery stages. Posture is also improved by yoga and this can help ease back problems, which are common in pregnant women. She adds: ‘Yoga helps to prepare for the birth – it encourages breath and body awareness, reduces worry and teaches women to adapt to new situations.’
And practicing yoga during pregnancy continues to have benefits even after pregnancy, too. Postnatal yoga, which can be started about six weeks after the birth, strengthens abdominal muscles and your pelvic floor. It also helps you to get back to your pre-pregnancy shape faster.
Starting yoga is no different to starting any other form of exercise – the same advice applies. If you are not used to regular exercise then you should start slowly. If in doubt consult your doctor or midwife.
Yoga during Pregnancy – Postures
- Bridge Pose – Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Strengthens the spine, opens the chest, improves spinal flexibility, and stimulates the thyroid.
- Cat – Cow Stretch – Increases spinal flexibility and abdominal strength.
- Cobbler’s Pose- Baddha Konasana – Opens the hips and groin.
What to watch out for:
- Lying on the front soon becomes inappropriate. Strong back bends are to be avoided, as are postures that involve using the tummy muscles strongly, such as the boat pose, or supine leg rising. Any posture involving balance should be tackled with great care.
- Mothers-to-be should pay attention not to overstretch the body – the ligaments around the joints become loose and soft during pregnancy. The abdomen should stay relaxed at all times.
- No kind of pain or nausea should be felt during or after yoga. If this happens, you should stop exercising and contact your GP or midwife.