Yoga combines physical activity, breathing techniques and mental exercises to help strengthen muscles, tone and relax the body. Yoga’s origins date back more than 5,000 years ago. Yoga practice is enjoyed by men and women. Pregnant women in search of ways to work out during pregnancy many times opt for yoga, because there are a wide range of poses and practices to suit the needs of their bodies.
Refresh and Energize
Yoga is one way for both men and women to get a good workout. The benefits are even greater for pregnant women. Yoga can help reduce morning sickness and put you in a better mood. It’s also a great way to restore your energy so you are refreshed for a day at the office, an evening of preparing for the baby and spending quality time with your spouse. Yoga exercise during pregnancy teaches moms-to-be breathing techniques that are beneficial during labor.
Talk to Your Doctor
Before you sign up for a yoga class or pop in that new DVD, talk with your doctor about your workout plans. Your doctor can help you develop a healthy yoga exercise routine. He can also give you advice on warning signs that you are overexerting your body and help you identify poses that may not be suitable for your body.
Get the Proper Equipment
If you’re going to be a yogi mama, there are a few items you need before your first session. Comfortable clothes are important; try items like sweat pants, T-shirts and leggings. Whether you’re planning to do yoga at home or at a gym, you’ll need a mat to perform your movements. The mat will help keep your feet and hands from sliding as you go from move to move. It’s important to stay hydrated during your yoga workout, so keep a stainless steel water bottle in your workout area. Some yoga routines may require other equipment, such as bolsters, balls, wedges, straps or bricks. Preview your video or talk to your instructor to determine the equipment you need.
Safe Pregnancy Poses
Yoga offers poses and techniques that pregnant women can easily incorporate into their workout routines. The ABC of Yoga website notes that the mountain, triangle, warrior, standing side stretch, hero, fish, cat and tree are some of the yoga poses that can help pregnant women deal with symptoms and have easier deliveries.
If you plan to do yoga exercise during pregnancy, take the necessary precautions to keep you and your baby safe. Listen to your body and stop if a move is causing discomfort. The Baby Center advises you to avoid yoga poses that require extensive use of your back or abdominal muscles to avoid muscle strain. Abstain from doing poses you didn’t do pre-pregnancy; save them for post-baby workouts. And while hot yoga classes may sound soothing and relaxing, the temperatures are not ideal for pregnant women.
- Yoga image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com