What’s So Great about Yoga during Pregnancy?
I had never really done it before, but I quickly felt the benefits from it.
Personally, I used a DVD that was specifically for yoga during pregnancy.
Which I discovered had both pros and cons:
– I could do the yoga every day which gives you more benefit than once or twice a week with a class.
-I could do the guided yoga at any time of the day so it was convenient with my schedule.
-I didn’t have to spend any money on gas!
– It’s the same poses…..in the same order….every single day. (Obviously this could be fixed by purchasing a few different DVDs)
-No interaction with other moms.
So it’s really your preference if you’d rather go to a class or use videos (you can see a few different DVDs that are highly rated, here). No matter how you do it, there are many benefits that come from doing yoga while you’re pregnant.
1) Better sleep!
How great does that sound?! When sleeping is uncomfortable, you probably welcome anything that will help! Tuning into your body calms your mind. Yoga also helps your mind not be overwhelmed because of its calming effect. And because of this, yoga also helps with stress and anxiety.
2) Fewer headaches!
All those hormone changes that happen during pregnancy can be hard on you and you may notice an increase in headaches. Deep breathing has been shown to relieve headache pain.
If you’re in your second or third trimester, you know back pain can be frequent and very uncomfortable. Many yoga poses target muscles in the back. Improving strength and flexibility in your back will help a lot with back pain. (For immediate relief, use a heating pad as yoga provides relief over time).
4) Help with nausea!
Besides deep breathing, trying poses that alleviate pressure from the abdomen and diaphragm help decrease the feeling of nausea.
**Note: from LiveStrong.com, “Avoid back-bending poses, especially intermediate or advanced variations. These poses can cause or worsen nausea.”
5) Relieve feelings of depression!
Many women struggle with postpartum depression. This is depression that occurs after childbirth and lasts more than several weeks. Depression and stress can also be present during pregnancy.
Trying yoga will be more beneficial to you and your child than being on antidepressants (especially if you are pregnant or currently breastfeeding!)
Deep breathing helps to relive stress and yoga provides a healthy distraction so you aren’t always focused on feelings of depression. Yoga also increases blood flow and provides more oxygen to your body.
6) Yoga improves flexibility & strength to the muscles you’ll be using during childbirth!
This may be the most important benefit of doing yoga during pregnancy! There are certain poses that help relax and open your hips. One of the best poses for this is Malasana (picture below) which helps provide you with control over your pelvic and hip muscles so they won’t tense up under stress.
Another pose that opens your hips is Baddha Konasana (commonly known as the butterfly pose, also pictured below). I did both of these poses daily guided by my yoga DVD – I definitely recommend them!
Doing yoga during pregnancy has many benefits, including helping you stay fit. To see how yoga helps you stay fit while you’re pregnant read my post, Using Yoga to Stay Fit during Pregnancy.
*Note: As with any new exercise routine, consult your doctor/OBGYN before starting.
**Note: There are some yoga poses that are better to avoid during your pregnancy. Read what poses to avoid in yoga when you’re pregnant (from PopSugar.com).