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Yoga and Pregnancy: Benefits and Recommended Poses

Joining yoga and pregnancy is a great decision. This discipline has proven to be an excellent exercise and a great way to relax and meditate in the midst of preparing to bring a baby into the world.

The practice of yoga is especially recommended to combat stress. That’s why it can be a great option for the mind and body of the mother-to-be. Many times, mothers find themselves very busy in anticipation of the arrival of the baby, planning details and with hundreds of questions and thoughts.

In addition, there are many special asanas that can be performed in case a woman is suffering from swelling in her legs and feet, insomnia, or pain in the muscles of her neck and back.

Let’s take a look.

What are the benefits of doing yoga during pregnancy?

  • First, doing yoga during pregnancy promotes muscle tone, which helps to better manage the extra weight you gain.
  • Also, activities that strengthen the pelvis and legs give the mother more strength when giving birth.
  • Doing yoga also helps fight fatigue, insomnia, and headaches.
  • It improves posture and prevents neck and back pain.
  • Also, it increases the flow of oxygen to the fetus.
  • Finally, it’s a good way to learn to breathe correctly, relax, and concentrate.

Yoga and pregnancy: Recommended poses

1. The tree pose

This is an ideal balance pose to strengthen the lower extremities of the mother during the first months of pregnancy.

  • You can do this pose standing while keeping the weight of your body on one leg first.
  • Then, raise and flex your other leg, resting it on your thigh or calf.
  • After, raise your arms and join you hand over your head.

2. The power pose

This asana strengthens the legs and pelvis, but should be avoided if you’re suffering from headaches. It’s also known as the chair pose.

  • This is performed by lowering the trunk of your body until your knees are fully bent.
  • Then, hold your hands at chest level in prayer position.

3. The cobbler’s pose

Next, this pose is recommended to tone the pelvis and improve circulation. Here’s how to do it:

  • Sitting with your legs apart and straight, you should bend your knees.
  • Then, join the soles of your feet and bringing them as close as possible to your body with your hands.

Other poses

Finally, some other postures that can be performed during pregnancy are:

  • The cat pose (specially to strengthen the back).
  • The mountain pose, which develops postural awareness and aligns the spine.
  • The fish pose, which is excellent for improving breathing capacity.

If you suffer from stomach problems, you can also practice poses such as the diamond and the lotus.

Keep in mind the following recommendations for yoga and pregnancy

It’s important to remember that three types of yoga poses should be avoided during pregnancy: those that compress the belly, inverted postures, and those that involve lying completely face up or face down. Many centers offer prenatal yoga classes, with safe poses adapted to the different stages of pregnancy.

If the mother already has some experience and wants to practice yoga on her own, in addition to the above recommendations she should verify that she can speak or breathe correctly in all the poses. This way, she will know if it’s safe for her and the baby.

The mother should also avoid abrupt twists and remember to breathe at all times. It’s also recommended to avoid Bikram Yoga in high temperatures and doing yoga when it’s very hot outside or in places where you do not have access to sufficient ventilation. Before finishing a yoga session, it’s important for both the mother and baby to rest.

It’s essential to consult the attending physician about the implications of the practice and also check the evolution of the pregnancy and the mother’s ability to exercise at each follow-up appointment.

When should I stop practicing yoga during pregnancy?

If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should immediately stop practicing yoga and consult your doctor:

  • Contractions.
  • Headaches.
  • Nausea.
  • Dizziness.
  • Pain in the ankles.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Swelling in the legs.
  • Fluid loss or bleeding.
  • Decreased movement from your baby.

What about after childbirth?

After giving birth and enjoying a considerable period of rest, there are many benefits when it comes to starting up your yoga practice again. It’s a private moment of reflection and meditation for the mother in which she can take care of herself.

In addition, taking care of the baby, changing, bathing, carrying and playing with them are activities that require considerable physical effort, and the movements performed in yoga can help prevent pain or injury in the future, in addition to strengthening and activating the mother.

Pregnancy is not an illness or a situation that prevents you from living your life in a normal way. On the contrary, it’s an ideal time for change and improvement. Therefore, starting or maintaining a physical and reflective activity such as yoga will always be an excellent decision, as long as your physical condition permits it.

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