Pregnancy yoga

Useful information on the benefits of practicing yoga throughout your pregnancy and beyond.
The words yoga, asanas, salutations and the cobra conjure images of hyper-lean and unnaturally bendy waifs performing moves you couldn't even do as an eight year old in gym class. Despite this yoga along with pilates have fast become the 'it' way to keep in shape. Luckily for mothers-to-be they're also realistic and effective forms of exercise during pregnancy.

The holistic nature of yoga means that it is beneficial to both your body and your mind. Some women feel the pranayamas (breathing techniques) are particularly useful during labour, while those who practice it regularly claim to find that delivery is easier due to their bodies being more flexible.

The changes that your body undergoes during pregnancy can be difficult to handle. Yoga is a gentle remedial form of exercise. For example the discomfort of carrying a child can often be improved through better posture- something which yoga focuses on. Equally experts agree that light exercise, and yoga in particular, is good for balancing water retention.

Yoga also has a place in the postnatal period. It is a gentle but effective form of recuperative exercise. Usually started no less than six weeks after birth, it strengthens the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles as well as aiding general body tone.

Some basic guidelines to keep in mind:
  • Avoid asanas (poses) on your back after the first trimester as these can restrict blood flow to the uterus.
  • Due to relaxin- a hormone which softens ligaments you are more susceptible to strains and pulls while pregnant, so avoid over-stretching; be especially careful of your abdominal muscles.
  • Don't practice Bikram yoga, (practicing yoga in an overheated environment) as studies indicate this can endanger fetus growth.
  • If you attend a general yoga class be sure to tell your teacher what stage of pregnancy you are at before exercising. Since over-exertion can be detrimental during pregnancy, most instructors advise regular yoga-goers to lower the intensity of their regimes.
  • Listen to your body; discomfort or pain is usually a sign that you're overworking.
Despite these points yoga is a very safe and effective form of exercise for pregnant women. Providing it is practiced in moderation, under proper instruction, it can be very beneficial to your shape, your well-being and your comfort.
Author : Jane Dawson

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i am first time pregnant and i am 32 yrs old. i would like to exercise doing yoga. i am not sure where to go to, i mean like classes or dvds etc. and i am a size 8 and 8 wks pregnant. i hvnt put on any weight but i am eating a lot. plz advice on where to get information about yoga dvds.
by Presho 29th Jul 2009, 9:03am
Hello My name is Sam Hiscocks i am an obese middle aged women in her 40's and i have just given birth to my 7th child Sandy, I find it very hard to excerise Since giving birth to my children as i was overweight to start with and in my frist pregnancy i put on on over 40lbs.
Have you got any tips or adivce to help me shift this baby bulge. thanks a lot x
by Chanter 16th Mar 2009, 9:22am
I am a dedicated Ashtanga Yoga student and have had a regular practice for many years. I am 31, and expecting my first child. I am currently 13 weeks, and thankfully have not had any pregnancy symptoms and feel terrific. I have not modified my practice yet since my belly (and body) haven't restricted my abilities. I am able to practice the entire 1st series without a hitch and plan on proceeding (with variations as needed) until I give birth. I had my first sonogram last week and the baby is in A+ condition. I think everyone is different, but EVERYONE will benefit from a regular yoga practice. Be sure, new yogini's (especially expecting mothers), to take it slow and steady at first. Find a yoga instructor you connect with and that makes you feel comfortable. Don't be ashamed to say "this doesn't feel right, or I am stopping here" if your body is telling you to do so. Remember that Yoga is "yolking" your body and mind, so listen closely and allow your intuition to guide you. You will find yourself grounded, connected with your feelings and in a place of wonderous new personal potenetial which will make your journey magical!

Namaste Yogini Mommies!
by amadriz77 9th Sep 2008, 8:58am
I had practised yoga since my childhood on an off.But now i practise daily.Only the pranayams(breathing technique) which has helped me through my 9 weeks of pregnancy.i would certianly insist all pregnant women to do so...
by jaymini 9th Apr 2008, 8:33am
Can anyone recommend an antenatal yoga DVD which is good for people who have already been practising yoga for quite a while? I have tried a few but they are too much focussed on relaxing and I feel I need more of a workout at this stage of my pregnancy (1st trimester). Thanks.
by Jill85 28th Jan 2008, 6:13pm
I would strongly recommend a specifically trained pregnancy yoga teacher to ensure that you get the most from your yoga classes. It's also a great way to meet like minded/same situation ladies!


LL ( - Sheffield)
by Loulounharry 4th Jan 2008, 9:03am