prenatal-yoga by nicolapolizzy


									Prenatal Yoga: Is it Effective and Safe?

Motherhood, so they say, is the essence of being a woman, and thus
pregnancy is a very important event in a woman’s life. Because of these,
women all over the world want the best condition for themselves and their
baby when they are with child. Prenatal yoga is one way of making this
hope come true. Yoga can be quite helpful in preparing a women for the
rigors of childbirth as well as introducing her to a gathering of other
expectant mothers. It is a good way of staying in shape and diminishing
the risks of problems during pregnancy.

Many women who engage in yoga on during their pregnancy find the activity
to be quite an effective way of being fit. Like any form of exercise, it
is essential however to prepare oneself for yoga especially when it is
done as a prenatal activity. It would be best to enlist in a class that
is specifically designed for pregnant women so that the instructors would
be knowledgeable about prenatal safety precautions during sessions. It is
recommended to begin practicing prenatal yoga early, but those pregnant
women who only have time to do it during the later trimesters can still
benefit a lot from the exercises.

Women who have been practicing yoga long before their pregnancy can of
course continue the exercise. But because the body is bound to change
during the term, it might not be possible to do certain yoga poses like
before. It is imperative to tell the instructor of the pregnancy so he or
she may be able to modify the exercises to fit the pregnant woman.

Safety During Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga is greatly beneficial for pregnant women but extra
precautions are expected since pregnancy can be a sensitive situation.
Here are some tips to ensure safety in prenatal yoga:

- If you join a normal (non specific for prenatal) yoga class, be sure to
tell the instructor that you are with child and which trimester you are
already in.
- You should avoid poses that keep you on your back after the first
trimester because such can limit the supply of blood to the uterus.
- Avoid yoga poses that might make you overstretch your muscles,
especially the abdominals. During pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is
secreted to help expand the uterus, however this also softens connective
tissues, increasing the risk of muscle pulling and other injuries.
- You should start doing standing poses with chair support when you hit
your second trimester, because this time it would be difficult to
maintain balance due to the shifting of your gravity center. You can also
position your heel against the wall for support.
- Stay away from hot yoga (Bikram yoga). Heat can be hazardous for the
fetus, and not to mention, extremely uncomfortable for pregnant women.
- Monitor your body well. If you feel anything uncomfortable or painful,
stop immediately. Your body is changing and you would need to adjust
accordingly. As the instructor about modifications of the poses.
- You should keep your pelvis in neutral position all the time. Your
buttocks should be relaxed to avoid pain on your hind legs and to prevent
injury to your connective tissues in the pelvis.
- If you are required to twist your body, use your back and shoulders
instead of your wait to prevent extra pressure on the abdominal muscles.
Twist only as far as comfortably possible. Deep twists can subject your
body to hazardous strain.

There are certain poses that are deemed to be safe for prenatal yoga,
among them are the cobra (done face-down during the first trimester), the
triangle pose (with char support_ the seated-forward bend, the Butterfly
stretch, the side-angle pose, the standing-forward bend and the cat-cow.
It would be wise to avoid the camel, upward bow, handstands, backbends,
headstands, and one-legged balancing (without support from a chair or the
wall). Of course, each person reacts differently to different moves and
it is thus important to act according to one’s personal characteristics.

Prenatal yoga can greatly be an advantageous for you and your future
baby. If you execute exercises properly and do the necessary
precautionary measures, you can maintain fitness during your pregnancy.

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