Doctors recognize the benefits of non-strenuous exercise for pregnant women. Among the types of exercise most suitable for pregnant women, yoga is generally considered to be among the most beneficial forms of exercise: here’s why:
Improve your posture
As baby grows and develops inside you, you need to have more stamina and strength in order to maintain good posture, thereby minimizing the aches and pains associated with pregnancy. Yoga helps us to be aware of our bodies while strengthening muscles and improving posture.
Improve overall physical well-being
Yoga can help you to reduce or even eliminate some of the uncomfortable side-effects of pregnancy such as nausea, lower back pain and carpel tunnel syndrome. You’ll also be less likely to experience headaches.
Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles
Yoga strengthens the pelvic floor muscles helping you to carry your baby more comfortably, give birth more easily and recover more quickly after birth. Practice pelvic floor exercises during the second trimester.
Maintain emotional balance
Yoga has an effect beyond the physical. Apart from improving physical control and balance, yoga requires mental focus that helps us to overcome the emotional and mood-changing effects of the hormonal changes within our bodies. It helps us to remain ‘grounded’ despite the stresses of pregnancy.
Minimize the chance of premature birth and certain complications
It is believed that yoga reduces the chance of premature labor as well as other issues such as high blood pressure and intrauterine growth restriction that causes baby to develop more slowly.
Ease the birth process
By conditioning our muscles and training us in breathing techniques, yoga helps to make the birth process easier and less traumatic for both mother and child. When we experience pain, the body tenses up, but yoga teaches us to relax our bodies thereby hastening the birth process. Many women find the breathing techniques they learn in yoga helpful during childbirth. Focusing on breathing helps them to achieve a state of calm despite the rigors of labor.
Stay in shape
You’ll regain your pre-pregnancy figure more quickly if your muscles are toned and fit. Yoga can help you to maintain your muscle tone even when more strenuous forms of exercise are no longer advisable.
Pre-natal yoga is a specialized field
Seek out an instructor who is trained in prenatal yoga as certain poses are not beneficial to expectant mothers, especially once pregnancy is advanced. Listen to your body, and don’t do anything that makes you experience severe discomfort.