Yoga can be very beneficial for pregnancy. It can not only make the pregnancy itself easier on the body and the mother's sense of well-being, but it can also make child labor easier. If practicing yoga while pregnant, it is important to alert the teacher, and to make sure that you eliminate or modify certain poses that are not pregnancy-friendly.
Yoga and Pregnancy
Yoga is a gentle form of excercise that has been practiced for thousands of years. It can play a very important role in the entire process of pregnancy- in handling the pregnancy, in handling the birth process, and in recovery from the birth itself. In general, pregnant women who practice yoga during pregnancy appear healthier and more balanced, in both body and mind.
Benefits of Yoga while pregnant
Yoga's benefits help everyone, but here are a few which are particularly beneficial to pregnant women:
- Yoga improves the body's circulation, this really helps as circulation problems arise in pregnany. Issues with water retention, edema, plague many pregnant women in the last tri-mester of pregnany. Yoga minimizes this.
- Yoga uses breathing excercises to calm the body and the mind. Many pregnant women are dealing with a surge of hormones and emotions around a rapidly changing body. Regulating the breath helps to calm the mind and bring a greater sense of balance and peace. Women also find that controlled breathing helps them as the baby grows, the and their breathing becomes labored.
- Yoga stretches the body. Yoga helps pregnant women to work with the shifts in body weight and body mass. This causes many pregnant women to suffer from a sore back and hips.
- Yoga increases balance. Many women struggle with a decrease in balance while pregnant; yoga helps this. However, note it is important for pregnant women to avoid really difficult balancing postures as they do not want to fall over.
Benefits from Yoga noticed during child delivery
- More flexible hips. Because yoga works on opening the hips, many women who have a regular yoga practice have found delivery to be much easier. Yoga stretches all many ligaments throughout the pelvic, hip, and leg area, all making positions and pushing in child labor easier.
- Stronger abdominal muscles. Not only are the hips more open, but the abdominal muscles tend to be stronger, which helps to push the baby through the birth canal.
- Strong breathing. Breathwork is obviously an important part of a successful delivery. Women who practice yoga tend to be more in touch with their breath and the power of their breath. Practice breathing through difficult postures prepares them well for breathing through the pains of child delivery.
Benefits of Yoga post-pregnancy
Postnatal yoga can generally be started 6 weeks after giving birth (longer if you have had a c-section.) Note, it is important to check with your doctor before practicing any excercise or yoga after giving birth.
- Strengthens abdominal muscles.Yoga helps to strenghten the abdominal muscles which helps to re-tone the stomach after the stretching of carrying a baby.
- Yoga builds awareness and muscle in the pelvic floor. Some new mothers experience loss of bladder control and sexual pleasure after delivering a baby. Many yoga poses strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor (the mula bhanda), and this makes recovery in that area after delivery much faster and easier.
- Total body work out. Yoga stretches and strengthens the body in all directions and areas. This helps to get the whole body back in shape more quickly after pregnancy and delivery.