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Prenatal yoga 101: Here’s why this practice is a hit with expecting mothers

Updated on:23 September 2020, 08:35am IST
Prenatal yoga benefits birth and post-delivery stages in expectant mothers, by relieving stress and strengthening the body. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Geetika Sachdev
The benefits of prenatal yoga, revealed. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

When you’re pregnant, you are flooded with advice from all quarters—then be it friends, relatives, or even colleagues. Most of them will ask you to rest during those nine months, but should you? There’s no denying that your body undergoes several changes during this period and your energy levels drop, but fitting in some exercise into your daily regime never hurt anyone, right?

That’s why today we are introducing you to prenatal yoga that has taken the world by storm, and is being embraced by pregnant women for its multiple benefits! It not only helps you stay fit but also prepares you for labour, and also happens to be beneficial for your baby’s health.

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Let’s understand how prenatal yoga is good for you and your baby.

The many benefits of prenatal yoga
Some people believe that prenatal yoga is more like a workshop that prepares your body for childbirth. Several poses that are a part of this routine promote stretching, mental relaxation, as well as focused breathing.

According to several studies, prenatal yoga is absolutely safe and can have a calming effect on the mother as well as the baby. What’s more, you can control weight gain during pregnancy with this gentle workout.

Prenatal yoga
Yoga is another way you can stay fit during your pregnancy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Moreover, it helps you to connect with your body, so that you are in tune with the changes that are happening. When you perform this type of yoga, your stress levels and anxiety come down, and that means improved sleep! 

That’s not all: it increases strength, flexibility as well as endurance of muscles, which is very important for childbirth. Besides, it also helps to eliminate lower back pain, nausea, headaches, and other pregnancy-related symptoms. 

Prenatal yoga is one of the most effective tools available for to-be moms. It not only helps to stretch the muscles, but also works on the mobility of the joints, which is much-needed when the body goes through several physical changes. It also prepares the body for childbirth by specifically working on the hips and the groin region. Overall it helps you deal with the changes the body is going through and also tackles issues like swelling, nausea, and backache,” explains Shraddha Iyer, master yoga trainer at Sarva & Diva Yoga.

What does prenatal yoga focus on?
There are a few techniques that a professional yoga practitioner will follow when teaching prenatal yoga. To begin with, you will be encouraged to follow a breathing pattern through the nose. This will help tackle any shortness of breath you experience during pregnancy and help you work through contractions during labour.

Prenatal yoga
Yoga during pregnancy also help you stay calm. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Next, you will be encouraged to practice gentle stretching and move different parts of your body. You will gradually move your body into various postures that will help you develop your strength, flexibility, and balance. In case you require support, you can always use blankets or cushions.

The last step will be to cool down. After each session, you will relax your muscles and bring your body to a state of rest. You will be required to pay close attention to your breathing and other emotions and achieve a sense of calm.

Prenatal yoga through the three trimesters
When an expectant mom is in the first trimester, a yoga practitioner will suggest poses that are the same as other forms of yoga. At this point, your belly doesn’t really show up! If you feel nauseated or tired, do not push yourself. Listen to your body and then follow an exercise routine.

During the second trimester, begin doing prenatal yoga. Your belly will be more visible now, so your yoga practitioner will suggest pregnancy-related poses. Do not perform exercises that require you to lie on your belly or poses that require deep twists. 

In the third trimester, the belly becomes more prominent and it isn’t possible for you to perform all exercises. It is better to take a wider stance to feel more stable, which is helpful so that you don’t fall. Do only those exercises that are comfortable for you.

So ladies, practice prenatal yoga through the three trimesters to stay fit, and enjoy a relaxed state of mind too!

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Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.