It is understandable that you might not feel like doing excessive exercises during pregnancy. I was way too tired after my first two pregnancies to take up any exercise regime. There was something not right about workout regimen. I cannot say whether that was a conviction or simply a hunch. But yes, I found Yoga as an appropriate route to handle pregnancy.
Hang on; are you new to Yoga? If yes, then you should look out for prenatal yoga classes designed for pregnant mamas in your locality; sometimes it could be difficult to find specialized trainers in the proximity; however, that should not hinder you from practicing Yoga. Here are a few key factors that you need to consider before jumping into yoga.
Consult your doctor: Your doctor should be your first point of contact; before you join Yoga classes, make sure that you get his approval because people with heart problems and back issues are likely to experience side effects of Yoga that can result in preterm labor.
Do not go overboard: You might feel like stretching your exercise duration in an attempt to get better and quicker result, but it is way too risky because you might just strain yourself. Therefore, keep a healthy yoga regime. In fact, shorter period of yoga practiced frequently can bring more satisfying results than strenuous exercise.
Be aware: It is important that you remain mindful while practicing yoga. Follow the wisdom of your body. If you cannot speak normally, then it is a sign that the body is not responding to the yoga or you are getting exhausted. So, ensure that you maintain the balance and avoid overdoing yoga.
Be careful of certain postures: It is important to take a considerable amount of care while performing certain yoga postures. The below mentioned are a few things that you need to avoid or pay attention during the practice.
- Forward bends: The deep forward bending postures can compress the connecting blood vessels and nerves to the uterus that can result in a complication. Hence, ensure that you perform wide-legged forward bend to keep things flowing perfectly.
- Deep twists: While performing twists, ensure that you keep the abdominal and hip twist to the minimum because it can impact circulation.
- Lying on the back: During the second trimester, you have to be a bit careful about the yoga postures that require you to lie flat on the back. It is advisable that you avoid lying down for a long period because the excessive weight of the uterus intervenes, the flow of blood and nutrients that your baby needs. Also, this can cause lower back pain, increase blood pressure and heartburn. It is recommended that you use props like bolster or blocks to keep the torso up instead of keeping it flat.
- Poses for the abs: Since it is difficult to support the body weight with rectus abdominus it is the muscles that appear when you have six-pack abs, use your obliques the abs muscles that are at the side of the belly, but extremely strong side abs can cause a condition called diastasis. Therefore, it is advisable that you stay away from poses that target your core especially the side abs.
- Be careful of backbends: For pro yoga practitioners it could be a little easy to perform advanced backbend like the Full Wheel. But for the newbie, it is prescribed because it needs flexibility and doing it wrong can result in diastasis. Therefore, it is good to keep backbend exercises simple and make sure that you do not overstretch.
- Inversions: As you are asked to avoid horse riding and skiing, you also need to be careful about the yoga poses that make you prone to falling back. Since your center of gravity shifts as you proceed towards the third trimester, and the belly weight tends to throw you out off balance, it is advisable that you avoid doing inversions.
- Hot Yoga: During the pregnancy, you feel the heat. Even while sitting in an air-conditioned car, you sweat a lot. Let’s get real; I mean, super hot pregnant mamas sweating 24 X 7, does it look glamorous? I was asking myself, Erin, what’s happening? Bring on the deodorants. So, avoid Bikram yoga, you have the whole life to experience the hot yoga. But for now, just forget it and hydrate yourself with fruit juices, not with body sprays.
Besides taking precautionary measures, you should also be doing some standing mountain, child posture, cow and other yoga practices that are good for pregnancy. However, you have to be under the expert’s supervision.
Are you newly pregnant? Just got the exciting news? Hold on, take a deep breath, call your yoga teacher to let him/her know before your belly shows and you are ready to pop. The earlier you communicate, the earlier they can be aware and offer modifications and support.
“Don’t be afraid or feel shy to ask for help or to say “Today is a hard day!” Or reach out to a friend. Pregnancy can be emotionally exhausting as well as physically.
Let your friends and family support you. I have had to ask my husband for a lot of help during my third pregnancy, which was hard for me. But, it was my job to take care of myself and the baby and asking for help was OK! I guess. And it should be considered as a need of the moment, no as a challenge to your sense of self-sufficiency.
Finally, keep yourself away from an addictive substance such as alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine because these substances can harm you and the baby alike.
Combined with prenatal yoga, other remedies and precautions can lead you to a smoother birthing experience.Yoga can also help you in coping with pregnancy-related stress and expedite the after-birth recovery process. So, be attentive, be informed, read a lot, eat healthy, feel good and stay in touch with your doctor, and eventually, you will be a happy mama.