Find a balance with prenatal yoga
The benefits of physical fitness for birth and post-birth recovery.
The ancient practice of yoga is a great way to stay fit when you’re expecting, and prenatal yoga classes are getting more popular by the day. But yoga’s benefits aren’t just about toned muscles.
Staying fit while you’re pregnant is important as it helps you cope with the extra stress that pregnancy places on your body, especially during childbirth, and also enables you recover faster afterwards. Regular practice will help tone your muscles, give you better balance, and help improve your circulation due to the focus on breathing. Yoga also helps to sharpen your focus while at the same time making you more relaxed. In addition, attending prenatal yoga classes is a great way to meet other pregnant women and form a healthy, supportive community.
Another great thing about yoga is that by selecting appropriate poses most pregnant women can do it from the first trimester right through to the third. However, before you grab your mat and head over to your nearest studio, check in with your doctor to ensure that it’s safe for you to do so. It’s also important to find a studio that offers specific prenatal classes. The instructors who teach these classes are usually trained in prenatal yoga, and will be mindful of the postures that should be avoided, such as inversions, lying on your back, and those that put too much strain on your abdominal muscles.
Once you’ve found a class, keep in mind that even if you’re quite advanced in your practice, you might not be able to perform all the poses you used to, so set yourself realistic goals, and don’t overdo it by holding poses for too long. It’s also important to stay hydrated and cool, so steer clear of any type of hot yoga, such as Bikram.
Pace yourself and listen to your body, it will tell you when it’s time to slow down or stop. Finally, take a deep breath and enjoy the experience, because once the baby is born you might not be able to get to your mat as often as you’d like.
Remember, eating healthy is essential when you’re pregnant, and a diet including fish rich in Omega 3 fats like pilchards is a great way to get the energy your body needs to stay fit and strong.
Have you changed your eating or exercise habits during pregnancy?