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Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal Yoga

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Prenatal yoga has great physical and mental benefits for new moms-to-be. This type of exercise is becoming increasingly popular as it is a wonderful way to stay fit without the risk of higher intensity exercises. Prenatal yoga will increase your flexibility and improve balance and circulation, all without stress on your bones and joints. Even if you've never tried yoga before, the gentle exercises and breathing techniques will be extremely helpful for pregnancy, labor and recovery afterwards.

Prenatal yoga has many physical benefits, such as helping to align posture so that the heavier weight of your expanding breasts and stomach doesn't cause as much strain on your body. It can alleviate pain such as backache and soothe stressed muscles through stretching. Prenatal yoga can also help regulate sleep, as you're more relaxed and less likely to suffer from insomnia or sleep problems.

Prenatal yoga is unique as it utilizes deep breathing techniques which will come in very handy during your labor and delivery. When the body is nervous and afraid, it decreases the production of oxytocin and increases adrenalin. This can slow labor, but with breathing exercises your body will relax and be more prepared to deliver your baby. Additionally, yoga will assist you with focus, which is an important part of your labor.

Taking a prenatal yoga class has the added benefit of allowing you to socialize with other pregnant women. It's nice to meet other people who can understand any fears and concerns you may have, and who can provide support during pregnancy. Exercising with other pregnant women will also motivate you to continue exercising.

As pregnancy progresses, yoga exercises will be modified to accommodate your growing body. During the first trimester, more stretches and positions can be done, but as you move into your second and third trimester you won't be able to hold positions for as long, or do any poses that require you to be on your back. Each trimester has different exercises and positions, and you can trust that a prenatal yoga instructor is qualified in making your exercise program efficient and safe for your pregnancy.

It's best to opt for a prenatal yoga class rather than regular yoga classes as the exercises will be tailored for pregnant women and will prevent stress or injury to your body. Regular yoga classes often emphasize a lot of abdominal stretches, which can mean your muscles may strain or tear. Bikram yoga should definitely be avoided, as it involves a heated room (up to 90 degrees) and this can cause pregnant women to overheat.

Contact your doctor before you start any exercise program, and take it slowly. Stay hydrated and pay attention to any nausea or dizziness you experience. Avoid getting too overconfident in yoga poses the relaxin hormone released during pregnancy may convince you that you can twist yourself into a pretzel, but the pain and stiffness you feel afterwards will be proof that you can't.


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