As an expectant mother, you may be wondering whether your yoga practice should be placed on hold until after the baby comes. While you may have some understandable concerns about whether you should be attending class, we at Kula Athletic want to quell some of those fears.
Yoga during pregnancy is a great way to stay in shape as well as lower stress during the trimesters. From your yoga practice, you’ll also gain flexibility and learn breathing techniques that will help you feel more comfortable during labour. When done appropriately and with a trained professional, yoga can be a completely safe form of exercise for you to explore during your pregnancy.
Things to keep in mind
Even if you’ve been practicing yoga for years, you’re going to have to take some precautions and adjustments to make sure you stay safe.
- Professional advice – before signing up for a class, talk to your doctor. They will be able to clear you for yoga and maybe recommend an exercise schedule
- Find the right style – the best practices are going to be prenatal, or more restorative styles like hatha. Vinyasa and power yoga are likely going to push you past a normal level of cardio for pregnant women, and hot yoga, or Bikram, is discouraged completely (you can read more on the different types of yoga in our blog post)
- Find a studio that is cool – like we mentioned, you don’t want to attend a hot yoga class, but some studios like to keep things nice and cozy, even if they aren’t advertising Bikram. Make sure to ask before you sign up if the room will be cool and ventilated
- Stay hydrated – as relaxed and focused as you’ll be on your poses, it’s easy to forget to drink water. However, anytime that you exercise, you need to make sure you’re drinking water and avoid dehydration
- Be mindful of poses – if you’re taking a class that isn’t designed specifically for pregnant women, you’re going to have to take extra precautions to avoid unsafe poses. For instance, steer clear of inversions, spinal twists, and any poses that require you to put pressure on your belly. Even deep folds can be dangerous, so make sure to ask your instructor for alternative poses
- Make sure to check in – overall, you will probably be able to tell if things aren’t right. You should stop if you start to feel discomfort, pain or cramping
Whether you’re completely new to yoga or have been practicing for years, coming into the practice during pregnancy is not only exciting and fun, but also beneficial to you and your baby. You’ll reap the benefits of stress relief, flexibility, and exercise, which will help ease the months of pregnancy and prepare you for labour.
So don’t hesitate! Get in touch with your doctor and start rolling out that mat!
If you enjoyed this post you can read more at Kula Athletic's blog.