Yoga is the very beneficial for pregnant women. It helps them pull through the nine months of pregnancy. It also equips them for labor and childbirth.
If you’re considering a prenatal yoga class, go ahead. You’re making a wise and worthwhile decision. But before that you should understand what a typical day at a yoga class is like. Not only this, there are a few safety tips you must adhere to. There will be a yoga instructor to guide you along the way. Nevertheless, it is good to be informed.
- The first safety guideline is to inform your health care provider about your decision to enroll for prenatal yoga classes. The doctor may rule out yoga or any other form exercise if you suffer from medical conditions such as heart diseases, back problems or if you have a higher risk of miscarriage and pre-term labor.
- Take yoga classes at a fitness center or yoga studio. You may use yoga books and DVD’s to learn yoga postures and exercise otherwise. But this is not what we advise during pregnancy. In the initial stages there should be an instructor to guide you on the postures and stretches safe for your specific condition. A yoga class has additional benefits. At a prenatal yoga class you get to meet a lot of pregnant women, you can make new friends, share your pregnancy experiences, discuss concerns and support each other.
- Be careful when choosing a prenatal class. The instructor should be trained and experienced in prenatal yoga. Observe the class, the environment and the activities involved before hand.
- The place where you exercise should be properly ventilated. Overheating of the room is not good.
- Drink plenty of fluids. It will prevent dehydration.
- Yoga cannot be mastered overnight. It takes time. So, go slow.
- Your body is very loyal. It sends across signals to keep you informed at all times. If when practicing yoga you feel any discomfort or pain, stop, you may need a few alterations. If you experience red flags of pregnancy, contact your health care provider immediately.
- During the later stages of pregnancy, you can use several props such as cushions, belts and blankets for additional support and comfort.
- Pregnancy changes the center of gravity. Therefore, during the second and third trimester use props for support or place your heels against a wall to prevent loss of balance when doing standing poses.
- Take a break when you feel tired and worn out.
- Do not attend a regular yoga class. Special prenatal classes are held for pregnant women. If you have been practicing yoga even before you got pregnant, you should tell your instructor about your pregnancy. He will customize the yoga to meet the requirements of your stage of pregnancy.
- Bikram Yoga or hot yoga is an absolute no during pregnancy. It involves performing yoga poses in a room heated to high temperature of 100-110 F degrees. This form of yoga raises the body temperature which is not desirable during pregnancy. It could result in a condition called hyperthermia.
- Certain yoga postures are not recommended for pregnant women. The first is asanas that involve lying on the back or the stomach. It blocks the flow of blood to the uterus and may cause nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath. The second are twisting postures that put immense pressure on the abdominal muscles. You should also avoid forward and backward bends.
- Avoid very strenuous postures. The body releases relaxin, a hormone to relax the joints and muscles, to accommodate the growing baby. This increases the risk of injury such as a strain, a pull or a tear.
- Avoid inverted postures.