Your pregnancy yoga guide
Your guide to how yoga in pregnancy can benefit you
Keeping active and exercising during pregnancy is good for both you and your baby. There’s no need to overdo it, but up to 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day will not do any harm, and yoga is one exercise that can really help you relax and bond with your bump.
What is pregnancy yoga?
You may not be surprised to hear that it’s exactly the same as normal yoga; using breathing techniques and stretches to help you relax, calming both mind and body, which can come in handy further down the line in pregnancy and during labour.
Benefits of pregnancy yoga include helping to increase flexibility, muscle tone and circulation, along with improving your overall emotional and mental wellbeing, due to the breathing techniques being akin to mediation.
Is pregnancy yoga safe?
Performing yoga during your pregnancy is safe as long as you’re careful and don’t perform certain movements. The benefit of yoga is that you can go at your own pace and only try things that you’re comfortable with, so it doesn't matter if you’ve never tried it before being pregnant.
As you move further through your pregnancy, the amount and types of yoga movements you can perform should be considered.
From your second trimester it’s best to avoid any movements or poses that involve laying on your back as this can restrict the blood flow to your uterus.
Of course your bump will also be growing, meaning some poses will be harder to perform, both from a movement and breathing point of view, whilst your centre of gravity will also shift, meaning it’s a good idea to avoid doing any one-leg poses without the support of a chair or wall.
It’s also a good idea to steer clear of bikram or ‘hot’ yoga as this can be quite stressful on your body and the extreme heat could impact your baby's health.
The most important thing is to listen to your body and not overdo it. Start with simple movement that don’t risk strains or injuries and only perform new poses if and when you feel comfortable to.
What are the benefits of pregnancy yoga?
Performing yoga regularly comes with many benefits and practicing yoga during your pregnancy is a great way to help get in touch with your own body and your baby bump.
Spending time practicing yoga will give you time to relax and slow down, which can be the ideal time to feel baby movements, and get used to how they and your bump feels as it grows through your pregnancy.
The breathing techniques you use in yoga can also be helpful for breathing techniques to use during labour.
Where can I do pregnancy yoga?
The advantage of yoga is that you can do it at home or in a group at a yoga class. Joining a class is a great way to learn the basics and also a way to meet other mum's-to-be. If you’ve not done any yoga before, it can be more comforting to join a class and learn the moves properly before giving them a go yourself at home.
Just be sure to let your instructor know that you’re pregnant and which trimester you’re in so that they don’t ask you to attempt anything that could put your baby at risk.