Pregnancy is an ideal time to start yoga. The postures for beginners are simpler than most people imagine, and you’ll also meet other mums-to-be at your classes.
Yoga can help you get through your pregnancy with minimal discomfort. It also helps the birth and post-delivery stages.
Generally, pregnant mums who do yoga exercises appear healthier, both in mind and body. Their bodies are more flexible, which enables them to adapt to various positions when in labour and the ligaments are more elastic, which in turn can help to reduce labour pain.
Yoga classes help to boost circulation and also help with fluid retention. The stretching exercises relieve aches and pains.
Posture is also improved by yoga and this can help ease back problems, which are common in pregnant women.
Yoga helps to prepare you for the birth – it encourages breath and body awareness, reduces worry and teaches you to adapt to new situations.
And yoga continues to have benefits after pregnancy, too. Postnatal yoga, which can be started about six weeks after the birth, strengthening your abdominal muscles and your pelvic floor. It also helps you to get back to your pre-pregnancy shape faster.
When can I start doing yoga in pregnancy?
The best time to start yoga if you’ve never done it before is in the second trimester, after about 14 weeks.
Yoga guidelines advise you not to try postures in the first trimester, if you’re not used to them. If you do decide to practise yoga in the first trimester, keep to relaxation and breathing exercises. If you did yoga before becoming pregnant, you may want to slow down and be aware of any changes in your body.
But, to be on the safe side, I would recommend that you don’t practise yoga for the first three months.
In your second trimester, you are also less likely to feel tired and sick during a long class.
Tell your doctor or midwife before starting yoga, or any form of excercise while pregnant, especially if it’s a type you haven’t done before. You can also talk to me about any concerns you may have.
The focus in my class
We will focus on the balance between your mind, body and breath. This balance is created through:
- physical exercises and postures (asanas)
- breathing excercises(pranayama)
- relaxation and meditation
My classes begin with a warm-up session to stretch your back, arms and legs. After that, we will do postures with a focus on breath, which will help to boost your strength and endurance. Classes end with a relaxation or guided meditation session to help you to wind down and feel refreshed. Classes last for up to 75 minutes.
We will start gently and slowly and will modify the postures so that they suit your stage of pregnancy. Listen and pay attention to what your body tells you. Yoga postures are generally designed to stretch, not strain. But if you feel any pain and discomfort, stop what you are doing.
Think about gently allowing your body to open or lengthen during a posture, rather than pushing to achieve it. Take it easy, and opt for a break if you feel tired during a class. Take a bottle of water with you to sip if you feel thirsty. Also, try to eat a light snack an hour or two before my yoga class.
Yoga is a beautiful a journey, and I look forward to sharing this oneness with you.