The sight of expectant mothers in their colorful yoga attire, sitting down cross-legged with eyes closed in meditation, is common in this day and age.
Visit any yoga studio in the country and chances are, there will always be a class of expectant mothers eager to do the discipline in hopes that doing so will translate to healthy and wellness.
Research suggests that there is plenty of reason for mothers-to-be to engage in yoga. Among others, it improves sleep; reduces stress and anxiety levels; and decreases lower back pain, and shortness of breath, risk of preterm labor, intrauterine growth and pregnancy-induced hypertension. It is likewise credited for increasing the flexibility, strength, and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth.
What To Expect From A Prenatal Yoga Class?
If this is your first time to do prenatal yoga, these are some of the things that you will be doing.
Breathing Exercises. One of the focal points of your yoga class will be breathing exercises and techniques. You will also be asked to make deep sounds. Breathing exercises will help you handle shortness of breathing as well as manage your labor contractions.
Postures. You will do various yoga positions which are designed to improve your strength, balance, and flexibility.
Cool down. Like other exercises, you will cool down at the end of each session. This is done to bring your heart rate and breathing to normal levels. During this stage, it is best not only to observe your breathing, thoughts and emotions, but also to say your mantra over and over again. This will bring you inner peace and calm.
What Kind of Yoga Should You Avoid?
Not all yoga are created equal. Mothers-to-be are advised to refrain from the strenuous yoga; instead, they are encouraged to do prenatal yoga and hatha, which is known as the gentle yoga. Before enrolling in any class, it is best that you discuss your concerns with the instructor. They are experts and they should be able to give the right advice.
Other Important Reminders
There are safety guidelines that mothers-to-be should observe in order to ensure safety.
Do Not Push Yourself Too Hard.
It is not advisable for pregnant women to engage in strenuous and stressful activities. Thus, prenatal yoga should last for only about 30 minutes each session five times a week. You have the option of doing this every day. What is important is for you to get sufficient physical exercise without pushing yourself to the limits.
While doing prenatal yoga, make sure that you are hydrated by drinking plenty of water or other fluids. It is also recommended that you do yoga in a well-ventilated area or room.
Know Your Limits.
Certain yoga positions or postures are absolute no-nos for expectant mothers. For example, do not lie on your back or on your belly, nor engage in deep forward or backward bends. Neither should you do inverted poses. Twists are also not recommended for mothers-to-be because it strains their abdominal area.