Many medical health professionals have acknowledged the role that pregnancy yoga can play in ensuring safe delivery in pregnancy. Pregnancy yoga includes certain exercises or asanas that require women to move or hold their body in various positions.
This yoga provides a great deal of flexibility to the body. As the ligaments become a lot more elastic due to pregnancy yoga many women are able to go through the pregnancy labor in a better way. With these yoga exercises women are able to handle their pregnancy physically and emotionally a lot better than other women.
Pregnancy yoga can also help in reducing labor pain. The exercises in this yoga can help in alleviating aches and pains. Yoga exercises also help women to improve their posture. Many pregnant women experience back problems and pregnancy yoga helps in reducing the back pain. Yoga is also excellent in reducing tension, stress and worry and helps women to adapt to the situation in a better manner.
Pregnancy yoga helps in strengthening of the abdominal muscles in women and they can get back to their pre pregnancy shape much faster. In fact post natal yoga can be practiced by women as early as six weeks after giving birth to the baby. Yoga gently tries to stretch certain areas and parts of the body so as to keep the muscles supple and active. Yoga is also beneficial as it relieves edema or fluid retention which is common among pregnant women.
Yoga also helps in reducing nausea and morning sickness and promoting a general feeling of wellbeing among the women. It helps in stimulating appetite and relieves stress and tension. Yoga allows for ease in opening of the pelvis so as to ensure that the labor process becomes easier and less stressful.
Pregnancy yoga also helps in post natal stages as it helps in restoring the abdomen, uterus and pelvic floor. It also helps in relieving breast discomfort and upper back tension. Yoga also helps in influencing the baby’s position and if needed turns the baby’s position in advance.
It is advisable for women to undertake any pregnancy exercise only under proper medical supervision and guidance. Likewise if the woman has been taking yoga classes during the pre pregnancy days then the instructor should be notified about the pregnancy.
While doing pregnancy yoga, exercises or asanas that require the pregnant woman to lie on the back should not be done. This can limit the blood that flows towards the uterus. Poses that put too much pressure on muscles particularly the abdominal muscles should be avoided.
After the second trimester standing poses should be done taking the support of chair or the wall so as to avoid falling over and causing injury. Pregnancy yoga should not be done in an overheated room as it can cause damage to the fetus. While twisting in asanas, twist from the shoulders than the waist so as to avoid putting excessive pressure on the abdomen.
If any asanas or exercises seem uncomfortable then these should be modified or should not be practiced. Some pregnancy yoga exercises that can be practiced include butterfly stretch, triangle pose, side angle pose and standing forward bend (with the help of a chair). Some asanas that should be avoided include backbends, handstands, headstands, poses that require balancing on one leg and upward bow.