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What is Prenatal Yoga?

What is Prenatal Yoga?

Prenatal yoga can be an excellent exercise to help you prepare for childbirth. This article will provide you with the necessary information about prenatal yoga exercises that may be right for you!

While pregnant, women often look for ways they can stay relaxed or fit. Prenatal yoga may be one of these considerations. However, you have to identify the kind of prenatal yoga that will help you in your preparation for yoga that will also enhance the health of your baby.

You must understand the possible benefits of prenatal yoga, and activities carried out in a typical class and essential safety tips.


What can you gain from prenatal yoga?

Like any other childbirth preparation classes, prenatal yoga use various approaches to exercise that supports mental centering, stretching, and focused breathing. Multiple studies have shown that it is safe for pregnant women to engage in prenatal yoga and that it has significant benefits to pregnant women and their babies. Some of the benefits you can get by participating in prenatal yoga include;


  • Improvement in sleep

  • Stress and anxiety reduction

  • Enhance strength, flexibility and muscle endurance you will need during childbirth

  • Reduces the chances of experience low back pain, headaches, shortness of breath, and nausea.

Apart from the mentioned benefits, prenatal yoga will help you in meeting and bonding with other expectant mothers. It will also help you in the possible stress and anxieties you may experience after childbirth.



What happens in a typical prenatal yoga class?

Activities in a regular yoga class may include;

Breathing: Your instructor will encourage you to pay attention to in and out breathing; you will also have a deep breath through the nose. The breathing technique helps in reducing or managing shortness of breath that you are likely to experience in your pregnancy period and during labor contractions.

Gentle stretching: Your instructor will also encourage you to gently move different areas of your body, such as arms and neck, in their full range of motions.

Postures: While doing prenatal yoga, you will be needed to slowly move your body into various positions while standing, sitting, or lying down. These movements aim at strength development and enhancement of flexibility and balance. Blankets, belts, and cushions are some of the props that may be used to provide you with support and comfort that you may need.

Relaxation: As your prenatal yoga class comes to an end, you will be needed to relax your muscles and allow your heart rate and breathing rhythm to normalize. Your instructor might encourage you to listen to your breathing, pay attention to sensation and emotions, or repeat a word that brings inner calm and self-awareness.


Are there yoga styles that pregnant women should not do?

Yoga exists in several styles, which may be rigorous or lighter. Prenatal yoga, restorative yoga, and hatha yoga are some of the yoga styles that are best for pregnant women. However, before joining any yoga class, be sure to talk to your instructor about your pregnancy.

Hot yoga should be avoided as possible as it involves engaging in dynamic poses in a heated room. For instance, in some styles of hot yoga, the room could be heated to about 105 F at a humidity of 40%. Hot yoga can result in a dangerous increase in body temperature, causing a health condition called hyperthermia.


Does prenatal yoga follow particular safety guidelines?

There are fundamental safety guidelines that protect your health and the health of your baby. These include;

Talking to your healthcare provider; before you start your prenatal yoga classes, ensure that your healthcare provider confirms that it is safe for you.

Setting realistic goals; Mild exercises that run for 30-60 minutes is best for most pregnant women. The practice can be done up to five times a week. Despite this, less frequent or shorter workouts will help you stay in shape and prepare for labor.

Pacing yourself; Be cautious of signs that will show that you are pushing yourself too hard. Such symptoms include the inability to speak normally while doing prenatal yoga.

Staying cool and hydrated; Avoid overheating by ensuring your prenatal yoga programs are in a room that is well-ventilated and drinking plenty of water.

Avoid specific postures: Bend your hips and not your back when doing poses as it will help you maintain a normal spine curvature. It is often advised that you avoid twisting poses that may exert pressure on your abdomen. An alternative to these is moving your upper back, rib cage, or shoulder to modify poses that need twisting.

You can use props during postures as your pregnancy progresses to contain the center of gravity changes if you are unsure if a pose may be safe or unsafe, ask for guidance from your instructor.

Avoid overdoing: Your body and feelings will always tell you when you are doing too much. It is recommended that you start on slower motions and avoid postures that are beyond your level of comfort or experience. Also, do not stretch beyond the extent you would stretch before your pregnancy. In case of any pain or any alarming sign, such as a change in the movement of the fetus or vaginal bleeding during prenatal yoga, you need to stop and reach out to your healthcare provider.


Choosing a prenatal yoga class

While considering a pregnant yoga class, you should look for a program that has an instructor who is certified in Prenatal Yoga. You can become a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher (RPYT) by completing 85 training hours of training, as well as completing 30 hours of teaching in the field.


Learn more about Prenatal Yoga Teacher certification