Yoga, an ancient practice developed in Northern India over 5,000 years ago, helps to balance your body and mind. It’s three principles — exercise, breathing, and meditation — are beneficial for you and #baby .
Maintaining a regular yoga practice can provide physical and mental health benefits.
The relaxation techniques incorporated in yoga can lessen chronic pain, such as lower back pain, arthritis, headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Yoga can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia. Other physical benefits of yoga include:
- Increased flexibility (a good preparation for labor)
- Increased muscle strength (a good preparation for labor)
- Improved respiration, energy and vitality
- Balanced metabolism
- Mental benefits
Yoga helps you to manage stress, which is known to have negative effects on you and your child. In pregnant women, high levels of stress and the corresponding increases in levels of cortisone, can adversely affect the child’s development and increase the intensity of stretch marks. Mental benefits of yoga, therefore, can potentially include:
- Less stress
- Better sleep
- Optimal development of your child
- Fewer stretch marks
Though yoga is one of the best exercises for pregnant women, there are several measures you should take to get the most out of your workout. For example, do not attempt any back poses after your first trimester as it could reduce blood flow to your brain and uterus. When bending downward, lead with your breastbone. When you twist, do so with your shoulders, not your belly. Try not to stretch yourself too much, especially your abdomen. If something hurts, avoid it.
Yoga third trimester
Once you turn the corner into your third trimester, your baby’s growth is accelerating and you may be experiencing a whole new batch of aches and pains. Yoga within the third trimester focuses on preparing the body for labor and encouraging the baby to move into an optimal fetal position. It should be done carefully and under supervision.
- The Benefits of Yoga, American Osteopathic Association (https://osteopathic.org/what-is-osteopathic-medicine/benefits-of-yoga/ )
- Yoga in the Third Trimester, Prenatal Yoga Center (https://prenatalyogacenter.com/blog/mommybites-yoga-in-the-3rd-trimester/ )
- Prenatal Yoga, Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/prenatal-yoga/art-20047193 )
- Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (https://nccih.nih.gov )