Hot Yoga While Pregnancy
The million-dollar question: Is it safe to practice hot yoga during the course of pregnancy? The answer is not very clear when it comes to this question, as no former research has been done to date. Yet, weve still managed to conclude the results as a NO!
Hot yoga means excessive heat, resulting in an increased risk of defects in the neural tube and malformations of fetuses exposed to the heat. Exposure to such heat is not good for the babys health, which is why pregnancy with hot yoga is not a very good idea, especially in the trimester.
It may cause heat exertion, fainting, and dehydration by affecting the blood pressure and hormones during pregnancy. It also increases the chances of dangerous diseases in the baby like gastroschisis, esophageal atresia, omphalocele, spina bifida, and anencephaly. The risk of biomechanical issues also rises, which manifests in the last months of pregnancy.
The Takeaway On First Trimester Prenatal Yoga
As always in your yoga practice but especially during pregnancy, listen to your body! If something feels wrong, it is. Pay attention to what your body tells you and adjust accordingly.
Your body is intuitive and incredibly knowledgeable on its own. Learn to trust your innate wisdom and you will never be led astray.
Pay attention to what your body tells you and adjust accordingly.
Recognize that your body and your life are going through some pretty drastic and exciting changes. So adapt as you need to and enjoy the journey.
And know that your yoga practice whether its a sweaty flow or a soothing pranayama practice will always be there to support you along the way.
You Can Still Exercise
If you decide to skip hot yoga or if your doctor recommends against it, dont worry! You can still do yoga. There are a lot of modifications that you can do to safely practice throughout your pregnancy, like avoiding deep backbends and twists. The weight of the baby shifts your center of gravity and increases the risk of injury for some manoeuvres.
Some women have a difficult time with pregnancy. They may feel like theyre not themselves anymore. There is a lot you have to give up.
Not only are you not supposed to drink alcohol but there are also several foods you arent supposed to eat, like lunch meat and sushi. Its important to remember that pregnancy is not a disease and that it is temporary. Focus on the unique changes occurring in your body and do your best to make fitness a priority by doing activities that are safe.
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Bikram Yoga During Pregnancy
This information is for women who wish to get the full benefits of practising Bikram Yoga during pregnancy. There are a number of modifications to the standard Bikram yoga postures outlined below.
If you are a regular student before your pregnancy you can just continue with your practice if you feel ok, or you can wait for the first 12 weeks and then start again with the modified postures.
If you have never practiced Bikram yoga before then start after the first 12 weeks stand by the door or window.
A Healthier Happier Pregnancythrough Yoga
Yoga is a great way to relieve pain. Women whopractice yoga while pregnant can experience reductions in:
- Back pain
- Preeclampsia risk, or high blood pressureduring pregnancy
- Laborpain, potentially due to improved core strength
Unlike other forms of prenatal exercise, whichfocus on physical effects, yoga also has been shown to have many psychologicalbenefits for moms-to-be, such as lowering levels of anxiety and depression, which can help youhave a happier, more balanced pregnancy. While we dont recommend complicatedposes in the delivery room, the breathing and relaxation techniques can help relieve pain during labor.
After baby comes home from the hospital, yogahas been shown to reduce the effects of postpartum depression, aserious concern for many women. On the physical side, yoga can help withre-establishing core strength, which can minimize the risks of pelvic floordisorders related to childbirth.
These benefits can help you manage thestresses of work, life, and family concerns during and after your pregnancy. Socarve out an hour to focus on yourself and the new life youre creating itcan do so much good for you and your baby!
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Dont Practice Hot Yoga If Youve Never Done It Before
This is a big rule of thumb for expecting mothers when it comes to fitness. When youre pregnant, stick to what you know and avoid adding any new, vigorous forms of exercise.
Lets say you are a consistent runner, and you find out you are ten weeks pregnant. Maybe you choose to add in prenatal yoga or more daily walks. But you probably wouldnt sign up for a Crossfit class series or drop in sprint intervals to each run, right? Common sense says yes, and your body does, too. The same is true for hot yoga. If youve never taken a hot yoga class, save it for after your pregnancy.
To Surrender Or Not To Surrender
Rather than rely on willpower to feel in control during pregnancy and birth, use yoga to help you listen to your body and respond calmly. ~Francoise Freedman
As a prenatal yoga teacher trained in tradition of Janet Balaskas Active Birth and inspired by Vanda Scaravelli, Ive been always slightly perplexed by the phenomenon of hot yoga during pregnancy. To me, pregnancy is a magical time of letting go, surrendering and accepting change with grace. It is also a period when we begin to forge a bond with the yet unborn baby. In Swahili, mother and baby are called Mamatoto Motherbaby. I feel this is a great illustration of what pregnancy really is: a union of mother and child. Not-so-coincidentally, the word yoga can be translated as union. Do we really need to add the word hot to it?
To me, hot yoga is a sign of the times. The focus is on performance, linear sequence, control and physical appearance. Yet birth is an ultimate opening. Labour and motherhood will bring new unpredictability and vulnerability into your life. Above anything else though, this is the most important question: would Rajashree yoga serve you and your baby well? Meditate on that before making your choice.
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Yoga And Pregnancy: A Safe Effective Fitness Option For Moms
This article is authored in part by Salena Quinlan Shults, Owner/Instructor, Yoga on Main.
Some things just go together, like peanutbutter and jelly or Sonny and Cher. For us, yoga and pregnancy belong in thatlist as well. Yoga has been shown to help improve heart health, reduce depression symptoms, and relieve chronic pain, among many otherbenefits.
In recent years, weve seen a large increasein the popularity of yoga. The 2016 Yoga in America Study found that 36.7 million Americans practice yoga, up from20.4 million in 2012. Of those practitioners, 72 percent are female.
Many pregnant women do yoga throughout theirentire pregnancies, just as both of us did. Some women might wonder if itssafe for them and their developing babies to practice to full term, and otherswho want to start practicing might be nervous about it.
Expectant moms often ask us when they have tostop doing yoga, and the answer is: You dont! We highly recommend yoga for most pregnant women, both from our personaland professional experiences. Yoga has several benefits that are specific topregnancy and recovery. Below, we outline how it helps, suggest poses to try,and offer tips for finding the perfect instructor.
Reclined Bound Angle Pose
This super soothing and restorative posture is always a winner in first trimester Prenatal Yoga classes. Its relaxing, supported, and just enough.
Lets try it:
- Lay a bolster down lengthwise on your mat and come to sit in front of it
- Place your hands behind you to support your weight and slowly release your spine down onto the bolster behind you
- Draw the soles of your feet to touch and open your knees out wide. You may wish to slide blocks underneath your knees to support their weight. Your feet can draw in toward your pelvis or slide away toward the end of the mat
- If youd like, you can roll up a blanket or a towel to slide it underneath your neck for extra support
- Relax your arms by your sides or open out wide into a T-shape or reach them up over your head choose whatever feels most comfortable for you
- Soften your gaze or close your eyes and surrender into this shape for as long as youd like
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Prenatal Yoga Poses For First Trimester:
In this stage of your pregnancy, most poses are fair fame. But, depending on how many babies you’re carrying and how quickly your body changes, you might want to start avoiding deeper forward folds at the end of the first trimester. Instead, try taking a wider stance with your legs to make room for your growing belly.
Focus On Bikram Yoga And Pregnancy
Ever wondered about pregnancy and your Bikram yoga practice? BYC chats to two mothers to be about their experience practicing Bikram, during pregnancy. Aileen Keohane, who began practicing at BYC over a year ago, and Dia, a Bikram teacher who began teaching at BYC when it opened in 2011.
.Dont forget to view our link to Bikram yoga pregnancy postures
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Third Trimester: Focus On Restorative Opening Poses
By now, you are really starting to feel your pregnancy. The fatigue has returned, and your belly is growing more every day. There may be some swelling, there is definitely some heartburn and/or indigestion, you’re probably having trouble finding a comfortable position to sleep in, and there are many aches and pains thanks to your ever-changing body.
Your yoga practice now should be entirely about opening, preparing for birth , and nurturing yourself and your growing offspring. If you haven’t already, now is definitely the time to get into a prenatal class or find some prenatal yoga routines online.
Is Hot Yoga While Pregnant Safe
Though hot yoga while pregnant hasnt really been studied, most instructors will encourage you to check with your doctor before participating in a hot yoga class.
Hot yoga poses might be more susceptible. Risks include excessively high body temperature during hot yoga. Overheating can cause you to faint, and your additional weight can cause injuries. In addition if a pregnant womans temperature gets too high, it could cause problems for the fetus.
Hot yoga is very vigorous and involves temperatures as high as 105 degrees with as much as 40 percent humidity. Thats a really intense environment that puts a lot of stress on the body so it is always best to talk to your doctor before attending a class.
Every situation is different. If youve never taken a hot yoga class before, starting when youre pregnant is not a good idea.
When youre pregnant, the best thing is to stick to what your body knows and maintain the same level of intensity. That said, if youve been doing hot yoga for a while and your body is used to the intensity, your doctor may say its okay to continue with modifications.
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Moms Who Have Practiced Hot/bikram Yoga While Pregnant
I recognize this may not be popular, however, I know I am not alone.
After much thought and after reading much research, I have decided to continue my hot yoga practice through my pregnancy. I have practiced for years, and recently I have been practicing 5-6 times a week .
One week ago, I found myself four weeks pregnant. My regular OB is in SC, and I live in NY now , so, I have to meet a new OB, who I am assuming is unfamiliar with the Bikram practice and the studies around it.
I’m afraid she will shut me down immediately when I share my choice .
I want to go in to this new doctor able to advocate for continuing my practice in the most concrete way possibleso, I am looking for other moms who either practiced during their pregnancy or are currently practicing pregnant.
I would love to hear about your experiences
My main questions are:
- How did you effectively/accurately monitor your core temp .
- What months did you practiced and
- Most importantly how did you have this conversation with your doctor.
The more concrete information I have from folks who have been on my mat the better! And, please, no berating me for a potentially unpopular choice. I didnt make it lightly, but it is mine to make .
Much gratitude and Namaste!
If youre interested in some of the research I did, and ways Ive already gathered information, a brief summary is below.
I found that there are about 3000 cases of Neural Tube Defects in the US yearly.
Is Doing Yoga Teacher Training During Pregnancy Safe
The answer to the question of doing YTT while pregnant is not black and white. In fact, Ive heard an array of answers ranging from, How dare she sign up for YTT while pregnant! to, Of course she can do YTT if shes pregnant. The point here is that every yoga teacher training school has a completely different opinion on this topic so if youre pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant during yoga school, it is essential that you check with the schools policy on this topic before signing up. It is also essential that you get the okay from your doctor and that your due date is way past the completion date of your teacher training. You dont want to get stuck in a situation where your training gets interrupted because your baby decided to make a slightly early appearance.
Once youve received the ok from the doc and the yoga school, look into what your potential yoga program includes. I believe one of the main reasons theories around YTT and pregnancy differ so greatly is because the amount of strenuous physical asana and pranayama work varies significantly from program to program. Some programs focus mainly on the esoteric and philosophical component of yoga while others are strictly posture-based.
Nevertheless, the above precautions are in place because mindfulness isnt always easy! In yoga, as in life, ts really important to pay attention to your body and your boundaries.
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Should You Exercise While Pregnant
The short answer is yes. Prenatal exercise helps you sleep more restfully and builds stamina. Some yoga poses, can help strengthen and relax the pelvic floor as well as reduce stress and depression.You might have to change the way you exercise or try different yoga poses have been shown to lower blood pressureheart rate.
If you led an active lifestyle before you got pregnant, then your body can handle slightly more intense workouts. However, if you weren’t active, avoid intense physical activity, as it won’t be good for you or the baby. Just take it slow.
You must listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself, or you will tire more quickly. Take more regular breaks if necessary. Don’t be put off by this, you’re growing a human. It’s tiring!
Common Prenatal Yoga Questions
Before you go, there are a few topics I want to address regarding common prenatal yoga concerns.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it cleared up any concerns youve had about prenatal yoga and provided you with useful tools to keep up your practice during pregnancy.
If you have any questions, please leave them below and I will do my best to answer them!
Looking for more prenatal exercise info? Check out these posts:
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Why You Should Avoid Practicing Or Teaching Hot Yoga While Pregnant
The first few weeks of your pregnancy are delicate and fragile.
Your babys body is forming at a rapid pace, and the risk of miscarriage is higher than in later pregnancy.
Strenuous poses that involve deep twisting and the added physical stress of extreme heat are not recommended.
A pregnant womans body temperature should not rise to the point of overheating as this can lead to severe complications and adverse fetal outcomes.
Studies show that drastic increases in core temperature , especially in the first trimester, can double the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida.
Given the research, most OB-GYNs instruct patients to avoid baths with water hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, hot tubs, and saunas.
Physical activity performed in a heated environment causes you to sweat more, which in turn causes increased heart rate, blood pressure, decreased blood volume, and loss of fluids and electrolytes.
All of these factors can put stress on your baby.
Make sure youre drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially after your workout.
Pregnancy is a time of constant changes both externally and inside your body.
Hormone levels are in constant fluctuation during pregnancy, and your body produces more relaxin hormone.