Dont Be Afraid To Slow Down Or Skip Your Practice Altogether
Make sure that your ego doesnt get in the way when you practice yoga.
Your body has excellent muscle memory and, even if you lower your intensity and lose some strength and muscle mass, youll be able to recover that after pregnancy.
Feel free to slow down, rest in Childs Pose, attend a lower intensity class, or skip a class altogether if you need rest.
You can join a Prenatal Yoga class instead of going to regular yoga. Or you can simply drop your intensity level if you do not want to go to Prenatal Yoga that or if its not available in your area.
How To Find The Right Yoga Class Andinstructor
Though most forms of yoga are safe forexpecting moms, we recommend looking specifically for a prenatal yoga class,especially if youve never done yoga before. Prenatal yoga classes are tailoredspecifically for pregnant women. If you want to start yoga during yourpregnancy but no prenatal yoga classes are available, start with a gentle yogaclass for beginners.
Once youve found the class you want, call thestudio and ask to speak with the owner or instructor. Let them know yourepregnant, and ask about the experience and knowledge of the instructor who willbe teaching your class. Though its not mandatory that all yoga teachers becertified, maintains a database of certified, registered yogainstructors that offer prenatal yoga. These instructors are required to meet educational standards inteaching methodology, human anatomy and physiology, and practical trainings.
Yoga played a huge role in our pregnancies,and its a wonderful exercise and stress-relief option for moms-to-be. Talk toyour doctor for more information about incorporating yoga into your pregnancyroutine, or request an appointment for more information.
Expectant moms often ask us when they have to stop doing yoga, and the answer is: You dont!
Jamie Morgan, M.D.
Benefits Of Being Physically Fit During Pregnancy
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists shares that there are numerous benefits to exercise during pregnancy. Along with maintaining your overall fitness and helping promote a healthy weight during pregnancy, being active may help you shed pounds faster after your baby is born.
- helps with aches and pains, like back pain
- promotes good digestion, easing
- decreases the risk of potential health issues, including and gestational diabetes
- decreases your chances of delivering via cesarean section, also known as a C-section
- keeps your cardiovascular system strong
Experts from the ACOG recommend that you engage in moderate exercise for 150 minutes each week. This equates to five 30-minute sweat sessions throughout the week. How can you gauge your intensity? Well, you should be moving your body enough to raise your heart rate all while being able to carry a normal conversation.
And if youre new to working out, start small and increase your exercise slowly for the best results. Even a 5- to 10-minute workout can benefit you, and you can build up to longer sessions as you become more comfortable.
While hot yoga may not be the most ideal pregnancy workout, the good news is that yoga in normal temperature rooms can be a great part of your routine.
include things like:
- lowered stress and anxiety
- increased strength and flexibility
Do Explore Modificationsaka You Can Still Practice Yoga
The good news: whether you practice hot yoga or not, there are plenty of modifications that allow you to retain the benefits of a yoga practice in general while staying safe during pregnancy.
Stay away from deep twists, deep backbends, and middle of the room inversions, said Thomas. I always explain the why of which elements of poses should be avoided. Ive found that if students understand what is happening in their body, and why it may or may not be safe, it informs their practice. There is a common misconception that if things feel okay, than they are okay. is not always true, particularly with ab work while pregnant.
Need workouts you can do during your pregnancy? View our workouts here.
Do Talk To To Your Doctor
If youre an avid hot yoga student, the first thing to do after learning you are pregnant is to chat with your healthcare provider. He or she will help you determine what is best for your body. Some pregnancies are higher risk than others for a variety of reasons that you may not be aware of.
As soon as a student shares the excitement of a pregnancy with me, I ask them if they have talked to their doctor about hot yoga, says Tiffany Thomas, an E-RYT 200 certified yoga instructor. After checking in with what their doctor said, I outline for the prenatal student. Then I leave it to the student to decide.
Movements Or Poses In Certain Trimesters
Some exercises or positions are not suitable as you reach the second and third trimesters:
- After the first trimester, don’t exercise while you are lying on your back because the weight of your baby may push against your blood vessels and cut off supply to your baby or make you feel faint.
- As your baby becomes bigger, your centre of gravity changes so it may be more difficult to balance in poses or perform moves that previously you have been able to do. Avoid movements that may cause you to feel unbalanced or to fall.
- Hormonal changes in your pregnancy can cause your ligaments to become more relaxed which means you may be at risk of injury if you stretch too hard. Stay comfortable and do adequate warm-ups and warm-downs.
- As your body weight increases, it puts more load on your joints and pelvic floor so stay within your comfort zone and stop if you feel pain or discomfort. Walking lunges and wide squats are not recommended.
- If you develop ‘diastasis recti’ , avoid doing abdominal exercises.
Make sure you let your instructor know you are pregnant or choose a class designed specifically for pregnant women.
You’re Being Fulfilled In Other Ways
Oxytocin is the bonding hormone released when you hug, have sex and breastfeed. Before birth, touching your partner triggers the release of oxytocin that helps you feel good and bond to each other. But after giving birth, with all the snuggling and feeding, “the mother winds up getting her oxytocin from her kid,” explains clinical sexologist, Dr. Kat Van Kirk. “This transfer of emotional energy is thought to decrease sexual desire and increase responsiveness to infant stimuli in postpartum women by activating the brain regions associated with reward.”
Whether breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, the skin-to-skin contact between you and baby increases the release of oxytocin, causing you and baby to bond, ensuring that you will take care of them and they will survive.
The hormone prolactin also plays an important role in maternal behavior. Prolactin causes your breasts to grow during pregnancy and prepares them for the milk production sgtarting after birth. This hormone helps you relax while you are nursing, but it also depresses your libido. This is biology once again making sure you remain focused on the biological investment you just made in your baby.
What Is Hot Yoga
In its most simple definition, hot yoga is yoga performed in a heated room thats set to a temperature between 90 to 105F. The added degrees and humidity crank up the intensity of this workout and may help participants move deeper into poses.
There are many different types of hot yoga classes, though, so its important to know what youre getting into before you grab your mat.
For example, Bikram is a particularly vigorous form of hot yoga. Its performed in a room set to a sizzling 105F with humidity at 40 percent. In this 90-minute class, you move through a specific series of poses both standing and stretching that stress sustained holds and powerful muscle contractions.
Other forms of hot yoga involve doing the usual Hatha or Vinyasa poses in a room thats warmer than normal. The at Arizona Pain explain that some instructors may only raise the temperature to 80 degrees to add a gentle detoxification and free-flowing ambiance to whats otherwise a more traditional class.
do not recommend participating in hot yoga classes during pregnancy.
Heat and pregnancy can be a dangerous combination, especially in the early weeks when your baby is just forming. Plus, the added heat may affect your body differently with all the changes youre experiencing .
That said, there may be some exceptions, particularly if youre accustomed to this form of exercise and have practiced it for years.
These complications include:
Your Partner May Be Affected By Low Sex Drive Too
Though the research is still preliminary, elevated prolactin levels in new dads are thought to induce child-care behavior, just like in moms, while reducing testosterone levels after birth.
Studies have shown that the more dads interact with their baby, the lower their testosterone levels dip, decreasing libido and causing them to focus less on wanting to have sex and more on wanting to nurture. This serves to ensure that dads invest more energy in parental care than in making a new baby, while helping them relax and enjoy their newborn.
Will Yoga Cause A Miscarriage In The First Trimester
It is HIGHLY unlikely that yoga would cause a miscarriage, unless you were doing something crazy and landed on your belly. But even in that instance, babies are well insulated and protected in the womb so it is unlikely to cause a problem.
That being said, YOU are likely to suffer if youre pushing your body too hard in pregnancy, especially during that first trimester. Your body is already doing an incredible amount making a baby from scratch, asking your body to do too much on top of that can lead to burn out, make 1st trimester fatigue even worse and make morning sickness intolerable.
Where To Practice Prenatal Yoga
There are many ways to access prenatal yogaand early on you may even want to continue with regular yoga classes provided they aren’t too vigorous or, as noted above, in heated rooms.
You may not feel comfortable discussing your pregnancy with many people in the first trimester. But you may want to tell your yoga teacher that you are pregnant so they can assist you with modifications. Ask the teacher to be discreet if you are not yet ready to go public.
Choose A Spot With Good Air Flow
If youre practicing yoga while pregnant at a studio, arrive a little early to place near the door, where you likely receive a bit more breeze throughout the class. Its important that you stay cool during a workout as your body is not regulating your temperature the way it normally would. You can meet with your instructor beforehand to let him or her know youre pregnant. Your instructor should provide specific yoga modifications for your body and general advice for the class itself. And if youre practicing at home, you can take the same approach by practicing in a cool space or near a window to avoid overheating.
Have you seen Aaptivs maternity workouts yet? Check them out here.
Guest Post: Practicing Ashtanga Yoga During Pregnancy
August 22, 2014 By Monica Stone
Im so excited to introduce my dear friend Leah, who is in the third trimester of her second pregnancy. I first met Leah when she was in her first pregnancy at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, FL while I was working on my apprenticeship. Leah would wake up early every morning and drive to the shala to practice, and she didnt live close! Her dedication inspired me.
I remember always being a little concerned working with her because of the pregnancy. Since I have never been pregnant, I am not personally familiar with the body changes and adjustments, and I wanted to make sure I didnt push too hard, press in the wrong spot, or do anything that would cause any harm or discomfort. I would always ask to make sure everything was okay, and she would also guide me in the right direction. To my surprise, she she was able to take the same pressure in adjustments that I was giving to everyone in the shala. Her second pregnancy is completely different, which she explains below.
I reached out to Leah because I wanted to be able to share a post with my readers and practitioners who are pregnant, thinking of getting pregnant, or would like to start up their practice after pregnancy from someone who has personally experienced yoga practice and changes during this time.
What To Ask Your Ob
Your OB-GYN is another important resource for you on all things exercise and pregnancy. Again, if youve practiced hot yoga for years, bring it up and see what your OB says. There may be some cases in which continuing or modifying your practice may be OK.
Alternatively, your OB may point out other aspects of your health that make hot yoga a no-go, at least for the time being.
Some questions you might ask include:
- Are there any restrictions regarding activity that I should know about in my pregnancy?
- How hot is too hot when it comes to room temperature?
- Is hot yoga OK to do after the first trimester?
- Is yoga in a regular temperature room a good option for me?
- What other forms of exercise do you suggest I try?
- How much activity should I aim to get each week?
- How much water should I aim to drink with exercise?
- How soon after my pregnancy can I start doing hot yoga again?
Ashtanga Yoga During Pregnancy
I have been practicing Ashtanga Yoga for over 10 years and daily for about 3 years, which include two pregnancies. I established my daily practice during the second trimester of my first pregnancy with my daughter, Skylar, who is now 2 and half years old. Currently, I am 31 weeks pregnant and am still practicing daily .
Tips For Doing Yoga Or Pilates
- Aim to do 2 sessions of strength-building exercise per week, with at least one day between sessions.
- If you are just starting, keep your effort at low intensity, building to moderate intensity. Low intensity means you can still talk comfortably while exercising.
- Be mindful of your breathing. This involves exhaling when you are exerting yourself. Your instructor should also include directions on how to breathe when exercising.
- Ensure that your movements are slow and steady.
In A Prenatal Yoga Class
Many pregnant women are looking for low impact forms of exercise and may take up yoga for the first time. The best thing to do in this situation is to find a prenatal yoga class at your local yoga studio.
You can start attending prenatal classes as early in your pregnancy as you like. However, if you are not feeling well, it may be better to wait to start a yoga regimen until your morning sickness has passed, which is usually in the second trimester.
Spin Classes Or Cycling With A Stationary Bike
Off-road cycling, such as mountain biking, is not a good option for pregnant people due to the risk of falling and injury.
Stationary bikes, spin classes, and safe, flat cycling paths are all alternatives with significantly fewer risks.
People who are new to the stationary bike could try cycling for 1015 minutes at a time. They could then extend their sessions to 3060 minutes, if comfortable.
If a person is used to spinning or using a stationary bike, they can often maintain their regular routine during the first trimester.
Pregnant people should aim to do low impact, moderate intensity exercises that lead to light sweating and slight increases in heart rate.
Some tips for exercising safely during the first trimester the following:
- Stay hydrated.
- Stay cool, and wear loose-fitting clothing.
- Wear well-fitting, supportive, non-slip shoes.
- Recognize when to exercise less often or reduce the intensity.
- Set realistic goals and try to stick to them.
- Remember to breathe and be aware of heart rate during workouts.
Whenever a person feels tired or weak, it is important for them to stop and rest.
To prevent complications, pregnant people should avoid:
Uttanasana Or Standing Forward Bend
Forward bends are not usually advocated during pregnancy, but this one is an exception and is good for the legs and the back.
How to Perform
- Stand straight with your feet 3 inch apart from each other
- Rest your hands on the side of the body with your palms facing the thighs
- Inhale deeply and bring your hands above your head with your palms spread out
- Exhale and bend forward as you breathe out
- Simultaneously, also fold your hands in the Namaskar mudra
- Hold the pose and count till 10 or 15. Continue breathing normally and do not hold your breath
- Now take a deep breath, relax and come back to the first position
How To Find The Right Yoga Class And Instructor
Though most forms of yoga are safe for expecting moms, we recommend looking specifically for a prenatal yoga class, especially if youve never done yoga before. Prenatal yoga classes are tailored specifically for pregnant women. If you want to start yoga during your pregnancy but no prenatal yoga classes are available, start with a gentle yoga class for beginners.
Once youve found the class you want, call the studio and ask to speak with the owner or instructor. Let them know youre pregnant, and ask about the experience and knowledge of the instructor who will be teaching your class. Though its not mandatory that all yoga teachers be certified,Yoga Alliancemaintains a database of certified, registered yoga instructors that offer prenatal yoga. These instructors arerequired to meet educational standardsin teaching methodology, human anatomy and physiology, and practical trainings.
Yoga played a huge role in our pregnancies, and its a wonderful exercise and stress-relief option for moms-to-be. Talk to your doctor for more information about incorporating yoga into your pregnancy routine, orrequest an appointment for more information.
Is It Safe To Practise Yoga In The First Trimester Of Pregnancy
Yes, can be safely practised during the first trimester of pregnancy but only under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor who is aware of your health. There are certain asanas and poses which may inhibit the blood flow to the uterus and cause sprain or muscle spasms, hence yoga asanas should be practised with caution and under the guidance of a yoga instructor. You should also consult your gynaecologist before you start practising yoga.
Consider Lying On Your Side Versus Lying On Your Back
The biggest risk of lying flat on your back while pregnant involves the potential to compress the inferior vena cava, which is a vein that brings blood from the lower body back to your heart. When this happens, youll feel extreme discomfortso in some ways, youll know when its no longer okay to spend time on your back as an expecting mother who practices yoga. Your body will most likely tell youloudly.
Another option is to move to your left side or prop your body up to a slight incline. For the side-lying version, use a block, bolster, blanket, or pillow between the knees while resting your hand on a pillow or folded blanket to make this pose cozy and restorative. For the inclined variation, use a bolster or block to lift your head a few inches above your heart, and place the second bolster or rolled blanket under your knees.
Building Strength Encouraging Rest
During the first trimester, the sensations of pregnancy are still new, so a student might be tempted overdo a sequence. Encourage your students to practice with a new awareness of the baby inside and of her bodys need for rest. Your job as a yoga teacher is to help your pregnant students learn to appreciate the benefits of a gentler, more introspective yoga practice.
Here, in summary, are some important things to remember when teaching a woman in her first trimester:
How Is Prenatal Yoga Different From Regular Yoga
Common positions in regular yoga such as those where your feet are spread far apart may be too stressful for your joints and pelvic area when youre expecting. As your baby grows, theres a lot more weight pushing down on your bladder and pelvis. Pregnancy hormones also loosen your ligaments, making joint and bone problems a source of discomfort. In addition to modifying positions for pregnancy, prenatal yoga also emphasizes breathing, stretches and strengthening moves that help your body prepare for labor.
Why Yoga Teachers And Studios May Tell You To Put Yoga In The First Trimester On Hold
Telling students to skip yoga during pregnancy is a matter of safety. Basically, no one wants to be blamed for a miscarriage. Even if it had nothing to do with yoga .
Yet, the moment you inform your yoga teacher that you are pregnant, you pass some responsibility to them. You expect them to safely guide you through your practice and offer modifications when needed. Sadly though, not every teacher knows how to do that.
And thats not entirely their fault.
Most yoga teacher trainings are short. They give a basic introduction to teaching yoga but they dont and cant cover everything.
Some trainings may go over basic modifications for pregnancy. Others may not include anything at all. And not all yoga teachers have medical knowledge or education.
So, in most cases, thats really up to each individual yoga instructor to take extra courses and trainings or learn about these topics by themselves.
Another problem is that the amount of yoga injuries is on the rise. And that again may not necessarily be the teachers fault.
Many people are simply not careful enough when they practice. They ignore the yoga teachers safety instructions, let their ego guide them, and put their own bodies into unnecessary risk.
Benefits Of Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal yoga is good for the mother and the baby as it involves a multidimensional approach to exercise which includes stretching, focusing on the breathing and calming the mind. Here is a list of benefits that prenatal yoga provides.
- Reduces physical and emotional stress
- Improves sleep
- Decreases lower back pain and sciatic pain
- Decreases nausea
- Reduces risk of preterm labour
- Reduces the risk of intrauterine growth restriction, which is a condition that slows the babys growth
- Reduces the chances of carpal tunnel syndrome or pain in the hand and fingers caused by nerve compression
- Breathing exercises help prepare you for labour
- Boosts the strength, endurance and flexibility of the mother
Do Take Advantage Of Other Fitness Opportunities
Pregnancy is exciting, and its a great time to soften and find strength in stillness. Spend time exploring other aspects of yoga, such as , gentle stretching, breathing and prenatal, offers Thomas. There will be plenty of time after the baby is born to tackle your yoga goals in a more physical way.
Look at your pregnancy as an opportunity. If youve never tried different types of yoga, or mostly stuck to power or hot quick flows, this is a great time to experiment. Try newteachers, classes, and yoga types. Find something else out there with respect to yoga that you can love in a new way, said Foster. Prenatal classes can be very empowering. They can help you learn tools to modify your yoga practice in a safe way.
The bottom line: hot yoga involves certain considerations that pregnant women must take into account before practicing. While theres no official rule against doing hot yoga while expecting, be safe before putting yourselfand your babyat risk.
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