What prenatal yoga poses are best?
Prenatal yoga can be a great way to prepare for the arrival of your new baby. Is this type of prenatal exercise is right for you?
If you are pregnant and seeking relaxation practices or ways to stay in shape, you may be thinking about prenatal yoga. The benefits of yoga aren’t limited to your physical state. “Taking a prenatal yoga class is a great way to meet other pregnant women — to become part of a community,” says Cynthea Denise, a registered nurse and prenatal yoga instructor in Oakland, CA. Being in an encouraging, supportive environment with others like you can give you a real emotional boost and keep you motivated to continue exercising. Prenatal yoga may also help you prepare for a better labor and encourage your baby’s health. Before starting prenatal yoga, understand the range of possible benefits, as well as what a typical class entails and important safety tips.
The benefits of prenatal yoga
When done in conjunction with a cardiovascular exercise, yoga can be an great way to keep in shape during your pregnancy. It will keep you limber, tone your muscles, and improves your balance and circulation, with little, if any, impact on your joints.
Prenatal yoga is also helpful because you learn to breathe deeply and relax, which will come in handy as you face the physical demands of labor and maternity. One of the first things you learn in a yoga class is how to breathe holistically. The breathing technique known as ujjayi (OO-JAI-YA) requires you to take in air slowly through your nose, filling your lungs, and exhale completely until your stomach compresses.
Learning how to do ujjayi breathing readies you for labor and childbirth by training you to stay calm when the going gets tough. When in pain or afraid, your body produces adrenalin and may produce less oxytocin, a hormone that makes labor progress. A regular yoga practice will help counter the urge to constrict when you feel pain, and show you how to relax instead.
According to a report in the April Issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter intensive studies found scientific proof that yoga aids the body deal with stress by slowing heart and breathing rates and lowering blood pressure. These shifts can benefit new moms after the baby’s born, as well.
Prenatal Yoga Classes on Sundays at 1 pm