Whether you’ve been practicing yoga for years or you’re new to it, when you find out you’re pregnant there are MAJOR benefits to continuing your practice. Here are five reasons to do prenatal yoga.
1. It lets you relax.
Pregnancy can be an exciting, yet anxiety-provoking time. There are serious changes occurring within your body that can leave you feeling disconnected. There are also all the questions and to-do lists in preparation for your baby’s arrival.
Prenatal yoga is an amazing way to slow your mind down and focus on the present moment as well as get back in touch with your body.
2. It helps you build core strength.
Fortunately, it’s no longer 1990 where the most popular ab exercises consisted of lying on your back and straining your neck (Lying on your back for extended periods is not recommended starting in your second trimester). Plank is an amazing core strengthener and something you can still do while pregnant.
If it becomes too much later on, you can also modify by going on your hands and knees and alternate extending an opposite arm and leg. You also do great oblique work this way, drawing your elbow to your opposite knee and extending again. All of this can help prepare you for the BIG day.
3. It allows you to maintain your flexibility and range of motion.
Pregnancy hormones can make you more flexible; however, a lot of tightening in the shoulders and chest area can also occur. A growing chest leads to more forward momentum and can quickly tighten up your shoulders and upper back.
Heart opening poses are a great way to keep this part of your body open, which will ultimately help you in taking care of your baby.
4. It makes you feel like your old self.
One of the most difficult things about being pregnant for me has been not being able to do everything I could do before. I can’t run as fast and I can’t do quick Vinyasa flow like before.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t still get the same feel good effects from exercising. There is a range of prenatal yoga classes you can choose from, and some will still leave you sore the next day.
5. It connects you to other pregnant women.
Whether you’re taking a prenatal yoga class at your local studio or doing an online video at home, it helps you to connect with other pregnant women (assuming the online instructor is actually pregnant—I find this is usually the case).
This helps with any feelings of isolation and increases your confidence in what you CAN do.
Practicing prenatal yoga won’t only help ease discomforts during your pregnancy; it will also help you tackle the journey ahead, both mentally and physically. Find a practice that suits your ever-changing body and baby, and continue to reap the rewards!
Katie is a member of the DOYOUYOGA Community. The opinions and statements expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of DOYOUYOGA and Skyrocket Media.
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