It is important to exercise during pregnancy for the well-being of yourself and the baby. The key is to not get carried away and be close to the borders of mild discomfort rather than going full blown on your exercise regimen.
One such milder and calmer way to be fit and not break a sweat is Yoga. Each one has their own preferences, I personally prefer to sweat it out so I eliminate all the toxins naturally and hydrate my body. But I have known many of my friends who find it intimidating to go out in the public for a walk or to gym with a bump. This post is for all those women out there who prefer the calmer way to achieve a balance in daily exercise routines.
- Before you take up yoga or any other fitness programme consult your OB-GYN if it is advisable to your medical condition, because every individual is different and may need a special care.
- If you are new to yoga, I would advice for you to go for the prenatal yoga classes or having an instructor present while you observe the asanas though there are many at-home yoga videos out there.
Yoga precautions during Pregnancy
For the first trimester, standing Yoga Poses are advised as this will help strengthen the legs, enhance circulation, generate energy, and may reduce leg cramps.
During the second and third trimester, you may reduce your time spent for practicing the Asanas to prevent fatigue and overwork. Instead focus more on breathing and meditation.
It is also not advised to practice from the tenth through the fourteenth week of Pregnancy since these are crucial times. Do not overstretch the abdomen; the emphasis of your twisting poses should be on the shoulders and the upper back and not on the abdomen. Avoid doing inversion.
- Listen to your body carefully. If you feel any discomfort, stop. You will probably need to modify each pose as your body changes.
- Avoid lying on your back after the first trimester; it can reduce blood circulation to the uterus.
- Avoid poses that stretch the muscles too much. You are more at risk for strains, pulls and other injuries right now because of the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which softens and relaxes joints and connective tissue.
- From the second trimester – when your center of gravity starts to shift – do all standing poses with your heel against the wall or use a chair for support, to avoid losing your balance and risking injury to yourself or your baby.
- While twisting, move from the shoulders and back, rather than the waist, to avoid putting pressure on your abdomen. Twist only as far as it feels comfortable – deep twists are not advisable in pregnancy.
- Hydrate yourself
- Avoid all forms of exercises if you are feeling dizzy
- Take regular breaks in between exercises
- If you feel pain stop immediately and go for medical attention if the pain resumes even after discontinuing.
This is a fairly normal period for many, if you discount the hormonal changes and morning sickness. The yoga can help with these conditions and also provide a grounded center for yourself and the baby you are nurturing within. I found this amazing link that enlists all the yoga poses that can be followed during this period. You can access them here.
Second trimester is a trickier time than the first one, because you bump is growing and the center of gravity is shifting and you will need to use extra support while observing all the asanas. You can follow this link to know all the poses that can be observed.
One extra tip to these asanas;
- use a sturdy mat under yourself
- when you do poses that require you to face down, do so by putting a cushion between your tummy and the ground.
- when doing asanas that do not offer support, where you will have to stretch both your legs and feet and find your own new center of gravity, ease into the pose by using a support first and not do it immediately.
Third trimester is the most punishing period of all I am guessing, because you body has grown bigger, and you start to frequently wobble, pee or get unbelievably tired. Ease up on your routine by breaking it into stretches of 15 to 20 minutes per session. You can find all possible poses to be observed here.