Yoga provides its practitioners with a number of mental and physical benefits that range from treating chronic pain to reducing anxiety and emotional distress. You can practice yoga during most stages of your life, even during your pregnancy. Not only that, but yoga has quite a few positive benefits for pregnant women. Whether it’s through helping with your breathing or just strengthening your body to keep up with the physical demands of the whole ordeal, yoga is the ideal exercise for pregnant women. In fact, the American Pregnancy Association details the several benefits of prenatal yoga, which include improved sleep, decreased nausea, and less back pain. In our post on 6 Yoga For Pregnancy Care – The Truth Not Everyone Knows, we discussed specific poses you can do. That being said, here we will talk about general tips you should know when practicing yoga while pregnant.
The First Trimester
The first trimester is the most crucial stage for your baby’s development. This is when your baby’s body and organs are beginning to develop, so you have to be careful to take the necessary precautions. Parsley Health lists the general guidelines for practicing yoga in your first trimester, which includes avoiding twists, inversions, backhanding, jumping, and other poses that make you feel like you’re overexerting yourself. What’s important is that you listen to your body and adjust accordingly. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to be able to do the poses comfortably without too much effort. Another thing to take note of would be to keep yourself cool while practicing yoga. Staying hydrated and making use of a fan during sessions will help ensure you don’t lose too many fluids.
The Second Trimester
The second trimester is where the development of the baby begins to pick up the pace. The baby’s lungs, heart, and blood are starting to form to the point where he or she will be able to exist outside of the womb after the 24th week. For this trimester, you’ll want to avoid yoga poses that require you to be on your belly or strain your abdomen. Because the baby is much more secure in your womb at this stage, you can now bring back inversions, but it would be wise to be wary of anything that causes you discomfort or brings you to the brink of over-exhaustion. You may find yourself out of breath or dizzy during your second trimester. If this ever happens, sit down in a kneeling position and take deep breaths until the dizziness subsides.
The Third Trimester
The third trimester is when your baby reaches full development. This is also the stage where your belly will be at its largest. The Office on Women’s Health warns that you will likely experience bouts of heartburn and indigestion during this stage, so be wary of this and adjust your diet accordingly. This stage will alter your yoga practice the most, as you’ll need to remove any poses that involve you lying on your back and poses that require you to balance. Instead of lying on your back, you’ll need to prop yourself up at an angle with pillows or any objects you find comfortable. You can also opt to alter the balancing poses by using a wall or a chair to help you out.