What is Prenatal Yoga?
Like a lot of prenatal exercise the benefits of prenatal yoga are undisputed. Yoga is a discipline that focuses on the balance between your mind, body and breath, the controlled movements you will perform are a great way to help alleviate prenatal discomforts whilst also giving the added benefit of helping to prepare you for labour and birth.
As with most exercise in pregnancy consistency is important, therefore experts advise that you practise daily, however this is easier said than done so try to do so on most days of the week.
The great thing about performing prenatal yoga is that you don't need a mass of equipment or specialised clothing, whether you have the confidence and knowledge to perform it safely in your own home or attend a class you can do either by simply having a mat and wearing loose, comfortable clothing. It's important that the clothing you do wear is breathable, or that you dress in layers allowing you to easily control your temperature. Due to some of the positions you will get in to, and depending on the size of your bump, it may be beneficial to take a pillow with to help support your bump.
Depending on the yogas teacher/centre you attend there will be a variety of different styles that you may choose from, it is best to talk to your instructor and let them advise you on which would be best as your experience, fitness level and other factors should be accounted for. You should definitely avoid Bikram Yoga and other styles that take a similar approach as these will be performed in a room heated to 40ºC!
There are a few things that you need to be aware of if you are wanting to practise prenatal yoga:
- You shouldnt practise yoga in your first trimester, you should start during your second trimester, after 14 weeks
- If you have conceived by IVF then don't start practising until after 20 weeks
- If you haven't practised yoga before then inform your instructor and take things slow
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