During pregnancy, Yoga can be one of the best ways to stay fit and to find peace of mind. That being said, there are certain guidelines in which we must practice Prenatal Yoga to ensure we are doing what is best for Mother and child.
- Talk to your health care provider. Before you begin a prenatal yoga program, make sure you have your health care provider's OK. You may not be able to do prenatal yoga if you are at increased risk of preterm labor or have certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or back problems.
- Set realistic goals. Try not to get caught up in what anyone else is doing on their mats (or what your former self would have been doing). Allow what you do during your practice to be "enough". For most pregnant women, at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity is recommended on most, if not all, days of the week. However, even shorter or less frequent workouts can help you stay in shape and prepare for labor.
- Pace yourself. If you can't speak normally, or smile while you're doing prenatal yoga, you're probably pushing yourself too hard.
- Stay cool and hydrated. Practice prenatal yoga in a well-ventilated room to avoid overheating. Drink plenty of fluids before and during prenatal yoga to keep yourself hydrated.
- Avoid certain postures. When performing asana (yoga poses), ensure that you bend from your hips — not your back — to maintain normal spine curvature. Avoid lying on your belly or back, doing deep forward or backward bends, or doing twisting poses that put pressure on your abdomen. You can modify twisting poses so that you only move your upper back, shoulders and rib cage. Avoid inverted poses, which involve extending your legs and hips above your heart or head, unless you're an experienced yoga practitioner. As your pregnancy progresses, use props during postures to accommodate changes in your centre of gravity. If you wonder whether a pose is safe, ask your prenatal yoga instructor for guidance.
- Don't overdo it. As you do prenatal yoga, pay attention to your body and how you feel. Start slow and avoid positions that are beyond your level of experience or comfort. Stretch only as far as you would have before pregnancy. If you experience any pain or other red flags — such as vaginal bleeding, decreased fetal movement or contractions — during prenatal yoga, stop and contact your health care provider.
Courtesy of the Mayo Clinic- 2015
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