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6 Reasons To Do Yoga When Pregnant

Chief Editor | Published on January 29, 2023

Practised for over 5,000 years, yoga comes in many styles. For mums-to-be it can be a boon in pregnancy and may alleviate the more unwelcome symptoms of pregnancy in addition to preparing you for birth.

Research Suggests It Reduces Anxiety

Studies have shown that taking just one traditional yoga class can help to reduce anxiety as well as improving pain management skills, which is beneficial when it comes to labour. A 2005 study of women in India showed that pregnant women who practised yoga had fewer instances of pre-term labour and high blood pressure during pregnancy compared to those who did not.

It’s One Of The Best Ways To Keep Your Mind And Body Balanced

You may be advised to give up some more strenuous forms of exercise when you are pregnant, so many mums-to-be often discover the benefits of yoga at this time, as it is one of the forms of exercise that most experts recommend throughout pregnancy. Check out special prenatal yoga classes designed for your changing body and use postures that ensure you are not overstretching.

You Can Practise At Any Time During Pregnancy

From relieving nausea in the first trimester to preparing yourself for birth in the third, yoga can be practised throughout your pregnancy. There are many styles you can try  but avoid hot yoga throughout your pregnancy and opt, if possible, for special classes for mums-to-be so that your teacher is able to ensure that your exercise stays in line with your condition.

It Helps To Relieve Back Pressure

As your little one grows, backache may become a common symptom. An easy way to relieve back pressure is to get down on all fours and alternately arch and relax your back (known as the cat/cow pose). Repeat this several times a day, especially if you are standing or sitting for a long time. Some practitioners say that practising this pose ensures that your baby is in the right position for an easy birth.

It Energises The Hips

Anything that can help to open up the hips is valuable as you get nearer to your due date. The supported triangle pose is a good way to stretch out the body  from energising the hips to opening up the shoulders and working your legs.

It Can Help When You’re In Labour

Obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Tan Thiam Chye says that when it comes to labour, yoga and the breathing exercises associated with the practice do help. “It relaxes the mum-to-be and teaches them breathing methods as well.”

The breathing practice that helps in labour is known as ujai pranayama, an ancient technique that helps you to relax through the contractions:

  1. Relax your face and gently close your eyes; your tongue should rest on the roof of your mouth, and your hands should rest lightly on your belly.
  2. Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose (many teachers suggest here that you think about drawing the breath into the top of your head and right down into your belly).
  3. Then simply exhale through your nose, drawing your belly in.
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