Is Yoga Safe During Pregnancy?

Prenatal yoga is safe during pregnancy

Regular exercise during pregnancy helps to keep weight gain slow and gradual and it prepares your body for the rigors of birth. During the first two trimesters, you can continue normal exercises such as jogging, running, aerobics, and even some lightweight training.  

As the pregnancy progresses, alternative forms of exercise like yoga can be used to stay in shape while taking the intensity level down a bit.

Most traditional yoga poses are safe in pregnancy

Yoga is an exercise that involves strengthening, stretching, breathing, and balancing. During the first few months of pregnancy, traditional yoga poses are completely safe. As the pregnancy progresses, expecting women may find certain poses are no longer comfortable or unsafe for the baby due to changes in the female body and balance issues associated with pregnancy.

What is prenatal yoga?

Prenatal yoga is a modified version of the exercise created to allow pregnant women to continue practicing yoga throughout pregnancy. Prenatal yoga poses are broken up into three categories for the three trimesters of pregnancy. Long time yoga followers may find they are more comfortable attending their regular yoga classes, but certain changes in each pose will need to be made as the uterus grows larger.

During the first trimester, recommended yoga poses include prenatal sun salutations, pigeon, triangle, ardha chandrasana, warrior II, baddha konasana, and knee to ankle. These poses are chosen to increase flexibility. The second trimester can include all poses from the first trimester, as well as vajrasan, bhadrasan, marjariasana, and hasta uttanasana. Third trimester poses include ardha titali asana, poorna titali asana, and supta udarakarshanasana.

What precautions should be taken?

It is important to stay away from yoga poses that involve twisting, hopping, jumping, and lying flat on the stomach. These poses are not made for pregnant women and should be avoided for the safety of the fetus. When in doubt, contact a local yoga instructor and ask questions about proper yoga poses during pregnancy.

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