Tuesday, June 23, 2009
You just found out you’re pregnant. Great! Now What? You’ve never exercised a day in your life and eat junk food all day long, but you’re committed to making this the healthiest pregnancy ever. “I can do something for nine months” you think. Maybe. Maybe not. Or, perhaps you’ve been the epitome of exercise--Ms. Fitness, in fact up until now, but you’re way too tired to bother lifting weights, running, spinning and doing every exercise regimen under the sun to make sure that the ‘extra five pounds’ on your five foot ten 124 pound body do not creep back in the next nine months (this actually happened). Or, maybe you’re the consummate yogi, “Yes, I’ve been doing Bikram Yoga six days a week for the last five years. I’m certainly not going to stop now because of this. I must do my Bikram Yoga!”
Having taught Prenatal/Postpartum Yoga to women of all ages over the last ten years, the one thing I’ve noticed is the adaptability of the Human Spirit. Yes, pregnancy is a mix of joy and pain. However, one thing is always certain and made clear from the very beginning. You are no longer in complete control of everything. Control freak? Who are you kidding? The baby is the new boss of everything for the better part of a year (nine months plus). Get used to it, or else. Isn’t life grand?
The general recommendation for pregnancy is that women may continue to do whatever exercise they have been doing previously throughout the pregnancy unless the pre-pregnancy exercise compromises the pregnancy. Bikram Yoga for example is practiced in a heated room of at least 104 degrees. In addition to the fact that (1) pregnancy already causes decreased oxygen supply for exercise, and (2) Pregnancy alters the core body temperature of a woman, practicing yoga in a heated room of 104 degrees would not be good at all. It is thought that an excessive maternal core temperature, especially in the first trimester could impair fetal development. However, there are several Yoga for Pregnancy Classes that are offered in your city that would be appropriate in lieu of Bikram yoga.
Now let’s talk about the cool stuff regarding yoga for pregnancy. One of the benefits of doing a prenatal yoga program is that you practice in a safe, supportive environment. A prenatal yoga program combines yoga, breathwork, pranayama, alignment, sound vibration, basic meditation as well as techniques for all three stages of labor, including learning how to push, to help women feel centered and strong during labor and delivery. A prenatal yoga class, unlike a regular yoga class, uniquely includes both the mother and the baby and helps women to improve their strength and flexility before and after childbirth. Be sure to check that your prenatal yoga instructor is certified and has experience teaching prenatal/postpartum yoga.
Some Benefits Of Doing Yoga While Pregnant
If I had a dime for every expectant mother who asked if working their abdominals would hurt the baby, I would be a millionare by now. While traditional situps are not appropriate for pregnant women, there are safe ways of strengthening the abodominals during pregnancy. Prenatal Yoga will help to strengthen both your abdominal muscles and the muscles of the pelvic floor to aid in your baby’s delivery and restore your own body after delivery. Prenatal Yoga also teaches women how to use yoga for labor and delivery.
Other Benefits of Yoga for Pregnancy
Improves muscular strength, flexibility, alignment and circulation
Aids in Digestion
Improves Concentration and relaxation during labor
Improved Energy levels
Alleviates many discomforts of pregnancy such as nausea, fatigue, constipation, varicose veins, swelling, pack pain, wrist pain and sciatica
Prenatal Yoga increases energy levels and combats depression by using your yoga practice to develop a strong sense of self.
Finally, pregnant women want to be around other pregnant women while pregnant. Taking a prenatal yoga class allows you to meet other pregnant women and build a strong sense of community. Now that you know a few of the great benefits of doing yoga while pregnant, aren’t you excited? Call your local yoga studio today and join the hundreds of satisfied women who have done this before you.
For more information on Prenatal and Postpartum/Mommy and Baby Classes, check out our website at http://www.premierpilatesny.com