Pregnancy is a beautiful, exciting adventure and period in a woman’s life. But it can come with physical and mental challenges, like stress, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, nausea, and lower back pain. Thankfully, medical research suggests that prenatal yoga offers benefits for the challenges that come with pregnancy and is safe for pregnant women and their babies.
If you are pregnant and looking to exercise and safely prepare for labor, you should try prenatal yoga. According to Mayo Clinic, “Prenatal yoga is a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centering, and focused breathing.” Prenatal yoga can help you connect with other pregnant mothers. Additionally, prenatal yoga can:
- Improve sleep
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increase the strength, flexibility, and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
- Decrease lower back pain, nausea, headaches, and shortness of breath
When can I start a pregnancy yoga class?
Generally, you can maintain physical activity throughout your pregnancy, starting in the first trimester, as long as you make the necessary modifications (*unless your doctor or medical health professional has advised you not to for any reason).
Healthline recommends avoiding the following:
- intense backbends, twists, and excessive forward bends
- strong or forceful abdominal contractions
- jumping, hopping, or bouncing
- hot yoga
Which type of Yoga is best for pregnancy?
You should always practice with a certified instructor trained in prenatal yoga, listen to your body, and pay attention to any pain or discomfort. Consult your doctor about the exercise that you are doing. The best type of pregnancy yoga is designed with a pregnant body’s needs and limitations in mind. What To Expect recommends skipping hot yoga- “Don’t do yoga (or any other exercise, for that matter) in any extreme heat. Exposure to excessive heat could result in neural tube defects and also cause you to feel dizzy and nauseous. That goes for Bikram (a type of hot yoga) and exercising outdoors on a hot day.”
Pregnancy Yoga classes in Houston
At Motherhood Center, Houston- we are a full-time pregnancy support center offering multiple services, including:
- Prenatal Wellness
Our center offers a multifaceted approach that fortifies the body, mind, and spirit to build strong and confident bodies. For over 20 years, Motherhood Center has specialized in providing a variety of prime-time classes for all stages of motherhood, 7 days a week. You can choose from several walk-in classes without needing to preregister and select the most convenient time for you! All instructors are well-versed in prenatal yoga techniques and safety. They enjoy providing optimum instruction to both beginners and experienced yoga students.
Learn more about Motherhood Center’s prenatal yoga classes and packages, which are suitable for all experience levels and designed to accommodate various needs and budgets.
What to expect in a prenatal yoga class
Wondering what happens in a prenatal yoga class? At Motherhood Center, prenatal yoga classes involve breathing exercises (also helpful during labor), a warm-up through gentle stretching, and posture-moving your body into different positions to help with strength, flexibility, and balance. Lastly, the class will end with a cool-down session to relax muscles and restore a resting heart rate. Instructors may incorporate cushions or blocks to provide extra support and comfort while holding poses. You should wear comfortable clothes that are easy to move in, a yoga mat, a hand towel, and water.
When should you stop doing yoga if you are pregnant? Here are some basic safety rules you should follow when doing prenatal yoga to protect yourself and your baby. Mayo Clinic advises these particular guidelines for prenatal yoga:
- Talking to your health care provider. You might 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. For pregnant women, at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity is recommended on at least five, if not all, days of the week. However, shorter or less frequent workouts can help you stay in shape and prepare for labor.
- Pace yourself. You’re probably pushing yourself too hard if you can’t generally speak while doing prenatal yoga.
- Stay cool and hydrated. Practice prenatal yoga in a well-ventilated room and take breaks to stay hydrated..
All yoga focuses on stretching, intentional breathing, and calming the mind. However, prenatal yoga offers a less strenuous sequence of gentle poses on the body. Prenatal yoga can benefit pregnant moms by improving their sleep, reducing stress and anxiety, and increasing flexibility and endurance.
Learn more about prenatal yoga and all that the Motherhood Center Houston offers. Connect with a staff member at (713) 963-8880 or online.