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Yoga - Stretch Yourself to a Healthy Pregnancy

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Your back hurts, you can't sleep and your emotions are all over the map. Typical symptoms of pregnancy and something most women assume they have to live with. The end result, a healthy baby, makes the ordeal worthwhile. What if you discovered a treatment for many of the troubling symptoms of pregnancy? Sound too good to be true? Many women have found that practicing yoga reduces and even eliminates some of the most common issues related to pregnancy.

How does yoga help during pregnancy?

Sara Holliday, MFT, CPT, who has fifteen years of experience coaching women in fitness and is certified as a prenatal yoga instructor, states that some of the benefits a woman can enjoy from yoga are an easier labour, a reduction in the amount of stress she feels in her lower back, a stronger body and emotional balance. Holliday also states that many women feel prenatal yoga helps to develop a bond between mum and baby.

Many women complain of overwhelming fatigue during pregnancy, and that can make it difficult to motivate yourself for any sort of exercise plan. A gentle yoga practice can actually increase your energy level. If you are suffering from crushing fatigue, implementing a short prenatal yoga class can make a tremendous difference in your energy levels.

Is Prenatal Yoga Safe?

Every physician feels differently about exercise during pregnancy. Some feel that any exercise is perfectly fine while others are more conservative. If you were active before your pregnancy, then prenatal yoga is not likely to cause any concerns. If you were completely sedentary before your pregnancy, however, speak with your physician before beginning a yoga practice.

Monica Morell, Ph.D., states that because the pregnant body is ever changing the yoga poses that help best change from week to week. An experienced yoga instructor that is familiar with the pregnant body can guide you through a series of yoga poses that best meet your needs. Early in the pregnancy, there will be little need to modify poses. As your pregnancy progresses, poses that require you to lie on your stomach become uncomfortable. Also out of the question are strenuous back bends. During your entire pregnancy, it is important to listen to your body, and if any pose is painful, do not do it.

Pregnancy is a perfectly normal state for the body, and if your pregnancy is healthy, there is no reason not to participate in prenatal yoga. It is important to stay hydrated through your workout session. The increase in your blood volume means that your body needs more fluids to support it. Dehydration during early pregnancy can lead to low levels of amniotic fluid, and dehydration later in pregnancy may result in preterm labour.

Another concern for pregnant women is over stretching. As your body readies itself for labour and delivery, your ligaments and joints will become looser. Listen to your body as you perform each pose, and don't stretch your body more than feels comfortable.

Prenatal yoga is a wonderful way to ease many of the discomforts of pregnancy. It is safe, enjoyable and will benefit both you and your baby. Working with a knowledgeable professional allows you to get the maximum benefits of a yoga practice without worrying about overdoing and hurting you or baby.

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Article by Amy Hunter

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