Prenatal Yoga: How To Practice Safely While Pregnant

Yoga has gained popularity over the years. There are different types of yoga programs developed and prenatal is one of them. Although the relaxation techniques and flexibility training do benefit pregnant women, there are poses that can pose a risk.

There is now a form devoted to modification and leaving out potentially harmful moves. They simply call it "prenatal yoga" and it seems to have some very good benefits that are mentioned later.

If you're interested in taking yoga up while pregnant, here are some of the benefits and risks as well as some suggested moves and potentially harmful moves.

Remember, if you're ever in doubt about a workout routine of any kind, talk to your OB first to make sure that you should be able to safely do it.

If you get into prenatal yoga, you could experience improved sleep from the relaxation and it aids in the reduction of stress. Other benefits include increasing your flexibility and strength, helping morning sickness nausea and the lower back pains common in early or late pregnancy. It can help with headaches and joint aches as well as even potentially decrease the likelihood of developing intrauterine growth restriction and preterm labor.

Another benefit that has been found is a potentially lower risk of preeclampsia and other conditions related to high blood pressure and hypertension.


Studies have also found it can help decrease anxiety and depression, especially anxiety around the time of delivery.

As with all workouts, there are risks that can happen. If you have any questions, talk to your doctor first but there are a lot of yoga fads (like Bikram, or hot yoga, which could lead to the raising of the core body temperature).

One of the risks in early pregnancy involves a slight risk of miscarriage due to some of the jerky movements (jump backs).

Outside of a slight risk of miscarriage, there are not too many other risks listed as long as you stay away from the poses that lay you flat on your stomach or heat the room up too much. There are some risks with falling, so it's suggested to avoid inversions and other moves that could knock you off balance, but yoga itself, especially prenatal yoga, does provide added benefits.

There are a few positions that were advised against; downward facing dog, happy child prose and corpse pose that were studied a few years ago and could be safe during pregnancy. It is still advised to stay away from inversions (risk of falling among other things) and any pose that lays flat on the floor, but those three positions were found to have been tolerated by the majority of the women in his study.

Of course, we recommend always speaking with your doctor before getting into any new fitness regimen.

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