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Yoga for pregnant women: Fit and relaxed through pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of extremes for the body, but also for the mind. Sooner or later, many expectant mothers feel overwhelmed with the growing belly and the thought of giving birth. In such cases, yoga for pregnant women helps, because the gentle exercises are good for both the mother and the child.
Pregnant women can either attend special yoga classes or simply practice at home . But what is there to consider and what does this yoga look like in concrete terms? Here you will get answers to the most important questions about yoga during pregnancy!
That brings yoga for pregnant women
Yoga is about breathing consciously and paying attention to your body. This combination helps many women to feel better during and after pregnancy. Calm, controlled breathing can reduce pain during labour, for example. With special exercises, the pelvis can also be opened and the birth process itself can be simplified.
The increased awareness of oneself and the child increases the feeling of "working together" with the body. This ensures better well-being and also reduces any fear of childbirth. In fact, yoga during pregnancy has been shown to reduce the risk of postnatal depression by a factor of five.
Here's what you should know about pregnancy yoga
If you are pregnant and considering starting yoga, or maybe already an experienced yogini, there are a few things to consider.
Can I do yoga during pregnancy?
First things first: Every pregnant woman can theoretically do yoga, but the exercises must always be adapted to your own fitness and experience level . Be sure to ask your gynecologist for their opinion before you begin. He can tell you exactly what you should avoid and what is absolutely safe.
when should i start
The ideal entry point depends on how much experience you already have. If you are a yoga beginner , you should not start until the fourth month , as you will probably feel too drained in the first trimester. But if you've been doing yoga for a long time, you can assess your body well and know what you can trust yourself and your baby to do. But generally prefer a meditative, relaxing style .
What can I practice without hesitation?
Basically, you can practice exactly what you find comfortable . As soon as an asana becomes too taxing or uncomfortable for you, that is a sign to stop. Exercises that can cause you to fall are also unsuitable during pregnancy, as is excessive stretching. The crane or the downward-facing dog, for example, are only suitable to a limited extent.
It also matters how far along your pregnancy is. From the sixth or seventh month you should avoid certain inversion or balance exercises. There is a risk that your baby will turn over again and no longer lie head down. Even if the cervix is dilated prematurely , certain asanas pose a risk. But don't worry: your doctor will tell you what is recommended and what is not. Every pregnancy is different, and accordingly there are no universal guidelines for pregnancy yoga.
exercises for home
A dedicated yoga class during pregnancy is great, of course, but maybe you just don't have the time or energy for it. You can easily do the following exercises at home, when and how often you want.
What do I need for this?
As always with yoga, the same applies during pregnancy: comfortable clothing makes a lot of things easier. The bigger your stomach gets, the more practical it is to have the right accessories in the form of yoga bolsters or pillows . In this way you can create a soft base or a counterweight for your child, because the stomach should always be relaxed. A soft, non-slip yoga mat is also highly recommended.
Pregnancy yoga at home
As already mentioned, you should only do the asanas that make you feel good . The following applies in particular to professional yoginis: From a certain stage of pregnancy, your body simply can no longer do what it was able to do before. This is completely normal and you can accept it with peace of mind.
You sit comfortably cross-legged. If it is more comfortable, you can use a yoga block or sit on an exercise ball, for example. Keep your back straight and either place your palms together in front of your chest or rest your hands on your knees. Concentrate fully on calm, deep breathing .
cat / cow
This exercise is especially good if you have tension in your back. You relieve the pelvic floor and help to bring the baby into the right position. And this is how it works: Standing on all fours, you alternately let your back sag when you breathe in and roll it up into a cat's hump when you breathe out. Breathe deeply and calmly while looking down at the floor.
The pelvic circles help both standing and in the quadruped position. The name explains the exercise itself: draw gentle circles with your pelvis and keep your upper body largely still. The movement should primarily come from the hip area. After a few laps you can switch directions.
By the way, you can also do this asana in between in everyday life and do yourself a favor, because it strengthens the pelvic floor and thus makes pregnancy and birth easier for you.
A strong stretching effect occurs here, which can put a lot of strain on your body if you have not done yoga before. The dog is therefore more advisable if you are already experienced - and only if the pregnancy is not too far advanced .
Make sure your palms are flat on the floor and push your pelvis up as you exhale from the quadruped. If it is comfortable, you can alternately bend and straighten your knees slightly. Then find a resting position for a few breaths.
With the shoulder bridge you can relieve your pelvis : lying on your back, put your feet up and lift your pelvis in the air, creating an oblique line from your head to your knees. The fingertips are stretched towards the heel. In this position, it is advisable to support the pelvis with a block.
But be careful: This asana can cause the child to turn over . So if it's already really in your stomach after the 34th week, this exercise does more harm than good and you should better avoid it.
Standing exercises such as the tree are more suitable as you get closer to giving birth . Because even if the freedom of movement is already severely restricted by a large baby bump, you can still pass the tree through.
To do this, lift one leg from a standing position and place your foot on the inside of the other thigh. Alternatively, you can simply place it on your thigh. The palms are together above your head or alternatively are supported on the hips.
Of course, the more weight you already have in your stomach, the harder it is to keep your balance. You can use all sorts of aids to ensure that you stand still: keep your fingertips on the edge of a chair, place your foot gently on a yoga block, etc.
In this position you open your pelvic area and prevent back pain. The birth canal is widened, which means that with regular practice you can prepare well for the birth and speed it up.
From a standing position, squat down deeply with the tips of your toes directly under your knees. The feet stand firmly on the mat . You can hold this position for as long as you want. Here, too, you should be careful: In the case of premature contractions or if the child is still wrong shortly before birth, the exercise is not recommended under any circumstances.
Of course, the ultimate resting pose should not be missing during pregnancy. At the end of the yoga session, lie down on the mat, make yourself comfortable and let go of all tension and thoughts. From the 24th week, however, you should not lie on your back, but rather on your side , because this will ensure better blood supply.
As you can see, with yoga during pregnancy you can make a significant contribution to making this time as relaxing as possible for you and your baby. As long as you only do asanas that are comfortable for you, you are promoting your health and that of your child . Dare to get on the mat - you won't regret it.
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