Article by Kristyn Porter
Yoga has long been hailed as both a great relaxation technique as well as a great form of physical exercise and therapy; yoga therapy for soon-to-be mothers has wonderful benefits, for both the child and the soon-to-be mom. No matter what level of yogi you are, prenatal yoga is a preferred and homeopathic way to prepare for the birthing process; with focus on breathing and stretching, many non-yoga traditional prenatal classes already incorporate yoga techniques. There are different kinds of yoga poses for each trimester stage – so let’s take a look.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, yoga therapy is a beneficial and low impact exercise that warms up the muscles while gently stretching them. Prenatal yoga at this stage in the pregnancy is formulated to be easier than non-prenatal yoga classes (taking into consideration morning sickness, etc), so don’t stress if you’re a beginner. Try to take it easy the first trimester – if you aren’t up to going to class, it’s okayDoing yoga at well-spaced intervals throughout your first trimester is a good way to prepare for your second trimester, the time when most pregnant women find yoga to be beneficial.
Prenatal yoga is commonly more practiced throughout the duration of the second trimester and the beginning of the third. During the second trimester of a pregnancy, yoga therapy is ideal because morning sickness (for the most part) is over, and the growing child is still relatively small, allowing the mother to move freely without fear. Doing yoga once a week during the second trimester will strengthen and loosen your muscles for the coming months and perhaps the most critical – the third trimester.
During the third trimester, the hard work put into prenatal yoga from the second trimester will come in handy. It’s difficult to move around a lot during this stage, so feel free to lighten up on yoga sessions. Instead, spend time with yoga therapy by focusing on breathing – this will be valuable during birth. During this phase, it’s ge nerally best to avoid any yoga poses that focus primarily on or around the stomach; instead, opt to “play it safe” with a few light stretches and breathing exercises.
Prenatal yoga classes do more than benefit the body; the community and relationships formed during a prenatal class will become a great support system throughout the duration of pregnancy. An essential part of yoga therapy involves tending to the mind; the care and restoration of mind, body and spirit must all be heeded to for true therapy to occur. Look into your local yoga directory – most studios have offer prenatal classes for different levels of yogis, from beginner to experienced. The connections formed during this unique period of time should be taken care of with extra attention, and attending a yoga session is a great way to soothe the mind, body and spirit.
About the Author
Kristyn Porter lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband. You can learn more about yoga therapy and prenatal yoga at http://www.yoga-therapy.net