Today is International Day of Yoga. As a prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher, I have seen numerous women benefiting immensely by practising Yoga during pregnancy and post pregnancy. However, even today, I see women having lot of fear and misconceptions about practising yoga during pregnancy. Let me share with you some of the doubts and questions that are frequently asked by women when they come to me:

  1. Is it safe to do yoga during pregnancy?

Yes, it is safe to practice yoga throughout pregnancy. However, the yoga poses are modified/simplified depending on the different stages of pregnancy. It is recommended not to practice power yoga, hot yoga etc.

2) I have never practised yoga before. Can I start during pregnancy?

Yes, you can start during pregnancy. The ideal time to start is when the usual discomforts like nausea and morning sickness has subsided. Remember to start slow and understand the limitations of your body. You can safely practice yoga till the end of your pregnancy.

3) Why should I practice Yoga during pregnancy?

Yoga is a mind-body practice that works on the physical, emotional and spiritual level.

Some of the benefits are:

A) Tones your muscles, and improves your balance and circulation, with little impact on your joints.

B) Helps promote blood circulation, thereby preventing and reducing the common swelling of the ankles, feet and hands during pregnancy.

C) Stretches and strengthens the muscles of the lower back and the spine. This reduces muscular tension and improves posture which alleviates the back pain.

D) Breathing and relaxation poses calms both the body and mind and helps in reducing stress and anxiety.

E) Yoga practices like hip openers help prepare the body better for labour and birth.

F) Helps to alleviate common pregnancy symptoms like nausea, heartburn, constipation etc.

4) Is it safe to practice yoga while trying to conceive?

Absolutely. In fact, there are certain yoga poses that help boost fertility and manage lifestyle diseases like hypertension, Diabetes etc and aid in conception. Remember- If you start yoga now, it is much easier to continue during pregnancy and post pregnancy which can give you multiple benefits throughout your journey to motherhood.

5) When can I start Yoga after delivery?

The ideal time to start after a normal vaginal birth is around 6-8 weeks and around 10-12 weeks after C section. However, it is advised to consult your doctor prior to starting any form of fitness routine to rule out any other persisting medical conditions.

6) Why should I practise postnatal yoga?

Postnatal yoga help strengthen the postpartum body by strengthening the core and pelvic floor muscles and help recover from the stress of childbirth. It helps with hormonal balance, promotes stamina and strength and helps with anxiety and depression. It also helps to lose extra pregnancy weight, reduce sagging of muscles, joint pain, backache etc.

Hope you find this information helpful.

On this day, let us pledge to make Yoga an integral part of our journey to motherhood.

If you need any further information, please feel to write to me at ganga@ilove9months.com.

Ganga Raj is the Director-Wellness of I love 9 Months. She has more than 15 years’ experience in fitness and wellness industry and is a certified pre-natal & postnatal yoga and Barre trainer.

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