What is Prenatal Yoga?
Prenatal yoga is a special type of yoga performed by women who are midway through their pregnancies. The prenatal yoga asanas are specifically designed for pregnant women’s bodies. This yoga can be started at any time of the pregnancy, but it is most advisable to start prenatal yoga from the first trimester to avoid the unwanted pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, bloating, and back pain. Doctors advise yogis to not overdo routines in the first trimester to make sure that the mothers do not exhaust themselves as the first trimester is most challenging period of the pregnancy.
How is Prenatal Yoga Different from Classic Yoga?
People often raise this query. Pregnant yogi women are frequently confused about whether they should change their routine of regular routine asana and switch to a different routine after getting pregnant. The answer to this question is yes. Prenatal yoga differs from classic yoga in terms of poses and postures.
In classic yoga, Asana includes difficult positions, for example, the one in which the yogi has to spread their feet as wide as they can, putting too much pressure on your joints and pelvic area. This is not suitable for pregnant women as the fetus already puts additional pressure and weight on the pelvic area and joints. Extra hormonal release due to pregnancy also weakens the joints, so it’s unsafe for pregnant women to do classic yoga. For this reason, pregnant women are encouraged to perform prenatal yoga instead of regular yoga.
What are the Benefits of Prenatal Yoga?
It is no secret that yoga has countless benefits. Centuries have proven yoga to improve the mental and physical health of yoga practitioners. Its positive effects may include:
Reduces Stress and Anxiety:
Pregnancy may cause women to feel heightened emotions due to extra hormone release in their bodies. Prenatal yoga helps reduce stress and anxiety and calms you down. Structured breathing helps alleviate the chances of depression. Breathing in unhurried, measured breaths blocks cortisol, which has been correlated to depression.
Controls Blood Pressure:
Numerous researches have proved that prenatal yoga helps lower the blood pressure of pregnant women.
Reduces the Risk of Premature Childbirth:
Stress, anxiety, and tension have proven to the preterm birth and miscarriages. Yoga is the greatest stress releaser of all time, and women who do yoga for 60 minutes a day have shown to have a much lower preterm labor rate. This must include breathing exercises, trying posture positions, and meditation.
Stronger Connection with Baby:
Taking time out of the busy routine of a pregnant mother to focus on their body and, therefore, the baby is a reminder of nature’s gift of motherhood. A mother starts bonding with the baby when she spends time doing yoga, focusing on the baby’s wellness.
Improves Labor Experience:
Breathing exercises turn out to be beneficial in labor. Starting labor in any trimester of the pregnancy helps you control your emotions and stay positive during labor. Practice with breathing exercises controls anxiety and panic of the women while they are in labor. This makes the procedure less painful.
Improving Childbirth Recovery:
The numerous stretching and strengthening exercises practiced in yoga mentally and physically prepare women for childbirth. As prenatal yoga leaves muscles more toned and stronger, recovery is much easier for yogis than for women who do not do prenatal yoga.
Does Prenatal Yoga Help to Lose Weight?
Google shows that the most searched query about yoga is if it helps you lose weight. The answer is yes! You can lose weight with yoga paired with a suitable diet. Yoga generally is a practice to improve mental and physical health to create a deeper connection of one’s mind to their body. People do yoga for the fitness of the body and mind. When it comes to weight loss, there are a few ways you may be able to lose weight through yoga.
Cuts down unhealthy eating habits:
Yoga sharpens your mind and opens up your heart along with strengthening your muscles. When you obtain a healthy lifestyle, yoga eradicates unhealthy eating habits from your life. Practicing mindfulness in yoga connects you to your body, and you automatically cut down on unhealthy and junk food and switch to a much healthier feeling diet. This helps in weight loss incredibly.
Reduces Stress Eating:
Chronic stress and unmanaged stress are the two greatest causes of binge-eating. This uncontrolled comfort food consumption on a large-scale leads to unhealthy weight gain.
Yoga is a great stress reliever. A practicing yogi is skilled in controlling and managing stress. Yogis handle stress in much better and healthier ways than non-yoga practitioners. Therefore, a yogi does not opt for unhealthy binge-eating. This factor also helps reduce pounds for the yogis.
Every pose, position and Asana burns calories. The extended period spent in one pose targets specific body parts, not only burns calories but also forms muscle. Unwanted white fat is burnt and replaced with muscle. This gives yogis a very healthy body with very little white fat.
Some poses that target specific body parts and help burn calories are listed here.
Chaturanga Dandasana or Plank Pose:
Invented many centuries ago, this yoga pose stresses the core and strengthens abdominal muscles.
Virabhadrasana or Warrior Pose:
A pose in which your arms are extended, this posture targets and tones the shoulder and thigh muscles. The best pose to apply pressure on your spine and help with critical thinking and concentration is the warrior pose. The warrior III pose focuses on your stomach and the more you hold this pose, the more benefits it will offer. If you contract abdominal muscles while holding the warrior III pose, you get a flat stomach in just a few weeks.
Adho Mukhasvanasana or Downward Dog Pose:
The downward dog’s pose tones the entire body. It enhances arm, hip, thigh, and back muscles. This pose is beneficial for the whole body structure. It also improves blood circulation of the body, providing more healthy blood to the body. Holding the downward dog pose enhances concentration level and focus more than any other yoga pose.
Is Yoga for Weight Loss A Stable Way of Losing Extra Pounds?
Yoga for weight loss is a debatable topic. You cannot lose weight with just yoga, it must be paired with some healthy practice, for example, a healthy diet. It may or may not work for everyone, weight loss results vary from person to person.
Prenatal Yoga can help manage weight for pregnant women during pregnancy. Yoga relaxes and calms pregnant women, and the deeper connection with their bodies helps them identify their body’s requirements and needs. Bodily awareness makes it much easier for pregnant yogis to lose weight, as they are much more motivated. Studies have shown that regular yogis lose pregnancy weight with more ease than no yoga practitioners.