Yoga and the Second Trimester of Pregnancy
Are you a Yoga enthusiast and want to continue to do your practice while pregnant?
Yoga can continue to be practiced during your second trimester with just a few precautions. Your body will produce a hormone called relaxin. It is designed to soften bones and ligaments to make room for the baby and preparing your body for birth.
Overstretching can be damaging to these relaxed parts and you should avoid overstretching. By the second trimester, your morning sickness should be over. You're feeling better physically and by now you've told the world that you're pregnant, even if you are not showing. If you are taking Yoga classes, be sure to tell your Yoga instructor that you are pregnant and she can adapt any of the poses that will need to be altered.
If you haven't yet started a Yoga practice and you are new at this, now is the perfect time to start. Always contact your health care provider before starting any new exercise program. This is a good rule of thumb even if you aren't pregnant. Your doctor can give permission to proceed to begin any new exercise program.
Start with finding a class with an excellent and experienced teacher. Many women enter Yoga for the first time during their pregnancy so don't worry that you will be the only new pregnant woman in class.
If you are already practicing a Yoga routine, there is no need to give up your classes if you feel strong enough to do them. You can incorporate your own adaptations to the poses when fitting. As your belly grows, the more adaptations you will need to make. You will want to take any inversion pose to the wall if it poses a risk of falling. If you aren't comfortable doing these poses, then it's all right to give your body permission to skip them. One that you can practice safely is the Legs Up the Wall Pose.
If you practice at home, you still might consider going to a prenatal class at least once or twice a week. You will be able to connect with other pregnant women there and know you are not alone in what you are going through.
Some Yoga Poses you will want to avoid during your second trimester or at least adapt them to your growing belly. Deep twists from the belly compress all of your internal organs and that includes the uterus. You can continue to do the twists, just do them gently from the shoulders instead of the belly. Avoid jumping and doing poses that require back bends. Abdominal strengtheners should be avoided, as they need to be softened in preparation for birth. Of course, lying on the belly should not be practiced once you begin to show. It will probably be too uncomfortable for you anyway.
Practice the Birthing Breath, deep inhales in through the nose and breathing out slowly through the mouth. If you are new to Yoga or someone who just wants to continue practicing, you'll find that Yoga is an excellent way to stay in shape during pregnancy.
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