Wendy Hassenpflug, owner of Vayu Yoga®, shares tips on how expecting moms can practice prenatal yoga safely.
By Wendy Hassenpflug, MS, E-RYT
When a woman learns that she has become pregnant, her number one priority should be to make sure that her baby gets a healthy start in life. This of course means that they do their best to take care of their own bodies since it directly affects the development of the baby’s body. Prenatal care can help prevent complications during pregnancy and inform parents of the essential steps to take to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Changes during pregnancy
One of the best ways to understand what an expecting mother needs is to learn about what types of changes occur, besides the obvious weight gain. In addition to the growing stomach as the baby develops, there are many physical and physiological changes that occur during pregnancy. Here are just a few of the changes:
- Connective tissue surrounding the joints soften
- Resting heart rate can be higher than normal
- Abdominal muscles stretch and weaken
- Low back muscles shorten
- Center of gravity changes due to the weight gain in front of the body
- Shoulders pull forward, resulting in slouched posture
It is important for expecting mothers to learn how to tune into their bodily needs by making time for self-care. There are specific nutritional concerns, as well as healthier diet choices to take into consideration when a woman is pregnant. In addition, the right types of exercise can be very beneficial for the entire process. Enhancing the amount of Omega-3 and vitamin D are both essential for the health of the baby and mother. The term ‘eating for two’ can be misleading and some women are gaining too much weight, surveys are now showing that roughly 50% of all pregnant women are overweight or obese. Expecting mothers need to choose the right types of foods so that they both remain healthy during pregnancy. The best choices are found in fresh, whole foods, even organic whenever possible. Eating well-balanced mini meals throughout the day that include protein, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables.
Exercise during pregnancy
In addition to nutritional needs during pregnancy, exercise should be an important part of the daily routine for pregnant women. Exercise during pregnancy has great benefits, it can prepare women for labor and childbirth, but it needs to be approached with caution. First and foremost, expecting mothers should have healthcare provider approval for exercise. Studies show that women that exercise before childbirth, and during the first and second trimesters are less likely to deliver prematurely. Here are some other things to put on the checklist for mothers-to-be when exercising:
- Drink plenty of water (½ your body weight in ounces)
- Lay on your sides, or propped up on back (not flat on your back)
- Be careful to not over-exert yourself, or get overheated
- Get up from the floor slowly
- Cool down with stretches and breathing exercises after exercising
Studies have shown that prenatal yoga can help keep mom and baby healthy. Current research suggests that prenatal yoga is safe and can have many benefits for pregnant women and their babies. In fact studies have shown that pregnant women who practice yoga for one hour, three times per week, were less likely to have low birth-weight babies, pregnancy-related diabetes and high blood pressure. Some of the most beneficial outcomes of prenatal yoga include:
- Improved sleep
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Increased strength, flexibility and endurance of the muscles needed for childbirth
- Decreased low-back pain, nausea, and headaches
- Decreased risk of preterm labor and pregnancy-induced hypertension
A prenatal yoga class should include breathing exercises, gentle stretches, yoga poses that address overall posture, in particular – the back, hips and feet, and a cool down with relaxation techniques. If a prenatal yoga class is not available then try to find a teacher that has training in prenatal yoga techniques and modifications. It is important to understand which yoga poses should be modified or even avoided at certain stages of pregnancy. Not all types of yoga are suitable for every expecting mother, in fact some can be detrimental. Styles of yoga that are extremely strenuous or create too much internal and external heat may not be the choices for all pregnant women. Many teachers can also work privately with expecting mothers, which can be tremendously beneficial to customize their yoga practice for their individual needs. Scheduling privates every few weeks can provide effective changes to the yoga practice that complement the constantly-changing body of the expecting mother.
Vayu Yoga® will be holding a prenatal yoga workshop on August 13th, and will then start a prenatal yoga series. For more information about the workshop of series, call us a 661-222-9262, registration will be available online soon at www.VayuYoga.com. Vayu Yoga® provides a broad range of specialty instruction that pertain to training the body and mind via floor-based yoga, aerial yoga, YogaWall®, Pilates®, and other related stretching and therapeutic practices. We offer many styles and levels of yoga, including Restorative, Meditation, Gentle, and Therapeutic Yoga. Our experienced teachers provide personalized attention to our students through small group trainings (1-8 students). Vayu Yoga® gives students the tools they need to perform a safe practice for their individual bodies, teaching how to listen to their bodies, and create a strong awareness in their practice.
About Santa Clarita Vayu Yoga® Owner Wendy Hassenpflug
Wendy Hassenpflug is an E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher), through Yoga Alliance, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Pilates Teacher (Pilates Method Alliance), Certified Personal Trainer (National College of Exercise Professionals). She holds a Master of Science in Kinesiology and a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science, and has over 26 years of experience as an educator in secondary and higher education.
Wendy teaches private, duet, and small group trainings at her studio Vayu Yoga®, located at 24353 Main Street Newhall, CA 91321. Visit http://www.vayuyoga.com for more information or to schedule an appointment or book a training.
Wendy hosts “Vibrant Living with Vayu Yoga®” on AM 1220 KHTS radio in Santa Clarita, CA, Tuesdays from 11:00am till Noon. Click here to listen to podcasts.
Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking Santa Clarita news alerts delivered right to your inbox.
Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Santa Clarita News