When we think of yoga, our minds tend to envision someone dressed in black and sitting in a contorted position. Yoga is much more than this image.
Yoga has been used for centuries to help center a person and relive stress. In many countries yoga for pregnancy is considered the only option. Yoga can be a great way to stay flexible, relive stress and prepare for birth.
By using, stretching and cultivating the muscles for birth, you inherently make birth easier. The muscles are prepared by the yoga to do their job efficiently in labor. Not to mention the glorious relaxation skills that you can bring to your birth after the months of practicing.
Yoga can also alleviate the discomforts caused by pregnancy. There are poses for sciatic pain, round ligament pain, and yes, even morning sickness. Many women begin yoga for a life long activity during pregnancy, finding that returning to yoga is much simpler postpartum than many other fitness activities.
"I love going to my yoga classes. I felt I had more energy and my aches and pains generally were less after class than before," Lisa told me after her first baby's birth.
As with any exercise program it is best to consult your practitioner before beginning. However, with the exception of not lying directly on your back or stomach after the fourth month, and avoiding what doesn't feel right to you, there is very little yoga that would be a problem during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Yoga Videos