Yoga with its holistic approach to exercise is unquestionably India’s healthiest export to the world. The Western world in particular have lapped up this ancient fitness regime as a spiritual conduit to attain mental and physical nirvana.
Yoga’s be-spoke gentle exercises as opposed to high-intensity workouts are of significant benefit to women in a pregnant state. Pregnancy is a period of varying degrees of emotion for a woman, from utter joy to severe pain and discomfort. Yoga goes a long way in alleviating any discomfort during the birth and post-delivery stages.
Here are seven key benefits of prenatal Yoga: –
- The chances of natural childbirth are significantly increased as a result of practising Yoga both during and prior to pregnancy since it helps develop the reproductive system and strengthens the pelvic floor muscles. Toned muscles and elastic ligaments in the pelvis, hip and leg areas help the body adapt to various positions during labour, thereby helping in natural child birth.
- Pregnant mothers look healthier in the body and in mind, in spite of the stress, anxiety and even depression during pregnancy.
- Back problems, particularly lower back pains, during pregnancy is a common source of discomfort during pregnancy. The various postures of Yoga help to ensure that there is no such discomfort.
- Various breathing techniques’ or pranayams help prepare for labour. It helps the body to relax and the mind to escape all the aches and pains of labour, while making the process of childbirth quick and easy.
- Yoga is performed in various poses or asaanas that works different muscles, joints or systems of the body. This in turn encourages breathing and body awareness which prepares the body and mind for child birth.
- Intrauterine growth restriction is a condition that slows a baby’s growth. Yoga decreases this condition as well as the risk of preterm labour and pregnancy-induced hypertension. Some specific asanas also relieves digestive problems like gas, constipation and nausea.
- Yoga helps improve blood circulation, reduce water retention and manage blood pressure.
Hilaria Baldwin, a yoga teacher and wife of Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin, told Pregnancy Magazine during her first pregnancy in 2013 that, “The number-one thing in taking care of yourself in pregnancy is having low stress. It’s really about being more in touch with your body, and yoga teaches that to you.”
There are various safety guidelines to be followed while practising Yoga during pregnancy, particularly in cases of high-risk or any complications. Therefore, it is best to conduct Yoga under the guidance of a qualified Yoga Master or pre-natal instructor.
 Hilaria Baldwin talks mid-pregnancy fitness, April 01, 2013 by Pregnancy Editors