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The great benefits of yoga in pregnancy

From: Kathy's Yoga Blog,

10
December
2008
The great benefits of yoga in pregnancy

Practicing yoga during pregnancy can be wonderful for both your body and mind. As your body changes and new life develops inside you, yoga can help you adapt and center during this time of great change.

Yoga designed specifically for antenatal women presents a way to keep the body in shape throughout pregnancy, while preparing for labour and motherhood. Here are some of the benefits: Through yoga, you can tone muscles, improve posture, and keep balance as you grow. The strengthening and stretching can help to decrease the aches and pains that come from increased weight and your shifting balance and center of gravity.

Yoga helps to relieve stress and tension by training your body to relax, which can be very helpful during labour and during other stressful times.

The different types of yogic breathing can be either energizing or calming, and are very useful for labor. They can also be used during any stressful situation, in pregnancy or once the baby is born. The visualizations can also decrease tension, and bring a deeper connection inward to your baby and also to your deepest feelings.

It is important to check with your doctor before beginning antenatal yoga, just as you would with any exercise routine. Also, make sure your instructor has had specialized training in prenatal yoga.

In class, pay attention to your body and to what feels good when you are practicing. Whenever you exercise -- especially at this time-- there is the risk of doing too much, so if you feel any pain, or discomfort, stop. It's also very important for pregnant women to make sure not to overstretch because mid-pregnancy, hormones loosen the joints, and you don't want to stretch them more. A good teacher, and a consistent, gradual practice will make a big difference.

Yoga can help you return your body to it's best shape after labour, as well. Just make sure you have your doctor's approval before you begin. The breathing and meditative processes will also enable you to better handle the life changes that a new baby brings.

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Kathy Jones works with clients to customise short yoga programs to meet their needs through Charym in Litchfield, CT. She teaches teaches therapeutic group classes including evidence-based yoga for chronic back pain, yoga for neck and shoulder tension, sleep yoga and fertility yoga, as well as offering private sessions. To arrange an appointment or to see the current class schedule, visit www.charym.com or email yogainfo@charym.com.

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