When I was pregnant with both of my children, I could not live without prenatal yoga. Pregnancy makes your body more limber, and yoga takes advantage of this new found elasticity and prepares mothers for labor. Squatting is the best method for delivering in a typical pregnancy, as it shortens the birth canal and is how women have been doing it forever, and prenatal yoga squats strengthen the legs in preparation. In addition, the deep, relaxing breath further prepares women for the upcoming challenges of delivery.
With both of my children I suffered from back pain, as I gained a lot of weight (45 and 55 pounds). I also had trouble sleeping and issues with my legs swelling, as well as really, really bad morning sickness in the first trimester. Prenatal yoga relieved all of these symptoms! There are certain poses you shouldn’t do while pregnant, such as lying on your back in corpse pose when you have passed your first trimester, and most poses have appropriate modifications for your growing belly. In addition, you must remain hydrated, should not try any crazy poses that were not already part of your practice, and be aware of how your changing belly affects your balance.
Because I live 2 hours from the nearest town offering prenatal yoga classes, I had to read books and use videos to help me learn how to modify my practice appropriately for my growing belly. The following DVDs featured in the Amazon ads were ones I used when pregnant, although there may be better ones out there. I had trouble learning from books, and I found the videos the most useful for my home practice. After I had used them a few times, I no longer needed them and created my own practice. I donated my DVDs to my midwives’ lending library for future mommas! Zen Mamawas my favorite DVD, and I love watching pregnant women do yoga. Their big bellies look so beautiful doing the asanas.