The benefits of Yoga & Pilates during Pregnancy?
I love both of these and the benefits of doing both during a class gives you that extra bonus of mixing poses together which are beneficial or works best for you. Stretching exercises promote circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body, relaxing both body and mind and promoting a sense of general well-being. So let’s start with
Yoga During Pregnancy
Yoga is great for working our muscles without putting too much strain on your joints. Most of the breathing techniques you’ll use in yoga are a good preparation for giving birth, as they will help you stay calm and breathe steadily through your contractions.
One of the most important benefits of yoga for a pregnant woman is the focus on breathing. Concentrating on breathing properly will teach you to relax your mind and body, even in frightening or high-stress situations, helping you to develop an healthier pregnancy.
You will gain so much more than flexibility, it will improve your posture by strengthening the core muscles and will help ease or relieve back pain, it will aid balance, stability, relaxation, meditation and self-awareness.
When pregnant women tend to shift their pelvis forward in response to the increased weight of baby, which places significant strain on the lower back. Pregnancy can shift the position of the digestive organs, impeding digestion and causing unwanted side effects. Yoga can help reverse this process and restore healthy digestion.
There are some positions which are not ok during pregnancy, so do ensure you choose a pregnancy yoga class with a fully qualified yoga pregnancy teacher.
Pilates during Pregnancy
Pilates can be very beneficial for pregnant women, helping you to maintain good posture, alleviate some of the aches and pains and become more aware of your changing body. It also helps you to follow a safe and effective exercise program throughout the whole of your pregnancy, which can be adapted to meet each stage of your pregnancy and energy levels day to day.
Pilates targets the very muscles which get weakened by pregnancy itself eg the pelvic floor and core. It also helps you breathe (great for labour), puts your body in an optimal postural position and relieves tension in your neck, shoulders, hips and lower back.
The benefits are similar to Yoga, tone your abdominals/core muscles, realign your posture, become more flexible, strengthen your pelvic floor, relieve tension in tight muscles, strengthen your back, works on your breathe and finally relaxation.