Prenatal Yoga

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Yoga is a wildly popular exercise lately — with Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and Alessandra Ambrosio among the famous femme fatales who advocate the low-impact whole-body workout. Victoria’s Secret model Ambrosio says yoga helped her get back her bikini body after her pregnancy, but you don’t have to wait until the baby is born to get started. In fact, new research indicates there may be extra benefits to practicing yoga while pregnant, especially when it comes time to deliver. A recent study of pregnant women in Thailand shows that yoga can help provide a more manageable birth. Seventy-four women were equally divided into two groups, one group participating in six one-hour yoga sessions at varying weeks of pregnancy. This group was found to have higher levels of maternal comfort during and after labor, with women experiencing a shorter laboring period in general.

What about the benefits?

Here are a few that should get you thinking:

  • It’s a form of relaxation. Yoga releases tension and teaches the practitioner how to stay focused and in the moment.
  • It builds stamina and flexibility. With stronger muscles, you can go longer without taking pain medications which are known to slow labor.
  • It focuses on breathing. Traditional Lamaze classes teach give you deep-breathing techniques, but yoga takes it to another level, adding in stretching and movement.
  • It’s active. Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you feel good — simple as that.

Prenatal yoga can give women both physical and mental advantages during the birthing process. In the below video testimonial, a pregnant woman describes how yoga and massage helped her get to know her body better.

So what about safety?

While prenatal yoga can be safe, every woman experiences pregnancy differently and it might not be right for everyone. Always ask for your doctor’s advice before choosing a workout plan.

Here are a few tips for practicing safely:

  • If you ever feel like a position or pose is too much for your body, don’t do it.
  • Many pregnant women do not realize how important it is to be careful while stretching. During pregnancy the body releases a hormone throughout your entire body that lubricates the joints and softens tissues to accommodate the baby. This can make the joints unstable, so move slowly and don’t overexert yourself.
  • Try to eat at least two hours before doing prenatal yoga. And in case you get hungry make sure you have a small snack like a granola bar or smoothie to tide you over.

Taking classes in Thailand

There are many prenatal yoga studios in Thailand. Here are a few to get you started:

Teaching classes in Thailand

What if you’re interested in becoming a teacher or practitioner of prenatal yoga? Here are a few reputable schools in Thailand where you can learn how:

You can start anytime in your pregnancy, even up to labor and delivery as long as you’re being extra cautious. Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. Help connect your mind, spirit and body during this time by giving prenatal yoga a go.

ExpectingExpats.com

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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