When You Do Prenatal Yoga, This Is What Happens To Your Body

For moms-to-be looking for a relaxing, low-impact fitness routine, prenatal yoga may just be the perfect fit. After all, expecting a little one can be a stressful, though exciting, time. Plus, doctors recommend staying fit during pregnancy for both physical and mental health reasons, as staying active can help with your energy level, mood, and sleep (via What to Expect). Prenatal yoga combines the exercise and meditation portions based on breath of regular yoga and focuses on positions specifically for pregnant bodies.

The emphasis on breath, stretching, and strengthening motions can help prepare your body for labor, according to What to Expect. The stress-relieving benefits of breathing exercises and meditation can also cut down your risk of preterm labor and other complications, as well as provide some much-needed calm during delivery. The exercise portion of prenatal yoga can serve as physical activity to help manage weight gain.

Prenatal yoga can also alleviate some of the not-so-fun pregnancy symptoms of headaches, lower back pain, nausea, and shortness of breath (via Mayo Clinic). However, it is important to make sure you are staying hydrated, cool, and comfortable. Make sure to modify postures to align with what feels good for your body.

Which yoga classes are best for pregnancy?

You may be wondering if it's okay to jump into prenatal yoga if yoga wasn't in your fitness routine pre-pregnancy. Good news: As long as your doctor has okayed exercise, you should be good to go. Of course, it is best to double-check with your medical team when making any changes to your routine, per Well+Good. Other types of yoga that may be a good fit for expecting moms are hatha yoga and restorative yoga (via Mayo Clinic). But do skip the hot yoga classes, as they can raise your body temperature too much and be too vigorous.

All in all, prenatal yoga can be a healthy addition to your fitness routine for both you and your little one. The stretching and conditioning of muscles, as well as mental centering and focused breathing, can actually be similar to other childbirth-preparation classes. As always, consult your doctor and do what you feel is the best fit for your pregnancy journey.