Yoga when you are pregnant helps to strengthen the body for child bearing and aids in relieving the common discomforts the body experiences. Yoga also help you find the time and space to look within yourself, allowing you to openly explore your own intrinsic knowledge about the cycles of life. It is a wondrous opportunity to come together with a circle of women to share and connect with some of the hopes and fears that pregnancy brings as well.

A prenatal and postnatal yoga practice can help you:
- Support your health before and after pregnancy
- Connect you with other parents who are at all stages of pregnancy
- Improve your postpartum recovery,
- Helps to strengthen the body for child bearing and aids in relieving the common discomforts the body experiences.
- Alleviate many of the discomforts of pregnancy such as nausea, constipation, varicose veins, swelling, back pain and sciatica.

Cautions about practicing yoga while pregnant:

Since nausea is common during the first trimester, it may be helpful to practice in a well-ventilated room. During the second trimester your growing belly will require modifying some poses. Use common sense and avoid putting undue pressure on the abdomen in poses like Head To Knee Postures, Seated Forward Fold, and Forward Bends Towards the Knee,as well as Seated Spinal Twists,. You may also choose to reduce the amount of vinyasa if generating heat in the body makes you uncomfortable. The third trimester will require you to continue to adapt and even omit certain postures. Standing poses like Extended Triangle Pose, and Extended Side Angle Pose can help relieve back pain. And a simple inversion such as Legs-Up-the-Wall-Pose can help to relieve swollen ankles. Some poses might require additional props or support (blocks, blankets, bolsters). Through each trimester the most important thing is to tune in to what your body is telling you and alter your practice accordingly. During and after your pregnancy, try not to be attached to your previous abilities or level of flexibility. Pregnancy is a great time to learn how to emotionally, spiritually and physically release, open up and let go.

Other words of wisdom for pregnant women interested in yoga:

Linking yoga postures with breath will lead you to new discoveries, bringing awareness to the mind, body and soul, and also the spirit of your growing baby. Your practice will help to foster a sense of calm and acceptance as well as strengthen the uterus and pelvic muscles, aid in digestion, exercise the spine and increase overall comfort. Yoga can also alleviate many of the discomforts of pregnancy such as nausea, varicose veins, swelling, back pain and sciatica. Being in a community gives you access to a safe circle so you can freely discuss any issues, from discomforts and concerns, to the wonderful new changes your body and baby are experiencing.
Pregnancy can make you feel more tired than usual. It is essential to be aware of this and try not to do things to the point of fatigue. If you feel tired after yoga or any other physical exercise, it means that the practice has been faulty or that you have done too much. Signals such as pains, stitches, cramps, nausea, dizziness, headaches and contractions should never be felt during or after yoga practice. Yoga generates energy, rather than dissipating it.

Author's Bio: 

Jasmine Kaloudis teacher yoga lifestyle concepts at Synergy By Jasmine or at in Philadelphia, PA. Throughout her 15 year yoga practice and teachings, Jasmine Kaloudis has experienced how yoga is a tool which allows us to experience our selves more fully and more richly.

For free images of yoga poses with tips on how to do them, email info at jasminepartneryoga dot com with "Request Yoga Poses and Tips" in headline.

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