Is it okay for pregnant women to practice Yoga?

Pregnant women could benefit a lot from yoga. However, it is essential that it is done only after consulting the doctor and a trained Yoga practitioner. Asanas that involves stretching are usually prescribed for pregnant women. Different stages of pregnancy will require different asanas and hence professional consultation is extremely important.

In fact, there are asanas that can help normal delivery and specific asanas to bring back the body to shape after delivery. The first 13 weeks of pregnancy are extremely important and extra care is required during this period. Hence, it is always advised that they perform only simple asanas during this time. Practicing pranayama could reduce the stress and improve the mental state of a pregnant woman.

The period from the 14th to the 26th week of pregnancy requires at most care and asanas, which are performed while sitting, are desirable during this period. Breathing exercises can also help. From then on, until delivery, asanas, which improve the flexibility of the body, are prescribed viz, Vrikshasana, Uthadasana, shavasana etc.

Yoga and mental stress
Yoga is practiced to match the rhythm of breathing and this improves the circulation of oxygen in the body, therefore purifying the body and making the individual agile and active. Practicing yoga asanas along with pranayama can significantly reduce mental stress and help attain control over one’s temper. It is also effective in dealing with depression and anxiety. Along with being an effective solution to migraine, Yoga also helps in improving concentration.

Practicing Yoga during periods
Though it was earlier believed that Yoga should not be practiced during periods, today experts say that simple yoga postures can be done during periods. Daily practice of yoga can reduce menstrual pain and help to effectively deal with irregular periods.