Wow, this is my first post in… a long while! I don’t even know if anyone still reads this, but the reason I’ve neglected this blog is because I got married, and a couple months after that I went and got myself PREGNANT. It might be an understatement to say that there has been a few things on my mind. I’m entering my 24th week now, so I’m already halfway through my 2nd trimester!
My last post was about Tabata 20/10, and just when I discovered it I got pregnant and couldn’t explore it more. In fact, I stopped doing all high-intensity exercises the moment I found out about the pregnancy and even bailed out of a full marathon (and out $125) that I was supposed to run with my husband. There’s some controversy on how much pregnant women should exercise. The age-old advice is that you should not have your heart rate elevated to more than 140 bpm. Modern research indicates otherwise. To stay on the safe side, I’ve stuck to more low-key exercises, such as prenatal yoga.
There are countless benefits to prenatal yoga, both for mommy and baby, such as:
- Keeping your body limber and flexible.
- Tones muscles while being gentle on the joints (pregnant women release a hormone called relaxin that loosens the joints and ligaments… so it’s easier for pregnant women to strain their muscles with more rigorous activities).
- The ujjayi breathing technique practiced in yoga will help relax you during labor and delivery.
- Reduces low back pain and sciatica because yoga promotes proper body alignment.
- Helps in stress reduction. Pregnancy can be a very stressful (not to mention hormonal) time in your life… yoga helps center you and brings you back to a place of peace.
Those are just a few benefits of prenatal yoga, but I know there are many more not listed above. In my own personal practice, I can really feel a difference on the days that I choose to do prenatal yoga versus the days that I don’t. Yoga has been the one exercise that I’ve been able to keep up with throughout this pregnancy. Running is no longer an option, the stationary bike is a bore, and even the stairclimber is too strenuous these days. Swimming is one of my least favorite exercises so that’s out. The one thing keeping me going is my yoga practice. It clears my head, keeps me sane, and makes me feel rejuvenated and alive.
I was able to do my prenatal yoga in the comfort of my own home, which is nice because I didn’t have to work around someone else’s class schedule to squeeze in my practice. After some trial and error, I found the one DVD I absolutely love. Will share that DVD and a thorough review of it in my next post. Unless you have a favorite that you’d like to share with me?