Yoga can benefit ALL bodies, but it's especially great for women who are pregnant, like Naomi Watts. She certainly looks happy - maybe it is the yoga since it feels great to have some time alone with your baby, to relax and stretch your muscles.
Here are some things all pregos should know when it comes to yoga and their bodies:
- While pregnant your body produces a hormone called relaxin that is intended to soften your inflexible bones and ligaments to make room for your growing baby and to prepare for birth. Avoid stretching further than you normally do, you don't want to pull a muscle.
- Try to find a Prenatal Yoga class so you'll be able to get your questions answered. It's also a great way to meet new moms and share with women who know exactly what you're going through.
- Drink plenty of water and be sure to get the extra 300-500 calories you need during pregnancy, especially if you are exercising.
- Prenatal Yoga also benefits your unborn baby - when you experience peace and relaxation, so will your babe.
Want to know what else and see more pics of Naomi? Then
- There are a few poses and actions you should avoid - deep twists from the belly, jumping, deep back bending, holding your breath or rapid breathing (kapalabhati), abdominal work such as boat pose, lying on your belly such as in cobra pose, Bikram/Hot yoga (you don't want to raise you body's core temp), and anything that feels uncomfortable.
- In the 3rd trimester, avoid all inversions - your baby is getting ready to move into birthing position and you don't want to disrupt that. This means any pose where your head is below your heart, even in down dog. Substitute hands and knees pose instead.
- Prenatal Yoga focuses a lot on opening the hips, releasing and stretching the lower back, relaxation skills, and pranayama (breath). By using and stretching the muscles you'll need during birth, you will essentially be making labor easier!
- Listen to your body. If you get too hot or too tired during class, take a break. And don't overdo it.