Summary: Before finding out I was pregnant, I was an avid hot yoga fan. I loved the way it made me feel mentally and physically. However, once I found out I was expecting, I had to rethink my yoga routine. Here are a few things I learned about hot yoga and pregnancy.
1. The Risks of Hot Yoga During Pregnancy
While hot yoga provides many benefits, there are risks associated with practicing in a heated room when you’re pregnant. Exercising vigorously in high temperatures can cause dehydration, which can lead to dizziness and fainting. Additionally, elevated core body temperatures have been linked to an increased risk of neural tube defects, so it’s important to be mindful of the risks associated with hot yoga while pregnant.
If you’re set on continuing your yoga practice during pregnancy, try attending regular yoga classes instead of hot yoga. Gentle or prenatal yoga classes can offer many of the same benefits without the added risks.
Sometimes, the instructors may not tell you what poses you should avoid. It’s important to listen to your body and if you don’t feel comfortable doing a particular pose, it’s best to skip it until after you’ve given birth.
2. Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
Regardless of the type of yoga you’re practicing when pregnant, it’s important to take things slowly and avoid overexerting yourself. During pregnancy, relaxing and staying calm is key to preventing stress, anxiety, or complication. Don’t force yourself to hold a pose longer than you feel comfortable, and ensure to use blocks and other props to provide additional support.
Additionally, avoid hopping or jumping into poses, as this may cause overstretching and injury. Remember, prenatal yoga isn’t about pushing yourself to your limits but supporting your growing baby.
The aim must be at taking things slowly and avoid overexerting themselves. It should be performed gently and therefore, avoid forceful push or pull movements that could cause any strain or harm to the body.
3. Stay Hydrated
Pregnant women should stay hydrated, and practicing hot yoga can increase the risk of dehydration. Always bring a water bottle with you to your class and drink frequently throughout your practice in order to replace fluids lost through sweating.
Dehydration can result in dizziness or headache, so it’s especially important for pregnant women not to overdo it when practicing hot yoga. If any feelings of exertion, fatigue, or discomfort occur, don’t hesitate to take a break or lie down in the relaxation pose until you feel better.
Staying hydrated is the key to a safe and enjoyable hot yoga experience while pregnant. Consume plenty of fluids before, during, and after class to ensure that both you and your baby remain healthy.
4. Listen to Your Body
Often as yoga students and practitioners, we’re encouraged to try harder, hold poses longer, or push ourselves beyond our limits. However, when you’re pregnant, this approach can be dangerous.
It is important to take the time to listen to your body and better understand its limits. Practice gentleness and patience towards the changes that your body is experiencing and ensure not to exceed its capacity. Your mind and body will thank you for it, and so will your developing baby.
During pregnancy, your body produces hormones that loosen your ligaments and tendons, which makes it easier to stretch but also means that it’s easier to injure yourself if you exceed your limits.
5. Consider Alternatives
One of the great things about yoga is that there are many different styles to choose from. If prenatal yoga isn’t your thing, consider other alternative safe exercise options.The main idea throughout the pregnancy is to remain active and feel healthy so if you enjoy doing any other sports activity or any low impact exercise such as cycling, swimming or brisk walking, stick to these instead.
In addition to prenatal yoga, gentle walks, low-impact aerobics, and swimming can all be great ways to stay active during pregnancy. Just make sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise routine while pregnant.
You can also take some time to discover other non-physical wellness practices. A balancing meditation practice, deep breathing exercises, or some gentle stretching practices will support and soothe your changing body and anxious mind throughout your pregnancy.
Hot yoga can be an enjoyable way to get in shape, but it’s important to be mindful of the risks associated with practicing in a heated room during pregnancy. When done safely and with proper precautions, however, yoga can offer a wide variety of physical and emotional benefits for expectant mothers.
By listening to your body, staying hydrated, avoiding overexertion, and considering alternative activities, you can stay healthy and happy throughout your pregnancy while continuing to enjoy the many benefits that yoga has to offer.
Remember, always consult your physician before discussing any exercise regimen during your pregnancy.