Try These Poses to Experience the Benefits of Yoga Before, During & After Pregnancy

shutterstock_158829707There are so many great benefits from doing yoga before, during and after your pregnancy!

Before pregnancy: Yoga may actually help boost your fertility! Poses can increase blood flow throughout your body, helping deliver vital nutrients to the areas that need them most. It can also help regulate your hormones, essential to pregnancy. And perhaps best of all, it can help reduce your stress levels.

To experience the benefits of yoga before pregnancy: Try some bends. The seated forward bend starts with hips square on the floor with both legs stretched out. Then reach your arms up and bend forward to grasp your toes, or, if you aren’t that flexible, your calves. This will increase blood flow to the reproductive organs and is a great pose for stretching aching back muscles and reducing stress.

During pregnancy: Your body is going through some incredible changes during your pregnancy, all of which can put a strain on your muscles and skeletal system. Yoga can help you stretch your muscles and decrease your discomfort during pregnancy. It may also help your body prepare for the job of childbirth.

To experience the benefits of yoga during pregnancy: Go for the cat/cow sequence. Get on all fours on the floor, with hands directly under your shoulders, knees right under your hips,
and your toes curled under. Start by dropping your spine and lifting your head, looking straight ahead. Then lift the spine under, curling your tailbone under and tucking your chin to your chest. This move will warm up the spine, safely stretch muscles in the back and abdomen, and get your blood flowing.

After pregnancy: Yoga after pregnancy is all about supporting your body, both in its new role as a mother and to recover after childbirth. Yoga can help you regain muscle strength and tone that you may have lost as well as drop some baby weight. Additionally, yoga has been shown to lower blood pressure and help new moms fight off the baby blues.

To experience the benefits of yoga after pregnancy: Go for the forearm plank, but go slow. Put your elbows on the ground directly under your shoulders, with your forearms pointed out straight ahead of you. Curl your toes under and lift your knees and torso off the ground, supporting yourself on your toes and forearms. Go slow. Don’t push yourself into this pose too quickly or for too long, as it can be intense. But it’s an incredible workout for your core that can help tighten up those muscles.

There are tons of amazing videos online that can guide you through an entire series of poses tailored to your stage of pregnancy. Check them out and leave a comment sharing your favorites!