A blog by runners. For runners.

Practicing yoga when pregnant

Benefits of practicing yoga when pregnantYoga is a great complement to running and nearly every runner can benefit from the stretching and toning yoga provides. But yoga is especially nice for expectant moms.

Here are just a few of the benefits yoga provides moms-to-be:

  1. Builds strength. Practicing yoga helps build strength and stability. The counterbalance of these two actions can help keep muscles, joints, and ligaments aligned as hormones rage through your body. The hormone relaxin, specifically, can make joints, particular those of the back and pelvis less stable. Yoga works to stabilize and align the body, easing aches and pains.
  2. Practice breath work. Yoga is filled with reminders to breathe during difficult poses and sequences. This can come in mighty handy when you’re in the most difficult posture of your life – labor. Using breathing techniques before labor can make remembering to use them during labor that much easier.
  3. Greater health for mom and baby. Studies by the Mayo Clinic on prenatal yoga show yoga can help decrease stress levels, increase flexibility and the endurance needed for childbirth, improve sleep, and decrease the risks of preterm labor and hypertension.
  4. Improves balance. All runners need good balance but this is especially helpful for moms-to-be. Pregnancy can cause a shift in a woman’s center of balance due to the weight of the baby and uterus in the front of the body. Yoga can help make this adjustment easier and help moms feel more stable as they deal with the added weight, keeping mom and baby safer.
  5. Bonding time with baby. Not only does yoga give you the chance to tune into your own body but it gives you a chance to connect with your little one as well.  Yoga allows for the chance to slow down and take stock of what you’re feeling and thinking with little distraction, especially important when you’re expecting.

Written by Lisa Chase.

*As always, consult your doctor about exercise as it specifically relates to your unique pregnancy and needs.

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If you’re new to yoga, this book will help you get started with a practice, find the right style for you, and show you specific runner-friendly moves you can integrate pre- or post-run.

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