First trimester yoga is a delicate topic, with several opinions on the matter, we will try to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision if it is right for you. In our opinion yoga is appropriate for women in all stages of pregnancy, however there are some things that need to be considered in each trimester. Here we will discuss the important points to consider during the first trimester.
Now some Yoga teachers I know believe that it is not good to practice First trimester yoga, while other teachers think it is no problem, and that you will not need to modify your practice until the 2nd trimester. My own feelings about this are somewhere in the middle. I believe that you can continue your practice or even start a new yoga practice in the first trimester, but there are a few modifications that need to be considered.
When you are pregnant there are alot pf physiological changes in the body, and yes that is obvious, but there are some that are less obvious and that are very important to consider during pregnancy.
One important change is the flood of hormones that are released during the first trimester… you may look the same during this time, but your body chemistry is undergoing HUGE changes. One that needs to be thought of is the massive amount of Hormones.
Hormones and First Trimester Yoga
The first hormone is Relaxin what this hormone does is relax the tendons, muscles and ligaments. This hormone helps in the birth process by causing a softening and lengthening of the cervix and the place where the pubic bones come together. Relaxin is released into the body immediately after conception and peaks at 3 months. It remains constant until you go into labor, at that time there is a significant increase.
The concern here is the instability of the muscles, tendons and ligaments when they soften and lengthen. SO one must be careful and take it slow… sometimes it may become to easy to go past your normal flexibility and cause damage to one of these 3 areas (pull a muscles, tear a tendon or strain a ligament). So you need to be aware and focus on form and take things alittle slower as you adjust to the changes that will be happening.
Also Estrogen increases 1000 time and Progesterone increases by a factor of 10. This also can lead to Increases blood flow, Increased pliability of connective tissues, An increases in the basal body temperature and a decrease in smooth muscle tone from the bottom of the ribcage to the top of the thighs.
Modifications in First Trimester Yoga:
The first modification is awareness, realize the changes and what to look for and be more mindful in your practice to insure a safe yoga session.
The second thing is because of the raise in core temp you should avoid Hot Yoga (In my opinion it is not good for you anyways, but especially during your pregnancy)
Poses to avoid:
You should avoid inverted poses during first trimester yoga. these include headstands, shoulder stands, and poses that require you to lie on your back with legs extended in the air.
You should also refrain from practicing twisting poses. Such as revolved triangle, half prayer twist, and chair twist for example… and any other as well. You want to keep your uterus stable and not add any pressure or compression like these poses can cause.
Another thing to keep in mine is to step between poses, not jump as in normally done during sun salutation with more intermediate and advanced practices. In this become a beginner again… who knows it may bring insights into your practice changing it up and going to the past.
Also make sure to transition slowly between poses, I know some teachers have a very fast pace for there classes (although I feel yoga should never be done at a fast pace, it is not aerobics after all), make sure you avoid these fast classes and attend classes where the pace is slower and focused on form and a smooth practice.
Of course all this information is good, but if you are pregnant you should always do the following prior to doing yoga:
- * Locate a prenatal yoga class or a prenatal yoga instructor in your area. Ask the yoga instructor for modifications during your first trimester.
- * Consult with a physician before beginning any exercise program. Avoid yoga practice if experiencing complications during pregnancy.
Remember This stage of pregnancy is considered the most delicate because the risk of miscarriage is at it’s highest.
Remember to visit our post on Prenatal Yoga as well
A Friend of mine has a great site about pregnancy that I think you will find also very helpful.
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