Is Pranayama Safe During Pregnancy?

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Right diet, regular exercise and a stress-free life is the key to a healthy pregnancy. Due to rising stress levels in urban living and hectic schedules of mums, gynecologists and obstetricians largely recommend pregnant ladies to opt for yoga.

One of the most recommended yoga asana during pregnancy is the pranayama.

Why Pranayama During Pregnancy?

‘Pranayama’ is the art of yogic breathing or controlled breathing. It stresses on conscious inhalation of oxygen and exhalation of carbon dioxide. Pranayama ensures that adequate oxygen flows through the body. This is most crucial during pregnancy, where your unborn baby completely depends on you for supply of oxygen. The correct balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide through conscious breathing makes your lungs stronger and blood pure. This helps in the healthy functioning of your body so that you can take optimum care of your baby.

While pranayama is highly recommended, it is extremely important to first check about the same with your doctor. Only after your doctor gives you the go-ahead should you practice any kind of exercise.

5 Benefits Of Pranayama For Expectant Moms

1. Pranayama increases the flow of oxygen in the body and removes carbon dioxide. This helps to detoxify your system internally.
2. Pranayama during pregnancy is known to release positive hormones. These eliminate negative thoughts and bring the mind to calm and relaxed state. This is very important for would be moms and the growing baby inside.
3. Pranayama makes the expectant mother conscious of controlled breathing. It is proven to aid in normal delivery as the mother is more prepared to control her breathing.
4. Pranayama increases the flow of oxygen. This in turn increases blood circulation throughout the mother’s and baby’s body.
5. Effective pranayama session helps in enhancing the removal of toxins from both mother and child.

Getting The Best Out Of Your Pranayama Session During Pregnancy

1. Practice Under A Certified Teacher:

There are a lot of information and pranayama videos available online, but nothing can substitute a good teacher especially during pregnancy. Practicing under a good teacher ensures that you exercise right and get the best benefits from your workout. Also, a good teacher will guide you in the right way, telling you about the pranayamas that are good for you and the ones you should avoid during pregnancy.

2. Listen To Your Body:

During pregnancy your body may not feel the same every day. It is very important to listen to your body. On days when you experience exhaustion or dizziness, you must not exert yourself with pranayama as it may have adverse effects on you and your baby’s health. Also, during pranayama certain breathing techniques may cause some reactions in your body. In case you experience any discomfort stop immediately.

3. Choosing The Right Environment:

To get the best benefits of pranayama, it is ideal to practice in a clean and open atmosphere where air flow is free and not restricted. Avoid cluttered rooms, with distractions like television and phones to achieve maximum benefit from your pranayama session.

4. Timing And Meal Gap:

It is recommended to have a meal gap of about 3-4 hours before practicing pranayama. It is ideal to practice pranayama in the early morning hours as your mind and body will be fresh. Also the environment is lot more clean and pollution free during mornings.

5. Support And Posture:

While practicing pranayama always remember to take required support so as to not strain your body. Maintain a correct asana posture to avoid muscular catch and backaches.

Caution To Exercise While Practicing Pranayama During Pregnancy

  • Avoid pranayama asanas like Kapalabharati during pregnancy as it involves giving jerks to your stomach which is certainly not safe for your baby.
  • During pregnancy one must avoid holding the breath for a long time as it builds up tension and strains the body of the mother and the baby.
  • Avoid pranayama or any form of exercise immediately after a meal.
  • Avoid pranayamas like Suryanaadi and Bhastrika which is known to generate heat in the body and not recommended during pregnancy.
  • It is recommended to avoid pranayama and yoga exercises during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Always remember that every woman’s body is different and so is every pregnancy. Before practicing pranayama and yoga always consult your gynecologist or obstetricians whether it would be safe for you or not. In case of the slightest discomfort, make sure you stop immediately and get urgent medical help.

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