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Pilates, Yoga, and Pregnancy

pgyoga.jpgYoga and Pilates are both great exercise options for pregnancy, and many gyms offer classes geared specifically toward pregnant women. Tailoring yoga specifically for pregnancy is important because some poses aren’t safe for pregnant women. These poses include ones that have you lie flat on your back, which decreases blood flow to the baby. Downward-facing poses, like the downward dog, crane pose, cobra pose; upward facing poses, such as the upward dog; and inverted poses; backbends; and poses requiring you to lay flat on your stomach should all be avoided.

Wait! Don’t give up on prenatal yoga because of that long list! If you practice yoga in your home, you can try a prenatal yoga video; this is an easy way to ensure you perform safe poses. In addition, it might shake up your regular routine enough to work new muscles you might not usually work.

There are similar precautions for performing Pilates while pregnant. As long as you avoid the positions described under the yoga section, Pilates offers pregnant women a great workout to exercise and strengthen core muscles, many of which suffer increased strain during pregnancy and labor. If you work with an exercise ball or a reformer, be extra cautious as your changing weight can throw off you balance, this is not a good time for falling.

Another point to consider while doing either Pilates or yoga is that your ligaments and tendons become more pliable during pregnancy, due to hormones, so it’s wise to be cautious of overstretching. Try working in a small range of motion, and consider focusing more on your breathing techniques during this time.

Although there is a lot to consider, Pilates and yoga are two excellent choices for exercise throughout your pregnancy; both are extremely tailorable to a variety of situations. Just ensure to discuss exercise routines with your doctor or midwife, and get help from trained professionals if you are not familiar with Pilates and yoga to begin with.


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The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and is not meant for diagnosis or treatment. Any information found on this site should be discussed with a health care professional. Use of this information should be done in accordance with the health care plan outlined by your health care professional. For specific professional or medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment, consult your doctor or health care professional.

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