The debate is still open, but some physicians agree to the “safer” choice of reducing PA (physical activity) in the first 3 months, when most of the episodes of miscarriages take place.
That said, your personal Physician will advise you on which type of activity suits you better, considering what you have been doing so far, your active daily routine (house work, heavy – duty jobs, walking distance etc.). Several studies show the benefits of PA from the beginning of pregnancy, but the Yoga practice should always been approved by your Gyn and include all the variations that help the activity be comfy and accessible.
Your quest should involve not only the Yoga practice or the usual training you had been into before pregnancy, but also all your Leisure Time Physical Activity (LTPA): the miles you walk, the weights you carry during your daily routine. There are several studies on this topic. Here you can find a recent example from the “International Journey of Environmental Research and Public Health”, conducted in Serbia in 2020.
Walking in nature at a safe pace or light movement in water have been recognized as recommended activities, as stated in Nascimento’s study proposed here, bottom. Do not start any PA, course or independent training without the consent of your Gyn.
Since I’m writing this essay in a particular pandemic age, with swimming pools being closed and fieldtrips made difficult, the Yoga practice, if accurately fixed, can represent a good alternative also for mums who haven’t been into Yoga before their pregnancy but have been advised and certified by their Gyns.
Notes from the study
Spinal curvature and characteristics of postural change in pregnant women
NATSUKO OKANISHI1, NOBUHIRO KITO1, MITOSHI AKIYAMA1 & MASAKO YAMAMOTO2 1Hiroshima International University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima and 2Saijo Tokiwa Clinic, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima, Japan
Notes from the study
Physical Activity Patterns and Factors Related to Exercise during Pregnancy: A Cross Sectional Study.
Nascimento SL, Surita FG, Godoy AC, Kasawara KT, Morais SS (2015)
A commonly reported reason for the reduction of PA during pregnancy is discomfort during exercise. This discomfort usually comes during the second trimester, when there are changes in posture, the shift of point of gravity, and progressive lordosis. This is why the practice will be modified excluding any exercise which emphazises lordosis.
Even if Ashtanga has been your great love, it’s definitely time to say Goodbye to your dear, old, Bandhas:
The modified Yoga practice will improve your experience of connecting muscles movement to breathing.
The pelvic floor reacts to the movement of the diaphragm during inhalation and exhalation.
Here you can watch a video of this activity, which takes place automatically in your body.
In this video you can watch the activation of the pelvic floor.
Feet exercises may help you release tension in your pelvic floor. Its nerves start at the lower end of your spine (S1-S4), at the same levels of the nerves which run into your feet. Due to this proximity, this nerves may be “chatty” and cross refer pain. Studies have shown how the ability of engaging the pelvic floor may be affected by the position of the ankles. Both pelvic floor and feet act as a shock absorber for the body.
If you wish to explore the engagement starting from your feet in a safe way, stand with shoulders attached to a wall, place a yoga block or a big book at your feet and try to put tiptoes on the block while pushing heels down the floor.
In asanas like GODDESS, you can experiment inhalation during relax and exhalation during engaging of the pelvic floor:
open your feet a bit larger than your hips, with toes spread so that you can feel an overall stability.
While INHALING, lift arms up and gently squat a bit without arching your spine and without putting too much effort in the abs fascia.
While EXHALING, lift back up to standing while folding your elbows at shoulder level and engaging your pelvic floor.