Although I believe that a Pilates program with some general strengthening elements using elastic bands or dumbbells, during and after pregnancy, is the ideal … there are reasons that a YOGA workout could be equally effective and safe if it is combined with the whole pregnant fitness program.
Here are some of these reasons:
- Breathing is important both in Pilates and Yoga too. As the baby grows it causes pressure on the diaphragm and makes the pregnant breathless. Both Pilates and yoga techniques help the pregnant to improve her breathing. Of course correct position and posture is needed. After she has learned it, she can breathe properly during childbirth, she is able to calm her body and spirit and the whole process becomes more painless!!!!!
- All the seated exercises increase the confidence of the pregnant and prepare her psychologically to come in touch with her body and her baby (after delivery). These exercises fight her fear and calm her mind.
- The lumbar lordosis increases during pregnancy. There are positions both in Pilates and Yoga too which relieve the spine and stretch the tensed muscles such as Janushirasana or Head to knee pose.
- The Strengthening of the pelvic floor before and after childbirth: Pilates gives special interest in strengthening of the muscles of the perineum … the exercises are known as Kegel Exercises in the medical area …as Mula Bandha in Yoga. It’s about activation / contraction and relaxation / release of the pelvic muscles which is more efficient in a hip abduction position such as Malasana or Squat pose.
- The emphasis is on relaxation the hip area in both techniques for the childbirth. Suggested exercises in yoga are : Warrior 2, Malasana, Squat supported pigeon, Reclined baddha konasana or Bound angle pose
Βαρβάρα Σολομωνίδου,Wellness Specialist, Personal Trainer,Εισηγήτρια Σεμιναρίων & Συνεδρίων, Pilates Master Trainer του συστήματος “AthensTrainers® Ultimate Pilates System®”,General Manager & Owner της Εταιρείας AthensTrainers®