There are many different standpoints as to whether Hot Yoga and pregnancy mix. While some doctors advise women to never practice Hot Yoga while pregnant, many yoga instructors maintain that Hot Yoga is safe to continue practicing during pregnancy if you have already been doing it for an extended period of time. Doctors worry that Hot Yoga will raise the temperature of the mother's body too much. However, yoginis maintain that in a regular session, the body's temperature only goes up one degree. Since there are conflicting opinions on this matter, each woman has to make the choice that is right for her.
Medical Advice on Hot Yoga for Pregnant Women
Doctors advise against raising the body's temperature during pregnancy. This is always the recommendation, regardless of the trimester of the pregnancy, and it is for this reason that doctors do not recommend that pregnant women practice Bikram Yoga or another Hot Yoga style.
Many women who love Bikram Yoga and want to continue their practice during pregnancy decide to stand next to a window or door and open it whenever they are hot, and/or wear a thermometer that takes a continuous body temperature. If the body temperature starts to rise, the woman can relax and let her temperature come back down.
Doctors also recommend that pregnant women not take up new sports while they are pregnant. It doesn't matter if the exercise is Hot Yoga or jogging, pregnancy is not the time to start. However, prenatal yoga is a good solution for those looking to take up yoga, or continue their practice safely.
Accounts of Hot Yoga and Pregnancy
There are women who have practiced Bikram Yoga or Hot Yoga during pregnancy and maintain that the practice made their pregnancy better, and that it was also beneficial during labor. Several women have posted their experiences with Bikram Yoga online in order to illustrate their view that the medical opinion of not practicing any form of Hot Yoga during pregnancy is unnecessarily cautious. These women underline the many benefits of prenatal yoga, and talk about the physical, as well as mental, rest that they experienced throughout their yoga practice.
Bikram Yoga and Hot Yoga styles are special kinds of yoga, and not for everyone. Women who love Bikram Yoga say that the most important thing for pregnant women to do is to listen to their own bodies. If you've practiced Bikram Yoga for a long time and become pregnant, there's no reason to stop unless your pregnancy has complications or unless the yoga doesn't feel good to you anymore. In Hot Yoga, as with all other yoga, make sure that you tell the instructor that you are pregnant, and make sure to steer clear of poses not recommended for pregnant women, and modify poses as necessary as your pregnancy progresses.
These women agree with doctors on one count: if you have not practiced Bikram Yoga or a Hot Yoga style for an extended amount of time before becoming pregnant, during your pregnancy is not the time to pick it up.
Some doctors do recommend that pregnant women participate in gentle exercise during pregnancy in order to keep themselves in shape, sleep better during pregnancy, and help their bodies prepare for labor. Prenatal yoga is an ideal form of gentle exercise.
Always ask your doctor about any sort of exercise during pregnancy. Whether he or she gives you the go-ahead, or advises against it, listen carefully to the reasons you are given why a particular exercise is a good idea or not. As long as you understand the reasons for or against each kind of exercise, you should be able to find a type of exercise that is safe for you and your baby and helps you meet your fitness goals while you are pregnant.
Visit LoveToKnow Pregnancy for more exercise tips.