To cut a long story short, while hot yoga isn’t necessarily unsafe to do while pregnant, it is also not recommended, as there are increased risks. While hot yoga offers many benefits, from reduced stress to more relaxed muscles, it’s a different story for those that are pregnant. Exercise during pregnancy is great, as long as it’s the right form. Here’s what you need to know about doing hot yoga while pregnant.
Hot Yoga Risks
So far no one has published a study on the effects hot yoga has on pregnancy or fetuses. However, there have been many studies done on what heat can do to pregnant women and babies. Hyperthermia, or elevated body temperature, can increase the risk of neural tube defects.
Excessive heat also decreases the time to exhaustion. This is good for regular people, but while pregnant this means there is a risk of overstretching, muscle damage or torn cartilage. As pregnant women are already carrying extra weight, there is an increased risk of these injuries.
If you’ve ever been pregnant you’ll know just how hot you feel all the time. The body is running harder working for two. Adding extra heat could lead to fainting or dizziness. Overall, it’s not recommended to practice hot yoga while pregnant.
Talk To Doctor
Doctors encourage exercise while pregnant, but make sure to specifically ask them about hot yoga. Your doctor will know best whether or not this is a risk for you. Some pregnancies are higher risk than others, so it may be different person to person. Many yoga instructors and yoga studios will also check in with pregnant clients to make sure they’ve discussed doing yoga with their doctors and may lay out their own guidelines for practicing expectant mothers.
No Time For Newbies
While we can’t recommend hot yoga for pregnant mothers, we also understand to some women this form of yoga is integrated into their life. However, we strongly don’t recommend hot yoga for people who have never done it before, or who have had negative side effects from it in the past. When pregnant it’s a good idea to stick to what you know. Adding new, vigorous forms of exercise can lead to health risks and injuries for both mom and baby.
Listen To Your Body
Yoga is always about listening to your body, but it’s even more important when pregnant. There is no shame in admitting you can’t do what you once could. If you decide to go through with hot yoga drink plenty of water, ease slowly into poses, go at your own pace, and take breaks from the heat. If you begin to feel overheated, light-headed, dizzy, or any pain stop immediately. If any of these symptoms persist seek our your doctor right away.
There aren’t any dramatic risks with doing hot yoga while pregnant but there are increased risks though that make doing this form of yoga more dangerous. Always consult with your doctor and yoga instructor before beginning. Contact us if you have any questions.