Aqua Yoga: What Is It and How Does It Help During Pregnancy?

It’s difficult to keep yourself fit whilst you’re pregnant. Your normal health routine might be disrupted by your doctor’s health advice, your energy levels might fluctuate or you might find your old routine just isn’t comfortable for the time being. Not being able to exercise the way you’re used to can make you feel down, stressed and generally unhealthy but you don’t really need all this negativity whilst bringing a life into the world. Aqua Yoga is one solution to your exercise worries during pregnancy.

What is Aqua Yoga?

Aqua Yoga is basically what it sounds like; yoga informed exercise which happens in the pool! Whilst Aqua Yoga is perfectly possible for men and non-pregnant women, at Dolphin Academy our classes focus on the needs of pregnant women. Aqua Yoga is a beneficial exercise for everyone that can also be done whilst pregnant.

Birthlight (who certify our Aqua Yoga classes) have developed a series of yoga sequences which take advantage of the resistance of water and pool environment, whilst maintaining the benefits of yoga. Aqua Yoga has been designed to be suitable for both strong swimmers and novices, it’s low impact, minimal strain and overall well-being is at the core of Aqua Yoga’s development. It isn’t necessary to put your head under the water so, if you’re short of breath during your pregnancy, Aqua Yoga won’t put any more pressure on your lungs than normal exercise and, in fact, can be beneficial.

How does Aqua Yoga help during pregnancy?

Relaxation is a core expected outcome of Birthlight Certified Aqua Yoga Classes. Being in the pool is generally relaxing as it supports your joints and cools you down to an enjoyable temperature. The water of the pool helps provide a “blocking sensation” over your whole body that can help alleviate that “just not comfortable” feeling many pregnant women report.

Physically, Aqua Yoga, like normal yoga, makes extensive use of controlled breathing and holding posture. As you take control and become aware of your breathing technique you learn to manage your lungs’ air intake consciously. Controlled, practiced breathing is one of the best ways to deal with the shortness of breath that happens to many pregnant women in the first trimester.

Joint pain, swelling and arthritis can affect many women during pregnancy. One of the main concerns you might have if you experience these problems is that your joints might seize up and get out of practice. Yoga movements help keep your joints supple and in use, whilst the water is generally supportive and soothing to aches and pains.

Finally, Aqua Yoga is real exercise you can do safely whilst pregnant. According to the NHS “as a general rule, you should be able to hold a conversation as you exercise when pregnant. If you become breathless as you talk, then you’re probably exercising too strenuously.” Aqua Yoga is perfect in this regard, but getting on a treadmill or a vigorous game of tennis would make most women out of breath. Additionally, with contact sports, there is a real risk of injury. A pregnancy can disrupt your fitness routine but it’s important to stay fit and Aqua Yoga is a perfect option for that.

If you’re pregnant or expecting to be pregnant, we’re very friendly here at Our First Steps and would love to get you onto one of our Aquanatal Yoga Classes.

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