Why is prenatal yoga recommended?
"Yoga works on many levels--physical, energetic and spiritual--to bring about a profound transformation that is unmistakable and potent," says Patty Slote, a yoga instructor at The Movement Center in Portland, Ore., who specializes in prenatal yoga. The poses focus on pregnancy-related concerns: toning the pelvic-floor muscles, opening the hips and pelvis, increasing breathing capacity, improving postural alignment and encouraging relaxation.
Prenatal yoga includes squats, pelvic-floor exercises, breathing exercises and a number of standing, seated and side-lying poses that will bring about those changes, explains Slote, who created the DVD series Prenatal Yoga: A Complete Home Practice (www.prenatalyogadvd.com). Slote's website also features a printable "practice sheet" of poses.