According to a recent report issued by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the benefits of yoga can considerably outweigh the risks for pregnant women who take part in the fitness alternative under proper supervision.
"Women who are expecting can benefit greatly from exercise, especially yoga—they just need to be aware of their limitations," said orthopaedic surgeon Rachel Rohde. "A pregnant woman’s body goes through a lot of changes that will alter the way she practices yoga, whether she is a veteran or a beginner."
The AAOS recommends that expectant women consult their personal care physician before participating in yoga or any other specific fitness routine. The organization also urges pregnant women to work with a credentialed yoga instructor and to concentrate more on the breathing exercises rather than the stretching routines.
Furthermore, Rohde and her colleagues highly recommend that expectant mothers avoid participating in Bikram or "hot yoga," as it can lead to an unsafely elevated body temperature.
If executed properly, yoga can safely offer pregnant women an outlet for exercise while allowing them to practice controlled breathing, the researchers report.