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Practicing yoga properly benefits pregnant women: U.S. medical group

05-24-2010 11:07 BJT

LOS ANGELES, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Despite possible injuries related with yoga, a national medical group of the United States said on Sunday that performing yoga properly helps build strength and flexibility for pregnant women.

Yoga is safe for pregnant women as long as they approach the activity with reasonable caution and moderation, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) said in a news release.

The new findings came after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released figures showing that more than 5,500 Americans were treated for yoga-related injuries in 2008.

But the AAOS said yoga's benefits outweigh risks. If performed properly, yoga affords expectant mothers a good opportunity to build strength and flexibility, while achieving a measure of relaxation and breath control, the group said.

As a fitness alternative, yoga allows pregnant women to maintain an exercise program without harming their baby or their heart, and overall, the benefits of such a low-impact regimen outweigh the risks, the AAOS said.

"Women who are expecting can benefit greatly from exercise, especially yoga -- they just need to be aware of their limitations, " said Dr. Rachel Rohde, an orthopaedic surgeon with the AAOS.

"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."

"One of the best aspects of yoga is being in control of your body and having the ability to do each movement at your own pace," said Rodhe. "Poses like 'downward dog' that require a lot of pressure on the palm can increase carpal tunnel symptoms by pressing on a major nerve; if you get numbness in your fingers while in one of these positions, move so that the weight is not resting on your hands. If you are unable to move into a difficult position, you always have the option to get into a resting pose if experiencing pain."

However, maintaining correct yoga positioning is critical to ensuring general safety and avoiding muscle or joint injury, the medical group noted.

Those interested in practicing yoga should consult their physician first and make sure they work with a qualified instructor, the group advised.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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