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Pregnancy can be a time of equal parts joy, frustration, and confusion. Whether you are a first-time mom, or anxiously awaiting your third child, you can benefit immensely from a variety of yoga poses to improve your strength, flexibility, and mindfulness.
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” - Rumi
A healthy mind is crucial for a healthy body. A healthy body influences the mind. The body and mind are irrevocably connected. Research has proven that emotional stress can manifest in many ways—from small physical ailments to chronic disease. During pregnancy, it is critical that you manage stress appropriately, but let’s face it, stress is an inevitable fact of life.
Stress will be there before pregnancy, during pregnancy, and after pregnancy. But, with proper management, it can become less of a burden. Practicing yoga poses, or asanas, can offer a dual benefit of spiritual practice and exercise during an exciting nine months. However—it is up to you whether to embrace both.
For mothers who are seeking a new practice, yoga can provide both a calming mindset and exercise routine that meets your needs wherever you are in life. Try these five asanas at home for a more relaxed experience during pregnancy!
Your lower back can begin to ache as you arch your spine more and more to support your growing belly. Practicing Mountain Pose will improve your standing posture by creating a straight spine—a necessary positioning that allows more room within your body for your lungs to expand and your womb to grow.
This pose improves flexibility for the hips, which is important in pregnancy. It also helps to stretch the back muscles, back of legs and lengthen the spine. When separating your feet in this pose, be mindful of your balance. It can vary according to your stage of pregnancy.
Cat Pose provides multiple benefits for the pregnant body. Not only does it help relieve back pain, it also works to strengthen the lower abdomen so it can better support your womb. An ideal exercise for beginners, this pose can help create emotional balance in everyday life.
Frog Pose is a hip-opener that helps to release emotion and increase flexibility. A powerful beginner pose, you will feel the welcomed stretch in your hips, groin and inner thighs. You can modify this pose by placing a folded blanket under the knees or elbows.
Although this pose may feel slightly uncomfortable at first (and is recommended only during your first trimester), it will serve to relax your body over time, allowing you to feel more open—both mentally and physically. This deeply relaxing and restorative pose can help you release negative emotions while increasing your flexibility.
No matter what pose you choose to practice or what atmosphere you choose to practice in, it is important to remember that the foundation of all yoga poses is the breath. Try focusing your attention on your breath during asana practice, inhaling and slowly exhaling through your nose—making an ocean-like noise with each inhale and exhale.
Don’t forget to carve out at least five minutes of your day to do the poses. Making time for yourself is essential during your pregnancy to create a sense of calm and manifest inner joy. Whatever works to soothe your soul.
Summer is officially here, and with that, there are so many fun activities that will motivate you to get outside to stay in shape and strive for those post-quarantine fitness goals. But before you decide to get outside to enjoy some walking, yoga, swimming, or hiking, remember these best practice skincare habits to protect your skin from common skin concerns, such as, sunburns, chafing, and excessive dryness.
Here, board-certified Dermatologist, Dr. Bottiglione, shares some advice to help your skin stay healthy as you embark into the great outdoors.
When going outside, the sun is going to be your biggest culprit for damaging your skin. While the sun boosts benefits like vitamin D production, take notice when your skin is overexposed to the sun’s harmful rays as it becomes dangerous. When overexposed to direct sunlight, the skin is irritated, causing sunburns, dryness, and sensitivity that can increase the chances for wrinkles and skin cancer as we age.
Luckily, staying inside when it’s so pleasant outside is not the only skincare alternative to avoid the sun’s damaging rays. Here are a few simple tips to prep your skin before stepping outside.
Opt to protect your skin with a clinical-grade sunblocking lotion of 15 SPF or higher.
“Anytime you go outside, you need to apply sunscreen to your skin,” advises Dr. B. “Ensure you apply sunscreen to the full body and reapply often. In the morning, after cleansing your face, is the best time to apply.” He recommends a spray for oily skin, or the Dermatologist’s Choice Sunscreen Enhanced Moisturizer for dry to combination skin types that needs a little extra hydration.
The key is the more intentional you are about proactively protecting your summer skin, the healthier it will be. It may sound simple, but your skin will be happier when you take a preventive approach rather than a reactive approach—for example, applying the sunscreen moisturizer before a walk to help to avoid the treatment of a sunburn after. When prepping your bag for the fun day ahead, make sure to add sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.
Now the real excitement begins! However you decide to get your fitness outdoors, we have the skincare routine you need or a carefree and healthy day.
Deep breath. Like our favorite flow, these skincare tips will keep our mind—and our skin—at ease. If you take your yoga practice outdoors, wear an SPF shirt, and lay your mat under a nicely shaded tree to help shield you from excessive sun exposure.
“Avoiding direct sunlight and wearing protective clothing is smart to protect your skin from sun damage. Even if you are going for a relaxing walk or doing just a few sun salutations. Staying out of the direct sunlight will reduce your risk of sun damage and wrinkles.” - Dr. B
Swimming is one of the best cardio and strength training workouts, while also an enjoyable activity during the summer. Whether you are swimming in open water or laps in the pool, the excess amount of water with exposure to pool chemicals and environmental pollutants can cause skin irritation and dryness. To keep your skin hydrated and protected, Dr. B. recommends applying the Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil to your skin before entering the water. This will seal your skin’s protective barrier to avoid skin irritation from chemicals and debris. He adds, “The Pre-Bath Oil is what I give to all my patients with eczema or dry skin. It is the only thing that will protect and also deeply hydrate the skin.” Just apply this serum before you put on your sunscreen, and you're good to go!
With warm temperatures during the summer months, it’s the perfect time for hiking and exploring the mountainous outdoors. It is essential to take the necessary steps to avoid your skin becoming sunburnt, irritated, or breaking out. “Wearing a hat with a large brim that will shade your face and neck is key. A baseball cap is just not enough for the sun protection you need. After your hike, it is important to clean your face and pores of sweat, dirt, and toxins with Dermatologist’s Choice Glycolic Peel Cleansing Pads to avoid breakouts from occurring,” Dr. B. warns. Keep them in your bag for easy cleansing after a hike.
One of the biggest skin concerns cyclists or runners usually bring to dermatologists is chafing. Even if you’re just cruising along the seaside or taking a cycling class, those tight clothes and friction can cause some intense irritation and redness. “When you have an issue with chafing, you need to protect your skin. You need armor over the skin. Beeswax, for example, is thick to coat the skin and protect it. Another effective option is the hydrating Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil. For best results, moisturize your skin, and then add a piece of clothing to cover it (that is actually like armor),” Dr. B. shares. Are you a runner? Feel free to use this tip too before your next mile or 30.
At the end of your activity, the real results of that skin preparation set in. But sometimes, you need a little extra support afterwards. After any good workout, cleansing off the sweat, dirt, toxins, and irritant is paramount. Dermatologist Choice pH Balanced Cleanser helps to gently but effectively remove sweat, oil, and restore the skin’s natural pH levels.
Did you end up getting a sunburn, or is your skin dry from the elements? Soothe with the Pre-Bath Oil with natural oils like sunflower and jojoba oil for deep hydration and healing.
“Sun damage can manifest in multiple ways. Most often, you will notice a sunburn first, which can then lead to irritated skin—and over time, sun damage increases the appearance of wrinkles.” For safe measure, at night regenerate sun-damaged skin with Dermatologist's Choice Ultra Anti-Aging Cream with 15% non-neutralized glycolic acid to your skin. This powerful dermatology treatment rebuilds the collagen and exfoliates fine lines, sunspots, and acne on the skin. “Do not apply the Ultra Anti-Aging Cream on a sunburn or irritated skin,” Dr. B. shares. These are long-term habits to aid in maintaining your best skin health.
Capture your best skin with everything you need this summer with the Dermatologist’s Choice Skin Kit, and get 20% off your order with code MB20 at www.dermchoice.com.