From the previous articles, we were able to successfully establish the innumerable benefits of Yoga for everyone, of any age.
The article, Yoga In Daily Life And Modern Living, in particular provides you a general overview on how Yoga can be used to combat life’s challenges and stresses – to be able to THRIVE and NOT MERELY SURVIVE.
As you may have already discovered by now, Yoga is more than just a fitness routine. If you choose it to be, Yoga can be your way of life. It touches the different aspects of day-to-day living, including the different phases and changes we go through in life – including the miracle of bearing a child.
If you are reading this article, chances are you or your wife may be pregnant or otherwise planning to conceive. Before we delve into the details of Prenatal Yoga, allow me to extend my congratulations and sincere wishes of a safe and healthy pregnancy.
So how does Yoga fit into the pregnancy equation, you ask? Read on and let us explore the different facets of Prenatal Yoga.
The Joys and Banes of Pregnancy
Pregnancy, without a doubt, (and I’m sure you will agree) is one of the major life changes that women (and yes, including men) go through. For first time mothers, in particular, the joy of impending motherhood often comes with the overwhelming feeling of being completely at sea.
With all the different bodily changes to deal with, varying opinions of people to consider, and the all too real responsibility parenthood comes with – all these can contribute to the gradual build-up of stress and inner turmoil.
So where do you begin? How does one handle the joys and banes of pregnancy?
The Benefits Of Yoga For Pregnancy
The regular practice of Yoga during pregnancy is highly recommended as it helps prepare both the mind and body for the approaching challenge of labor and childbirth. Yoga can help you focus on keeping your body fit and healthy to support and nurture a life growing within you.
There are a number of Yoga poses that you can perform that provide a gentle means of staying fit and active as well as reduce the unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy such as constipation and morning sickness. Of course, regular Prenatal Yoga has also been proven effective in easing labor and facilitating a safe and smooth delivery, which is achieved by relieving the accumulated tension around the birth canal and the cervix.
- First Trimester. Performance of standing yoga is advised to aid in strengthening the leg muscles, enhance overall blood circulation, reduce leg cramps and generate more energy to keep the body revitalized.
- Second and Third Trimester. Reduce time spent on practicing Yoga poses to avoid overwork and fatigue. Instead, focus on meditation and breathing techniques.
Important: The Asanas should not be practiced from the 10th towards the 14th week of pregnancy, as this is identified to be the critical phase. Inversions should be strictly avoided.
7 Recommended Prenatal Yoga Poses
As your baby grows, the additional weight that you carry can certainly wreck havoc on your body, which is manifested by the various aches and pains common among pregnant women.
The recommended Yoga poses below are designed to relieve muscle tension as well as strengthen the pelvic floor in preparation for labor and delivery.
Supine Prenatal Yoga Poses
1. Balasana/Child’s Pose. As your belly grows larger, practicing this posture, with knees spread wide can help your body better accommodate the growing child inside. Place a folded blanket underneath your head and take deep, calming breaths to consciously relax the body and relax the tension in the spine, pelvis and hips.
2. Viparita Karani. This is another wonderful Yoga pose that you can practice during pregnancy and even keep thereafter. This pose allows you to rest your legs by propping them against a wall to facilitate better circulation. This is highly recommended to ease away varicose veins and swollen feet.
3. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. This Yoga pose presents a milder modified version of the backbend in order to aid the blood circulation along the spinal column. Bolsters or blocks are required to be placed under the tailbone to prevent overstretching. This should be performed with assistance.
Prenatal Yoga For Enhanced Balance And Energy
4. Chakravakasana. This Yoga pose is designed to help effectively relieve the accumulation tension around the shoulders and the upper, mid as well as the lower back. This is a perfectly safe Yoga pose that can be practiced all throughout the entire pregnancy.
5. Ardha Chandrasana. This is a great Yoga pose to enhance overall balance for expectant mothers. It stretches the hips and groin area and at the same time engages balance and concentration.
6. Adho Mukha Savasana. If you have been practicing Yoga, this is a familiar pose that can be used by pregnant women to ease back pain as well as sciatic nerve discomfort. Otherwise known as the Downward Facing Dog pose, this pose stretches the sacrum to release the built up tension.
Prenatal Yoga For Relaxation
7. Savasana. Also known as the Corpse or the Relaxation pose, this is often an overlooked Yoga pose that is very important in calming the mind as well as integrating the energies that have been awakened while performing different Yoga poses. Savasana can help you feel energized and relaxed, happy and focused.
Motherhood comes with the responsibility of taking care of your body and the well-being of your little one. It’s a wonderful journey that awaits you. With regular Yoga practice, you can be more equipped to cope with the stresses that come with pregnancy. And of course, as your child grows, you may want to introduce him early on to be wonderful benefits of Yoga For Kids.