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Yoga in Pregnancy

Prenatal Yoga for Healthy Mom and Baby

Yoga in pregnancy is a safe, simple and a natural way to stay healthy and to prepare for natural childbirth. Yoga during pregnancy is know to increase your flexibility and give you energy.

Yoga in pregnancy is a great way to:

1. Keep fit during pregnancy.

2. Gain correct posture while carrying a pregnant belly.

3. Provide breathing and relaxation techniques to use during labor.

4. Reduce back discomforts.

5. Strengthen the birthing muscles.

6. Prevent leg cramps.

Your body goes through many changes during pregnancy. The practice of pregnancy yoga poses helps you ease your way through the mental and physical challenges your body has to face each day.

It you are already familiar with yoga, it is very important to perform yoga poses that are suited for pregnancy and avoid inversion poses and poses that may over stretch your abdominal muscles. Many poses should be modified depending on how far advanced you are in your pregnancy.

While doing yoga in pregnancy, you should be able to feel relaxed and never feel any pain.  

Prenatal Yoga

Ideally, when you practice yoga in pregnancy, it's best to find a Prenatal Yoga DVD, or a Prenatal Yoga Studio near you to help you stay within safe parameters at each stage of your pregnancy.

If you are new to yoga, ask your doctor or midwife if a prenatal is right for you. Many practitioners are in great favour of pregnant women doing yoga. However, if you have high blood pressure or other pregnancy complications, it is extremely important to check with your health care practitioner first before starting or continuing yoga.

I enjoyed very much doing yoga during pregnancy and my favorite part of prenatal yoga practice was surely when at the end you get to lie on your left sides and take a few minutes to connect with your baby.

Most prenatal instructor encourage you to focus on one positive statement about the birth while you relax at the end of your pregnancy yoga practice. This time is so precious because it is your special time you get to spend bonding with your baby before birth.

This is the best time to visualize a positive birth experience and send loving messages to your baby. Also, you may repeat in your mind your favourite birth affirmations.

Why Doing Yoga In Pregnancy

If you are asking yourself why you should begin doing yoga in pregnancy, consider the following important benefits:

1. Yoga will strengthen your muscles in preparation of childbirth.

2. You will learn meditation techniques to help you access deep relaxation, a tool you can use between contractions when in labor.

3. You will master breathing and visualization strategies to release tension during pregnancy and manage pain during birth.

4. You can increase your confidence and trust your body.

5. You will connect and bond with your growing baby.

Yoga In pregnancy: Do's and Dont's

1. Don't lie flat on your back or belly past your first trimester. The weight of the baby on your uterus compresses a major vein and can affect the amount of oxygen to the baby.

2. Avoid inverted poses, which are usually done during regular yoga classes, such as headstands and shoulder stands.

3. Remember to move slowly when you are coming out of a pose. You may feel dizzy, especially if you have low blood pressure. Because of your growing belly, your centre of gravity changes a little each day, so you may find it difficult to execute certain poses that require more balance. Listen to your body and modify as needed.

4. During pregnancy, your body produces more of the hormone relaxin, which allows the uterus to expand and softens the connective tissue. You may feel like you are more flexible (you may feel like you can go deeper into a pose), but be careful not to exceed your normal range of motion, this can cause injuries.

5. Stop immediately if you feel lightheaded, feel cramping (and you are not close to your due date). Avoid poses that stretch the muscles too much, particularly the abdominals.

6. If you experienced spotting or fluid leakage during your pregnancy, talk to your health care practitioner. In some rare cases you may have to discontinue your yoga practice.

7. Hold each posture for 3 slow breaths. Listen to your body and build up to the recommended number of repetitions as gradually as you need to.

8. Make sure you are not exerting yourself and try to feel relaxed at all time. Stop or slow down when you are tired or feel uncomfortable.

9. Always practice as if the belly were larger than it actually is. Leave a lot of room around you and go into a pose slowly without rushing.

10. Listen to your pregnant body. This will more likely occur during the fourth month of pregnancy, when you can feel your baby little movements and you have gained a little bit of weight on your belly. 

Yoga In Pregnancy By Trimester

First Trimester

The decision to practice yoga during the first trimester is an individual matter. If you have a history of miscarriage or had a high-risk pregnancy, you may want to wait until your second semester to begin yoga.

Second Trimester

Many women experience severe morning sickness. This usually goes away during the second trimester and you should be able to practice yoga. If your morning sickness is not severe and you feel all right practicing, try not to practice on an empty stomach.

Eat something light and drink small quantities of water during practice to prevent dehydration and uterine contractions. Remember to modify your yoga poses according to your needs.

Third Trimester

During your third trimester, you need to modify your yoga poses even more. You may not be able to reach as deeply into a pose. That's fine!

Just use props like a chair or a block to help you out. Remember to adjust legs to hip-width distance to accommodate the growing belly. Your center of gravity is changing as your belly grows, so take your time when going in and out of a pose.

During the last two months of pregnancy avoid poses where the knees are higher than the pelvis. This is helpful in maintaining your baby in a good positioning in the uterus. By this time your baby should be getting to the typical head-down position.

During your third trimester you will find to be very much in tune with your pregnant body and your baby. Use your intuition. If something does not feel right, or if your baby seems to object to a certain pose, do not do the pose.

Is It Safe To Do Yoga During Pregnancy?

Yoga during pregnancy is usually very safe and can be very beneficial for you when you are pregnant because it helps with relaxation, which can help adjust to the physical demands of pregnancy, labor, birth, and motherhood. It calms both mind and body, providing physical and emotional stress relief.

Pregnancy is a special time in your life. It can also be a time of increased discomfort as body and hormonal changes occurs so rapidly. If you have a full time job this can also be a time of great exhaustion.

Yoga can be a fantastic way to relax and recharge. It is a great way to get some time to yourself to connect with your growing baby. I think that doing yoga during pregnancy allows you to get the time to nurture yourself.

Yoga in pregnancy is very safe and regular yoga practice builds strength and endurance. It helps increase flexibility in the muscles and the connective tissues.

The deep breathing and conscious movement exercises, used during yoga practice, help to focus your attention to your pregnant body. You quickly learn how to be in the present moment, which aids achieve the calmness and mental clarity you will need when caring for your newborn baby.

Yoga, also increasing vitality because improves circulation and oxygenations to your body and more importantly to your baby. It also enhances general well being and hormonal balance.

Prenatal Yoga Best Techniques

Doing yoga in pregnancy is not just practicing poses and move in space and time; it is also a journey of discovery of yourself.

During pregnancy you are in a fantastic journey and every pregnancy will teach you something new. Make sure to listen to the teachings of your yoga practice because it will be very helpful to you as a parent and in your life as a human being. Here are my favourites:

Existence

Through breathing yoga teaches you to exist, be present and achieve a sense of calmness.

Wakefulness

Yoga teaches you to observe without judgement. This is a great life skill you will have to apply many times when a parent. Be aware of your body, your life challenges and your gifts.

Connection

Yoga during pregnancy teaches you how to connect with your body and to your spiritual energy, through breathe. Your energy enlivens every cell of your body and your vital force is greatly enhanced during pregnancy because it connects to that of your baby, which needs yours to survive.

Yoga, also teaches you to connect to nature and the universal life that all is.

Contentment

Yoga teaches you to reach a state of contentment where you are whole, complete and at peace with yourself and the world around you.

Acceptance

There is no journey without recognition of where you were, where you are, where you are going. Through movement, yoga shows you how we, as humans, are ever changing creatures. The secret to live a healthy, happy life is allowing.

Make Room For A Growing Baby

Yoga in pregnancy helps the fetus to develop as healthy as possible. This is because the various stretching postures make room for the baby by creating space for the fetus to grow.

Many babies that are malpositioned seem to turn into an optimal fetal positioning as a result of yoga. Also, the correct breathing methods ensure complete oxygen flow to the baby. Through the various breathing techniques, you can relax and release stress and anxiety.

I strongly recommend doing the Healthy Mom, Happy Baby DVD developed by Anna Davis and Lisa Black, yoga instructors and moms who teach yoga to women from fertility to childbirth.

The reason why I recommend this pregnancy yoga DVD is because Healthy Mom, Happy Baby is a gentle prenatal yoga practice designed for all three trimesters of your pregnancy.

The practice begins with a gentle warm-up that includes centering breath work, followed by 40 minutes of physical poses and ends with a 10 minute guided relaxation to end your daily yoga session.

You can do the entire practice or you can create your own shorter practice by selecting one or more of the exercise series listed below from the DVD menu.

So, what are you waiting for, join in, feel better and have fun!

Many Blessings!




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