Benefits of yoga during pregnancy
Pregnancy begins with lovemaking and conception, then ends with the the natural and involuntary bodily function of giving birth. The whole process of conceiving a baby, being pregnant, giving birth, and mothering is a part of the sexual and spiritual life of a woman.
The best way a woman can prepare herself for motherhood is by first preparing her body.
Yoga exercises are natural, instinctive movements we made as young children. As adults in a more civilized culture, we become stiff and lose normal range of motion. We can regain the movements intended for our female heritage by re-educating our bodies in the instinctive breath and movements that yoga provides us. Using yoga during labor begins long before contractions begin.
The emphasis during pregnancy needs to be on developing trust and confidence in your body and getting in tune with your instincts. You are part of a long lineage of women who’ve experienced the same dramatic life event of giving birth and mothering. Let this give you courage and confidence as a woman. You have tremendous power inside of you to bring this new life into the world.
Prenatal yoga has several proven benefits, such as:
- increasing circulation, flexibility, stamina, and balance
- strengthens back muscles
- increases mental alertness and concentration
- improves digestion
- uplifts energy
- reduces fatigue and stress
As a result of the benefits that prenatal yoga provides, the mother reaps the reward from her work in the prenatal yoga class, such as:
- better sleep
- relieving lower back pain
- reducing nausea and headaches
- better quality of breathing
Prenatal yoga lowers the risk for preterm labor and pregnancy-induced hypertension. Our bodies are constantly subjected to gravity, and prenatal yoga helps the mother come into a harmonious balance with the force of gravity. She learns how to breathe without force or strain, by simply letting go of unnecessary tension, which releases stiffness in joints and muscles.
Prenatal yoga helps prepare mothers for a peaceful birth as confidence, acceptance, and trust develops within herself.
Not to mention the emotional support during a time of wavering hormones and feelings. Prenatal yoga helps mothers to relax by getting to the root of tension and providing an opportunity to release it.
Benefits of meditating throughout pregnancy
Concentrating on the present moment is a great way for mothers to connect with their babies. The mother will be better in touch with her instincts and better able to let go of the fears that inhibit the birth process. Plus, it’ll be easier to accept the changes and the unknown, as well as the intense sensations that occur as their bodies open up to give birth.
Birthing is as instinctual as breathing. We don’t need prior education. It just happens. However, there is a knowing of how to harness the power of the breath during intense sensations of labor that helps mothers bring their babies earthside. The purpose of concentrating on the breath keeps the mother in the present moment through her body, mind, and breath. Her breath will help her through contractions by allowing her to let go and relax between each contraction. As she moves from pregnancy into motherhood, pranayama helps mothers cope with stressful situations, increases energy, accesses intuition, and helps her soften and relax becoming more peaceful.
Paying attention to your breath doesn’t require believing in a particular dogma. It keeps us in the present moment, which is a skill we need to practice in order to cope with labor pains when the day comes.
Print and save your own copy of my meditation for prenatal yoga class.
Learning to meditate helps mothers connect with the growing miracle inside of them without being able to see and touch them. The marvel of this experience is that the baby, who is so close to us, cannot be seen. We don’t have a window into the womb. Mothers can’t see and touch their baby, instead they can use meditation to connect deeply with the baby by mentally and spiritually linking themselves. That’s why nothing is stronger than a mother’s prayer for her baby.
Benefits of prenatal yoga asanas to prepare for motherhood
Prenatal yoga exercises can help prepare mothers to love and nourish their babies in the years to come. Gradually, stiff muscles will lengthen and regain their elasticity and joints will become more mobile as tension is released. Muscles work in teams; while one teams is relaxing and lengthening, the other is contracting and shortening. If muscles are shortened and movement is restricted, the flow of energy is blocked.
Prenatal yoga gives mothers the opportunity to do something special to honor their pregnancy.
Bound angle pose during pregnancy
Bound angle pose is great to do during pregnancy as it opens hips, knees, best, and shoulders. To prepare for this pose, first try fire log pose, pigeon, forward folds, reclined big toe pose, cowface pose, and malasana.
Bound angle pose builds stability in the pelvic floor, back, and abdomen. After establishing yourself in bound angle and leaning forward (like the pictures above demonstrates), try reclining onto your back. Depending on how you feel laying flat on your back will determine if you need props to sustain the hold for a couple minutes.
Reclined bound angle pose during pregnancy
Some women find it uncomfortable to lay flat on their backs around the 2nd to 3rd trimester. This is because the weight of the baby shifts and can reduce blood flow. Your body has a natural response to this occurrence, and it makes you feel very uncomfortable. Prop yourself up on pillows or yoga bolsters to keep your heart lifted. This feels good in your body and makes the pose restorative. If your body feels fine laying flat, try laying on the mat. Regardless of your heart’s position, place blocks or more pillows under your knees for support if the pose becomes too intense to relax.
Benefits of bound angle pose for prenatal yoga students
Bound angle pose strengthens the pelvic floor. Preps pelvic floor for birth by bringing greater flexibility and circulation, aligning the pelvis into balance, and widens pelvic diameter. Keep your back straight to strengthen back muscles. Bound angle pose also releases tension in hips, groin, knees, and ankles. Promotes gynecological health and good function of pelvic organs.
Practice bound angle pose daily for short periods as a sitting position.
Caution of using prenatal yoga during pregnancy
Take care of yourself, mama. If you’re getting overheated, tired, or upset, take a break. Rest and relax. Don’t allow negative feelings arise during your prenatal yoga time. When they do, it’s a signal that something needs to change. You need to do something differently.
Prenatal yoga has so many benefits. However, you can’t rely on yoga alone to fix issues. Widen the width of your realm of care to include other providers as well. Widen your concern to eating a natural and healthy diet that includes carbs, fat, and protein. Fresh fruits and veggies. Aim to exercise 5 days a week, including cardio, if your doctor has given you the green light to do so. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from exercising or doing yoga, please follow doctors orders. It’s very important to take care of yourself and your baby during this time in your life. Pregnancy doesn’t last forever. It’s just a season in our lives.