PREGNANT? 10 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN PRACTICING PRENATAL YOGA
It is very good for pregnant woman to practice loads of yoga, but wait, why? What are the benefits and what should the mothers-to-be avoid?
You are pregnant or know somebody who is about to be a mom? Share this text about the 5 benefits and the 5 things to avoid during pregnancy!
Yoga is healthy for everybody, but specially for pregnant woman because it prepares for labor and delivery in many different aspects. But, always make sure to have the OK from the doctor first!
So, here are 5 of the many reasons to practice yoga during pregnancy:
1.-Practicing yoga helps to develop self-trust and confidence.
By meditating, doing breath work and practicing asanas the mother-to-be connects with her transforming and wise body, and with her baby.
Pregnant woman practicing yoga, create this trust in their body and their intuition. They are more confident for the big day when they finally experience the power of a woman’s body. But not only for the big day! Also after birth, this confidence in the mother’s intuition will last.
2.- The breath work, pranayamas.
The breath work is an important part of the prenatal yoga practice as it connects the woman to her internal rhythms and baby, showing the benefits of it and how it can relax the mind and the body releasing tensions.
When a woman knows how to practice different pranayamas and creates this breath consciousness, it will be easier for her during labour. It will come totally normal during the big day.
3.-Strength and stamina for labour.
Giving birth is such an effort! It has been compared to running a marathon!
So, it needs preparation and recovery.
During prenatal yoga, especially during the 2nd trimester, there will be more focus on abdomen and legs strength, developing stamina and endurance with standing sequences in order to help during labour and delivery.
4.- Hip opening and posture.
By practicing different stretching postures and asanas we not only strengthen but we also help to adjust the body for labour with hip opening poses and sequences.
Prenatal yoga is not only about preparing for birth, it is also about feeling good during pregnancy and releasing tension that comes from the heavy belly and from the adjustments of the body.
That’s why it is recommended to do yoga, it will help pregnant woman to release tensions, understand her new constantly changing body and, as it is constantly changing, it needs constant readjustment J in order to feel as light as possible…
As I said before, prenatal yoga will focus a lot in meditation and pranayama, which leads to an easier withdrawal of the senses. Meditation gets more effective the more you practice, and having the facility to meditate or to get to this state where you can switch off your senses can be very helpful during labor.
When a woman gets into labor and the contractions get stronger, the woman enters like in a trance state. This transformative state where she is not here neither there, can be easier if she knows how to let go and how to work together with the breath in order to handle better the pain and the tiredness.
Mantras are also big help for that! I prepared a list of 9 powerful mantras with the links to youtube. Click here to have a look at the post with the list
But, while practicing yoga, what should the mother avoid or keep in mind?
Remember that a woman’s body during pregnancy is constantly changing and that every woman, and every pregnancy is different.
That’s why pregnant woman should always check with their doctor first before doing yoga. Doing yoga is not going to be to look good or to achieve new asanas, it is for grounding, connecting with the baby and preparing physically and mentally for the big day.
If you already practice yoga or if it is your first time practicing, keep these 5 things in your mind:
1.- The mom should learn to listen, trust and honor her body.
She has to trust her intuition and identify what feels good or not, what the body is asking for or when it is asking to stop.
A pregnant woman is like a goddess, her body it is smart, creating a miracle, and it is doing thousands of different things at the same time to create and nurture the wonderful baby during 9 months.
Trust the mothers’ body and signs!
- Laying on the back won’t feel very comfortable because naturally the spine curves when the body adjusts to make more space. That’s why it is recommended to substitute the laying positions like savasana to laying on the left side with cushions or using cushions and props in order to place the body in a 20 degrees angle.
- When sitting for meditation, or pranayama or any other sitting asanas, the pregnant woman will probably feel more comfortable sitting on a bolster or blocs and resting the back on the wall.
-Balancing may be more difficult as the gravity point is constantly changing, so, mommy, use the wall! There is nothing wrong with it! No need to fall! Remember, it is not only you… there is a second tiny being also!
-If mothers have morning sickness… which is quite common during the first trimester, as mentioned before, listen to the body and stop when you need. There is the option to try to practice in the evening or have always some crackers close to you (it may help to reduce the morning sickness).
2.- Avoid closed twists.
We don’t want any pressure in the mom’s belly, no pressure for the baby! During yoga, what we want is to create space for the little one. But, does this mean there won’t be twists in yoga class?
Well, it depends on each case, but open twists shouldn’t be a problem always considering not to go too deep.
3.- No deep backbends. No need for that…
Practicing yoga during this unique 9 or 10 months of a woman’s life is not for getting to the wheel pose or doing any acrobatic asanas. It is focused on what is best for the baby and for the mom. So, there wouldn’t be any benefit for the baby and the space for it by doing deep backbends.
4.-Avoid overstretching! Very, very important point!
During pregnancy, there are some present hormones that soften the woman’s tissues. One of them is the so called “relaxin”. The woman’s body is undergoing many changes, growing, making space and adjusting, and that’s why the tissues need to be softer. When future moms practice yoga or any other exercise during pregnancy they will feel they are more flexible and this can feel very exciting, but they have to be careful!
They can harm themselves! (I can tell you from my experience…nothing serious but very uncomfortable, in my case).
5.-Pregnant woman should be able to talk easily during the practice.
Huffing and puffing is not a good sign!
If they are not getting enough air or oxygen during practice, this can mean that the baby also may not get enough oxygen.
These are only 10 important things to consider when a pregnant woman is thinking about practicing yoga. There is so much more and that’s why I recommend to always practice with an experienced yoga teacher who knows specific about prenatal yoga.
A pregnant woman’s body is a little universe!
If it is difficult to have access to specific prenatal classes, I would recommend to always talk to the yoga teacher first and try to take the first and the third trimester very easy. You could maybe try practicing restorative yoga or yin (if you want to know a little bit more about yin yoga, click here), and see if you are ok with hatha or something similar during the second trimester as it is the time where most of the future moms feel more “normal” and have more energy.
Apart from all that, I just want to say that yoga during that special time of a woman’s life is also a sacred moment in her daily life.
The place and time where she can ground, calm down the mind (which usually is quite busy during that period), balance hormones, release tensions, connect with herself and with her baby, and why not? Meet other women who are going through the same!
If you found this post interesting please give me a little heart and share it with the moms you know!
I will be posting some other interesting facts and posts about prenatal and postnatal yoga in the future, so stay tuned!
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Let’s spread the yoga and have a beautiful day!