Yoga, A Friend in Pregnancy
Yoga can be such a good friend during pregnancy, whether you've already been into it or not. There's a lot of talk about Yoga being for the “whole” and equally affecting the body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Nowhere do you see that more clearly than with soon-to-be mamas.
Yoga prepares the body for childbirth, that's obvious, but it's also great for taking care of those nagging aches and pains that get worse in later months. If you know what you're doing, you can resolve 90% of those pesky painful episodes by practicing the right Yoga poses.
Even just 10 minutes of Yoga can be a great relief from the doing, planning, and preparing that seems to invade every pregnant moment. There's something about taking time to do your Yoga that automatically brings you into the present, or at least gets you to reflect on where your head is at, which is always helpful.
Part of Yoga is not being lost in the movie of the mind, but instead bringing the mind to the present. It's always refreshing to jump out of the mind's activity and return to the now.
Yoga is stabilizing, especially if you know what you're doing. Simple things like learning how to open the chest correctly can have huge effects on the mood, and more sophisticated issues like hormone balance can actually be supported by doing the right postures.
Pregnancy Is spiritually, the impossible happening before our very eyes. Woman creating life. Now Yoga doesn't create that spirituality, it simply reveals what's naturally there and allows us to appreciate and concentrate on it for a while. Women frequently say they feel their Yoga is a time that they can connect more deeply to themselves and the baby.
Practicing correctly is always important but with a bun in the oven it's crucial. Don't mess around. If you don't have very good reason to trust your Yoga source, better off to go without because the wrong Yoga is dangerous.
It's common sense and I can tell you almost everything you need to know right now:
- No backbends
- No deep twists (gentle twists are great)
- No abdominal strengtheners
- Nothing that brings tension to the tummy
Other than that, you're good to go. It's great to have a bunch of relaxation poses, but don't be afraid to be physical in your Yoga, standing poses, for example, are excellent.
Try This: Baddha Konasana
Here's one Yoga pose that every expectant mother should not be without. It's called Baddha Konasana, which means bound angle pose. It's very simple and I'm sure you've seen it.Image by Christian Leeby
Sit with your back to the wall, bring the soles of the feet together, and have the knees apart. This pose opens the inner thighs, which is quite helpful for hip and back issues during pregnancy and generally makes for an easier birth.
If your knees are too high in this pose, you will not get a good result so take a good look. The knees should not be higher than the waist. If they are, which is very common, simply sit up on something like a block, blanket, or bolster. You'll see that as you elevate the hips higher, the knees fall lower relative to the waist.
Use as many blankets as you need. If it's very uncomfortable you really need this pose. Make it easier by supporting underneath the knees as well, so you can sit for at least 3-5 minutes.
Do this Yoga pose as frequently as you can, and even if you only take 2, 3, or 5 minutes to sit, be aware of how your whole being, from physical, to mental, to emotional, and spiritual seem to be present and one together.
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