Principles of Yoga During Pregnancy: Asanas for Pregnant Women
Pregnancy is a miraculous event, with the onset of which an unusual metamorphosis occurs in a woman’s body.
Changes occur in the physical body, psyche, and mental processes. The direction of energy flows changes, which, in the end, cannot but affect the state of mind.
The task of nature during this period is to slow down and liberate the future mother as much as possible. Give her an opportunity to hear herself, feel the needs of the baby and fully experience the process of anticipation.
After all, there are difficult times ahead when there will not be such an opportunity to 100% control your time – you will need to share it with the long-awaited baby.
Unfortunately, not all of us have the opportunity at the very beginning of pregnancy to dive into this state and devote all 9 months to being a future mother: most modern women are restricted by work commitments, the need to solve social, financial, and family problems.
All this, of course, is not the best effect on the inner balance. In short, the woman is under constant stress, tension, and she is woefully short of time to experience the joy of impending motherhood, and even PlayAmo gambling cannot help her in this. Many have probably heard that yoga helps to harmonize their inner space, to find peace and balance.
It’s also no secret that yoga exercises (asanas) strengthen and loosen up the body, making it more flexible and pliable. But for all that, few people are aware of the effects of asanas, pranayamas and other yoga techniques on pregnancy. Moreover, there is a belief that yoga and pregnancy are incompatible.
Is it true? Of course, not.
You can and should do yoga during pregnancy.
It’s important to do it consciously, taking into account all the changes that occur to the expectant mother. After all, not all classical yoga exercises can be performed during this period – for example, inverted asanas for pregnant women must be adapted, and there are also asanas that are prohibited during pregnancy (we will talk about these features later).
In general, with the help of yoga during pregnancy you will be able to avoid such problems as overweight and back pain, and learn how to relieve the symptoms of toxicosis.
Yoga is especially useful for pregnant women who suffer from swollen limbs, varicose veins, cramps, and numbness in the legs and arms. Excessive tension in the legs due to the pressure of a growing uterus and related decreased vascular tone, stagnation of blood in the lower part of the body, which also occurs due to pancreas, liver and bladder malfunction, can be prevented by “inverted” asanas.
Yoga helps reduce the risk of stretch marks. Many people suffer from constipation during pregnancy. This is due to the fact that the growing uterus squeezes the abdominal organs and prevents the emptying of the intestines. Thanks to special exercises of yoga, metabolism improves, digestion processes are normalized, and peristalsis is toned.
If a woman moves little, the blood starts to stagnate in the hemorrhoid veins, which can lead to hemorrhoids. And yoga asanas have a therapeutic effect, aimed at the prevention and treatment of this unpleasant manifestation.
Regular yoga classes will help you to more easily endure not only pregnancy and childbirth, but also the postpartum period. For example, there are asanas that help to enhance lactation (stretching asanas in the prone position, inverted poses and others).
Asanas help to make certain muscle groups more elastic, to get rid of the constraining tension and at the same time to strengthen and tighten them. Tendons and joints of bones are also stimulated during the practice, which gives more freedom of movement. A “not stiffened” and mobile pelvis, elastic pelvic floor and perineum muscles are key to an easy delivery.
So even if you didn’t practice yoga before pregnancy, you can bravely begin the practice, but in a perinatal yoga group under the guidance of an experienced practitioner (perinatal yoga is a system of exercises designed especially for women who are preparing for conception, carrying the baby and postpartum recovery).
For those who have been practicing yoga for a long time, be sure to continue the practice for both you and your baby, who, while in utero, is totally dependent on your emotional and physical state. You can stay in your main group or practice on your own, but keeping in mind the peculiarities of the practice on the threshold of motherhood.
Contraindications for Pregnancy
From the beginning of pregnancy, you should forget about strength training. Remember that you are a woman, and the main qualities that you should develop in yourself are fluidity, mobility, the ability to be flexible and pliable. Stamina and courage in childbirth are also important, but it’s better to develop them during pregnancy in milder ways than by standing in a “plank” for five minutes or by a dynamic sequence of ten asanas. For example, the ability to go through the period of contractions more gently is achieved by correct breathing and chanting certain sounds, which we will talk about a little later.
It is desirable to perform asanas in the morning. Taking a shower before practice refreshes the body and mind. Before you start the practice, you should empty your bladder and intestines. It is advisable to practice on an empty stomach and eat breakfast afterwards.
During the class, keep an eye on your face. You should not feel any excessive tension in facial muscles, ears and eyes. You can even begin your practice with articulation exercises, as well as a light massage of the head, face, hearing and eyes.
Avoid painful sensations while doing the exercises. Postpone intolerable ascesis until a more suitable time. Excessive exercise throws the already fragile psyche of a pregnant woman out of balance, and is also fraught with injury. The changes in your body and mind that you experience during pregnancy are already sufficient ascesis.
It is worth excluding asanas that put pressure on the pelvis and abdomen. Asanas in which you have to bend down deeply, actively twist or stretch forward are not for you if your goal is a successful pregnancy.
You should be especially careful with poses that work with balance. Lean on the wall or a chair when performing balance asanas, so as not to fall down and injure yourself and your baby.
Pay more attention to training the pelvic and perineal muscles. After all, the most common problem in childbirth is soft tissue tearing. By doing exercises for the pelvic floor, you will make the pelvic muscles supple and elastic. And if you strengthen these muscles and learn to control them (to tense and relax them at will), then later it will help the baby to pass through the birth canal without problems. In general, in everyday life, try to sit more often on hard surfaces with a straight spine and crossed legs. Sitting on soft surfaces disturbs blood circulation in the pelvic organs and leads to blood stasis, which may lead to fetal hypoxia, spinal problems, and even the threat of miscarriage or premature birth.
When leaving the asanas, remember to keep the inner space you are creating by doing them. Remain open so as not to disturb the balance of the mind that arises in the asana.
You can do inverted asanas during pregnancy, contrary to popular belief that they are forbidden. The main thing is to be sensible, to adhere to precautionary measures and to be guided by your own well-being.
Concentrate more on breathing exercises and mantras. These practices, as mentioned above, will help in childbirth. If you haven’t mastered them yet, now is the time to start.