Yoga it’s a real panacea for pregnant women, because it helps on a psychophysical level. While moving and stretching all the muscles in a gentle way, the pregnant women becomes aware of her changing body, awakening its energy.
Prenatal yoga is a multifaceted approach to exercise, that encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing. Research suggests that prenatal yoga is safe and can have many benefits for pregnant women and their babies.
During the prenatal yoga practice breathing plays a fundamental role. Encouraging to focus on breathing in and out slowly and deeply through the nose, it not only helps to focus on the present moment, prenatal yoga breathing techniques can also help reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
Moving different areas of the body, such as neck and arms, through their full range of motion will help the gentle stretching of the body.
Moving gently the body, while standing, sitting or lying on the ground, into different positions called asana, help developing strength, flexibility and balance. Blankets, cushions and belts might be used to provide support and comfort.
At the end of each prenatal yoga class, the pregnant women relaxes her muscles and restores resting heart rate and breathing rhythm. It’s good use to encourage to listen to the own breathing, pay close attention to sensations, thoughts and emotions, or repeat a mantra or word to achive a state of self-awareness and inner calm.
Benefits of yoga during pregnancy:
- Helps to relieve the back pain and other common ailments as nausea, headaches and shortness of breath.
One of the most classic ailments of pregnancy is back pain, because the spine is increasingly weighed down by the growing belly. In yoga there are many stretching positions that help posture and give immediate relief and relaxation in the lumbar area without the need for any pain reliever medication. Yoga is also one of the most efficient and natural cures for nausea. It is one of the easiest and quickest methods that not only help to refresh and rejuvenate body system, but also helps reducing the sensations that nausea brings with it. For reducing nausea, can be practised asanas as: Virasana, Supta Virasana or Baddha Konasana.
- Helps to find relief with hormones in turmoil in first trimester.
The first trimester is the time for hormones in turmoil, nausea and fatigue, mood swings and anxieties. Every woman reacts differently at the beginning of pregnancy, yoga can help to face with serenity even this delicate and annoying phase, but some precautions must be taken: avoid jumps or extreme positions of balance that could annoy the embryo still in settling phase.
- Promotes and deepenes contact with the child
Yoga teaches us to know our body better and offers many benefits for both the mother and the fetus. The future mother, through the different asanas and moments of deep relaxation, typical of this discipline, learns to listen to herself and manages to get in touch soon also with her baby in the belly.
- Improves circulation
Through the regular physical exercise that this discipline offers, there is an improvement in blood and lymphatic circulation, which translates into less swelling and heaviness in the legs.
- Helps to have a good sleep
Practicing yoga regularly helps to sleep better. In addition to physical exercise, this discipline also includes a part of breathing. Learning to practice deep and calm inhalations, will activate the parasympathetic system which helps regulate pressure and heartbeats, promotes digestion and consequently night rest.
- It is an excellent preparation for childbirth
The different asanas practiced by the mother help the fetus to gently find the correct position for birth within the uterus. Meanwhile, the maternal pelvis widens in a delicate and natural way, in view of the birth. Among other things, many yoga positions can prove to be comfortable positions for childbirth. Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth.
- Teaches how to breathe and reduces anxiety and stress
Breathe by inhaling and exhaling deeply through the nose, is a very useful technique to calm the mind in all stages of pregnancy. With practice, the focus on thoracic breathing, the so-called Ujjayi Breathing, can prove to be a valid technique for relieving the pains of childbirth in a natural way and among other things, ensures a regular supply of oxygen to the baby.
Breathing exercises, especially Ujjayi Breathing, help improve the control of emotions, especially fear and pain. Fear and pain produce adrenaline which, during childbirth, can be very counterproductive as it is an antagonist of oxytocin, the hormone that makes labor progress. The practice of yoga promotes self-relaxation and teaches not to stiffen the body in moments of tension, which could prove to be essential during childbirth.
- Strengthenes the body and gives energy
Regular practice of yoga makes the body of a future mother stronger every day and ready to face all the hardships that await it, but it is above all the new acquired inner strength that will make the difference to face the new and challenging parenting experience.
- Promotes experience exchange
Prenatal yoga can help to meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent.
- Don’t stop after giving birth
If practicing yoga brings many benefits to future mothers, it also gives new mothers as many. So it is important not to stop when the baby is born. As a study from the University of Colorado a few years ago showed, continuing to practice yoga, especially breathing and meditation techniques, in the months after childbirth reduces the onset of postpartum depression.
In practicing yoga it is fundamental that the pregnant women always listens to her body and its different needs, without ever exaggerating.
At Samadhi Yoga in Riva del Garda, we offer to pregnant women private prenatal yoga classes, conducted, live or online, by our qualified prenatal yoga teacher Aldona Dudek.