I spend so much time thinking about ways to create a healthy body that it’s often easy to neglect a healthy mind, which is pretty important especially when pregnant
For all those regular yogis out there you’ll no doubt agree that the health benefits of yoga for both the mind and body are undeniable.
During pregnancy yoga can help relieve the physical and emotional stresses that your body goes through. With my first pregnancy I continued practising yoga up until I gave birth which wasn’t easy.
It can also help to prepare your body for the arduous task of labour especially when you actively practice the breathing and meditation associated with yoga.
Regular practice of yoga throughout your pregnancy can also improve your quality of sleep; reduce aches and pains and improve your posture and body awareness.
Of course it’s of the up-most importance to understand that if you’re going to practice yoga whilst pregnant to please ensure you take the necessary precautions. If you’re currently attending a non pregnancy yoga class, please be sure to advise the instructor of your pregnancy and which trimester you’re in.
There are certain positions which are not recommended after the first trimester. For instance Asanas poses on your back can reduce blood flow to the uterus and are not advised. You may also find you experience some dizziness when you lay on your back as the weight of the baby reduces the blood flow.
Due to the hormone relaxin which is present during pregnancy helping to soften the connective tissues and expand your uterus you’re also more at risk of muscle injuries, particularly to the abdominal muscles.
It’s important to always listen to your body and stop immediately if you feel any discomfort. If you’re attending a prenatal yoga class your instructor will customise poses to suit the stages of pregnancy you’re in.
A good pregnancy yoga class will help you to practice the necessary breathing techniques for labour and advise on the best positions for labour whilst enabling a positive outlook and approach.
As your pregnancy progresses you may also find your centre of gravity and balance is a little off and therefore I wouldn’t recommend any poses that could cause you to topple over and asanas that require you to lay on your front are not going to be possible.
One of my favourite asanas that I literally practised every day is the Baddha Konasana- bound angle pose. This is one of the best hip openers and a perfect position to sit it in and practise your breathing and relaxations. Try to sit in this position for up to five minutes a day. Sit comfortably with your legs in a diamond position and lower your knees to the floor keeping your back upright and chest out. Try not to bounce your legs or push your knees down beyond their capability. If it helps you can place a cushion underneath each knee.. One of the best websites I’ve found is Yoga Journal
A comprehensive site dedicated to all aspects of yoga and meditation. They have a massive portfolio and they demonstrate in detail; poses for all stages of pregnancy for the beginner and the advanced yogi including video tutorials to ensure the correct positioning. I honestly urge anyone who has an interest in yoga to please check out their site.