PRENATAL YOGA :FOR HEALTH AND HAPPINESS OF MOMS
PREGNANCY is a happy and joyous time of life for women. Eating healthy and staying fit are not the only things that are important for a pregnant woman.
Pregnancy poses undue physiological demands on the mother and the foetus. Most women are anxious about their pregnancy regarding their own and their baby’s well-being.
And this is where yoga comes in.
Consider prenatal yoga, experts say.
Prenatal yoga classes help to remain fit, calm and stress-free.
Doing yoga during pregnancy will make this phase of life more enjoyable.
Following Yogic practices can be a great way to prepare for childbirth :
- Loosening up exercises
- Breathing techniques
- Sitting, lying down and standing postures all asnas of Yoga
- Meditating with the help of Yoga
BENEFITS OF PRENATAL YOGA
Provides relief from aches and pains
Prenatal Yoga practices help reduce leg and back pain, morning sickness, depression and cortisol levels. Stretching and toning muscles improves blood circulation of the mother and the baby, both in a healthy way.
Strengthens mental health with Yoga
Many women experience stress, depression and anxiety both throughout the pregnancy and afterward. Regular yoga practice keeps mood swings, emotions and mental worries of the mom-to-be at bay by reducing depression and cortisol levels.
Improves physical fitness
Apart from the mental well-being of the mom-to-be, yoga helps them to keep their weight in check and stay physically fit. As pregnancy develops, abdominal muscles tend to weaken and the lower back takes the burden. Prenatal yoga asanas can help gently strengthen abdominal muscles.
Improves sleep patterns
Prenatal Yoga poses help regulate the sleep rhythm which makes it easier to go to sleep and stay asleep too. It lowers the stress hormone in the brain and syncs with the natural sleep patterns of the mom-to-be.
Improves flexibility of the changing body
A pregnant woman tends to limit her movements as a way to protect the baby in her womb. This leads to rigidity and stiffness of muscles which can hamper a smooth delivery. Prenatal Yoga regulates the functioning of the hormone ‘relaxin’ that relaxes the muscles and joints, in turn strengthening them and making them flexible thus helping in birthing.
Decreases the risk of preterm labour
Studies have suggested that pregnant women who regularly practiced yoga were less likely to deliver a low-birthweight baby or have preterm labor. Pelvic floor exercises help adjust to physical demands of labour and brings the newborn with minimum pain and hassle. Thus BIRTHING becomes easy.
Different types of asanas can be performed as they consume low energy and provide greater benefits. Many poses are now safer than once thought.
Here’s what a typical prenatal yoga class should include :
Gentle positions of the body areas such as arms, neck, back, legs, etc. aim at enhancing strength, balance, stamina, endurance and flexibility.
Recommended are some Yoga poses : Sukhasana, Tadasana, Gomukhasana in Sukhasana,Trikonasana, Baddha konasana, Veerabhadrasana, Marjarasana and a few more.
Focus on the inhalation and exhalation of breath might help manage shortness of breath during pregnancy as well as during labour. Pranayamas help to improve the lung capacity and also calm and balance the mind.
Recommended : Anulom-Vilom, Sheetali, Shitkari.
Meditation helps reduce anxiety levels, stabilizes emotions and promotes positive thoughts.
Chanting ‘OM’ or any mantra of your choice brings about a state of self-awareness and calms you from within.
Shavasana to relax
At the end of each yoga session, you’ll relax your body parts and the mind consciously in your wakefulness. This total relaxing asana in turn helps destress the body and the mind.
WORDS OF CAUTION:
“IT IS NOT ADVISABLE TO DO YOGA IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER.”
“CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE YOU BEGIN PRACTISING PRENATAL YOGA OR GO FOR ANY EXERCISE REGIME.”
Yoga is good but it needs to be modified accordingly for each stage of pregnancy. So also, women should listen to their body signals. Do not do any yogic practice vigorously. Go slow. Take your own sweet time to do it easily.
REMEMBER – WHATEVER A MOM-TO-BE DOES OR EXPERIENCES MAY PASS ON TO THE BUNDLE OF JOY GROWING WITHIN. So the expecting mother has to be very particular and careful about what she must do or behave.
Here’s to a Happier and Healthier Pregnancy!