Pregnancy Yoga and Meditation for a Mindful Maternity
Pregnancy yoga – is it safe and what are the benefits?
Lots of our readers have been asking about whether yoga during pregnancy is safe. The answer in YES! In fact, yoga is one of the best exercises during pregnancy.
The Benefits of Pregnancy Yoga
- Breathing is pivotal in yoga practice and also in childbirth. It’s no surprise, then, that the breathing techniques and control used in yoga are proven to help women in their labor. If you practice yoga from your earliest sign of pregnancy, controlled yet relaxed breathing will be second nature by the time you deliver.
- Yoga strengthens and tightens your muscles. This helps to create a safe cradle for your baby in vitro and keeping your metabolism working as it should as your body changes.
- Practicing Yoga helps to increase your balance and keeps you stable and comfortable when your center of gravity changes as baby grows.
- Doing Yoga stretches takes the pressure off areas prone to pain during pregnancy, such as your hips, lower back, ankles, neck, and shoulders.
- Yoga increases circulation – very important as your heart is pumping for two right now!
- Yoga releases endorphins and helps you feel happier when those pregnancy hormones are playing havoc with your mood!
- Many yoga studios offer specialized pregnancy yoga sessions and this is a great way to get the teaching and guidance you need.
Keep it Gentle: Precautions for Pregnancy Yoga
Your body is changing rapidly through your pregnancy trimesters. You don’t want to unwittingly hurt yourself while you’re trying to do something good for your body. Here are a few things to bear in mind when doing yoga pregnancy exercises:
- From the second trimester onwards, your center of gravity may be changing day by day, avoid poses which require you to balance on one leg.
- Avoid any poses which involve backbends.
- Don’t push yourself too hard. Your body will tell you when a pose isn’t right for you: listen to it.
- Eat nutritious food before and after practicing yoga and drink plenty of water during your session.
Meditation Techniques for a Healthy Pregnancy
The teaching of meditation techniques often goes hand in hand with practicing yoga. It can have real benefits in assisting with a natural birth. Research shows that women who are able to use visualization techniques during labor experienced reduced pain and a shorter labor. For example, visualizing a wave washing over the beach with each contraction and simply breathing through it.
Earlier in your pregnancy, taking some time for yourself while pregnant can easily be forgotten. There’s so much to think about and organize before your baby arrives! But, if you take just 10 or 15 minutes a day to meditate, you’ll actually find you’re calmer, more productive, and better emotionally, physically, and mentally prepared for what’s ahead.
For example, you could try finding a comfortable and tranquil space and simply sitting with your hands spread on your baby belly. Let all other thoughts wash away. Breathe deeply and slowly into your belly, visualizing the air giving life and nourishment to your baby. Try and develop an awareness of your hearts beating together. Be calm and at one with your baby.
Your Body is Your Temple, and Your Baby’s, Too. Treat it Kindly.
Just to summarize, yoga and meditation are excellent tools for a calmer pregnancy, a smoother delivery, and a deeper connection between you, your body, and your baby. If I had to recommend only one exercise for pregnancy, yoga would be my first choice.
You can either try yoga at home using a DVD, or attend a specialized pregnancy yoga class at your local gym or spiritual center.
Other Articles and Pregnancy Websites:
If you’re planning on taking up pregnancy yoga, you’ll need some loose and comfortable workout clothes to last you through your pregnancy. Check out our range of maternity workout clothes here.
Your body is your temple. And, while pregnant, it’s also your baby’s temple! Good nutrition should go hand in hand with pregnancy yoga for holistic health. Check out our guide to a healthy pregnancy diet to a here.
Want to know what’s happening to your body and your baby as you journey through your pregnancy? Check out our week by week pregnancy guide here.