Prenatal Yoga

three pregnant women practicing yoga

The intention of this article is to provide expectant mother with the yoga skills to support and empower herself and her partner on the heroic and transformational journey to parenthood.

It is advised that a woman consult her doctor before taking up any yoga class. Inherent pregnancy complications such as placenta previa, position of the foetus, risk of high blood pressure and history of previous miscarriage could cause problems or worsen the conditions during yoga practices.

Benefits of Yoga for Pregnant Women

Yoga has many benefits for pregnant women. Through practicing yoga, breath work and meditation, pregnant women can create optimum conditions of health and awareness to give birth as actively and naturally as possible. Yoga strengthens, opens, rejuvenates and regenerates the body. As a prenatal practice, yoga can increase vitality and reduce common aches and pains, enhance breath control, reduce cramps, improve circulation and lymphatic drainage, and calm and relax the pregnant woman. Through practicing prenatal yoga, women can enhance their experience of the power, beauty and transformation of pregnancy, birth and motherhood.

Guiding Principles

The guiding principles for prenatal yoga are as follows:

  • All women carry the innate wisdom and physiological capacity to face the challenges of pregnancy
  • Practice yoga from a place of love. By tuning into their bodies and becoming aware, pregnant women can release themselves from fear and anxiety and use their natural intuition to guide them through the process of pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Use comfort and stability as your guiding principles. Listen to your body; do not push or force.

Practice with gentleness and ease.

Here are some yoga poses that expectant mothers can practice, of course under the guidance of an expert Prenatal Yoga Instructor.

Baddha Konasana

• Grounding and centering posture. 

• Increases hip flexibility and stretches inner thighs. 

• May be done against the wall

• Good base for breath work, meditation

Modified Squat

• Allows the pelvic floor to open and soften

• Helpful for relieving back discomfort during labour

• Broadens and opens the lower back

Seated Side Twist Vinyasa

• Revolve around uplifted internal core

• Stretches the spine and side body

• Opens the chest and shoulders

• Massages internal organs and back muscles

Trikonasa Vinyasa

• Strengthens legs, extends spine

• Extend arms shoulder to height, lift torso up and extend out of pelvic bowl

• Rotate into trikonasana, elongating both arms equally 

• Breath and movement synchronized. 

Reclining Goddess 

• Extremely comfortable and well supported pose

• Beneficial for heart burn, feeling too full after eating

• Support thighs if hip joints sensitive

• May be enjoyable for savasana in late pregnancy

Yoga is a powerful tool of connection, strengthening and opening at all times in our lives, particularly during the transformational period of pregnancy and new parenthood.

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