Yoga is quickly growing beyond a fad to an active lifestyle choice to stay in shape. This growing popularity has given rise to a range of innovations in Yoga like Aerial Yoga, Karaoke Yoga, Power Yoga, Diamond Dallas page Yoga and even Tantrum Yoga! One of these novel innovations is Pregnancy Yoga, also known as Pre-natal Yoga. If performed correctly with the guidance of a certified trainer or practitioner, pre-natal yoga can be quite liberating. It can help you fix your sleep cycle, reduce anxiety, alleviate cramps and body pains, keep you flexible and limber and maintain a sound mind in a sound body. Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of Pregnancy Yoga
Breathing is an involuntary bodily function that we don’t pay much attention to. During pregnancy though, pre-natal yoga helps you enhance your breathing, thus increasing the level of Oxygen intake in the body and improving circulation. Greater oxygen intake is beneficial for the developing child and it eliminates risks of developmental disorders in the child. Yoga offers techniques like prānāyāma and ujjayi, which focus on the strengthening of the abdominal muscles and diaphragm. These techniques help you relax and take your mind off the stress and pain.
As the baby grows, especially during the last trimester, there can be significant amount of stress on the spine and surrounding areas of the body. Upper and lower back aches, muscular cramps, hip and neck problems are common during this period. Pregnancy yoga involves exercises that involve slow motions of the limbs, neck and back through the full range of their motions. This keeps the stress prone muscles strong and limber, provides great pain relief, and prevents the muscles from cramping up.
Getting Ready for Labor
Labor can be a harrowing process. The sudden hormonal imbalances, strenuous breathing, excessive stress on the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles and bouts of labor pain can get chaotic and excruciatingly painful, especially during labor without epidural drugs. Pregnancy yoga specifically focuses on strengthening the abdomen and pelvic floor muscles. The regular breathing exercises also prepare you for labor. By keeping your body ready for the forthcoming stress, yoga can prepare you to be comfortable with the discomfort which is soon to come. Regular sessions of pregnancy yoga can prepare your body, and in turn your mind, for a smooth, natural, less painful and epidural-free birth.
The body and mind are interconnected at a very basic level. One cannot have a relaxed mind while the body is stress ridden. Pregnancy yoga sessions typically end with shavasana or the ‘posture of the dead’. This is a concluding, relaxation technique where you lie down completely flat on your back, eyes closed and focused on your breathing. It is an important end to a session full of physical exertion, as it helps you calm your nerves and develop a greater sensitivity to the changes occurring within your body. Yoga lays equal stress on the well being of the mind as well as the body, helping you cruise through your pregnancy with calm nerves and a fresh, relaxed mind.
It is recommended that you find a certified trainer who specializes in pregnancy yoga. If that is not possible, find a trainer who knows what amount of exertion and what postures would be right for you. Do not try pregnancy yoga with a do-it-yourself DVD because the repercussions of practising it the wrong way can be sever for both the mother and child. Inform your trainer about any serious medical conditions that you suffer from and previous surgeries or disabilities that may prevent you from trying certain exercises. Remember that it is better to be safe than sorry.