Many moms-to-be wonder to what extent can they allow themselves to be physically active, which movements are safe for them and how this will affect their little bundle of joy, and yogi-mammas are no exception. However, before you let your dilemmas and fears kick in, it’s important to know just how beneficial a regular yoga practice can be for a future mama.
Coping with the almost constant trips to the bathroom and having the beautiful front-load mess up your balance, among other lovely things that pregnancy brings, can be quite challenging. This is where yoga leaps in to the rescue, so you can enjoy your nine months of bliss fully mobile and as comfortable as possible!
Yoga as a natural pain-killer
As your pregnancy progresses, the pressure on your skeletal system grows together with your baby (and your boobs!). And while the lumbar segment of your back will likely suffer the most, your hips, knees, ankles, and shoulders as well will also feel the pain and the disbalance of the uneven load. The tension then transfers to your muscles and your connective tissue, so various yoga poses serve to alleviate this pain.
Many future moms also experience some level of morning sickness, which, ironically, can last all day long. Practicing regular breathing exercises combined with nausea-relieving asanas such as the cat-cow pose and the butterfly, opens up your hips and relieves built-up tension.
The soothing effects of asanas
Breathing is one of the key pillars of a successful yoga practice, and pregnancy is the ideal time to kick up your breathing exercises up a notch or two, as they are incredibly helpful for calming your mind and putting you into a state of relaxation.
This is an opportunity to also work on various tense spots in your body – the soothing waterfall pose is helpful for those swollen ankles and lifting the pressure off your hips, and the supported child’s pose is a perfect choice to relax your central nervous system and reduce the tension in your pelvic floor.
Keeping your muscles strong and sturdy
With a baby on the way, your abdominal muscles, as well as your entire muscular composition is changing, and is in need of greater support. Performing various exercises that strengthen your core and keep your back stable and strong can be quite a challenge, especially for moms who are new to yoga.
In order to be comfortable and safe during various yoga flows, it’s advisable to wear compression tights for pregnancy that help support your back and belly, keep your body temperature balanced and allow greater range of motion and flexibility. That means that all of your Sun Salutations will be as effective as ever, even more so with added support!
Find your balance – inside and out
Lifting your leg into a tree pose may not seem like a very desirable thing to do with a big belly to disturb your coordination, but yoga actually helps you maintain as much physical balance and posture as possible throughout your pregnancy.
The same goes for your emotional stability and resilience. Pregnancy is a very fragile, gentle time for a future mama, and not to mention the hormones that tend to go out of whack. Yoga has a soothing effect on your hormones, as well, thus restoring both your physical and emotional balance.
One breath at a time
Breathing is a powerful tool for creating a deeper bond with your baby. When you have some time, you can find a comfortable position in which you can completely relax your body, control your breathing and focus on every part of you, including your little one. Use this opportunity to generate positive energy, think happy thoughts and feel every sensation of the baby growing inside you.
Another aspect of these wonderful breathing exercises is their ability to help you gain greater control of your body even at times of stress – and isn’t labor one of those times? Well, with more influence over your breath, you can soothe your mind, and keep your heartrate and blood pressure under better control.
Ready for delivery?
From working on your flexibility, mobility and strength, to performing relaxing asanas, yoga can be your daily strategy to get ready for the big day. Every inhale is used to focus on the pain and discomfort you may feel, while the exhale serves to dissolve that tension.
Plus, with months of continuous yoga sessions, your body will be much more resilient, much stronger and better equipped to handle the process. Your mind will also reap the rewards of this ancient practice, as the newly-gained physical and mental strength will guide you though one of the most rewarding experiences of your life!