Practicing Yoga during your pregnancy is great for your mind body and soul. It is an easy way to be active during pregnancy and can be done anywhere, anytime you want. No unnecessary equipment or heavy lifting; Just the baby, you and some relaxation time. You might even enjoy listening to some soothing music to get into relaxation mode. Yoga is a way for you to strengthen your body and help relieve tension and increase circulation all throughout the body. It also aids with sleep improvement, reduces stress and anxiety, increases the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles need for childbirth. This all will help lead you to the path of having a stronger, healthy and happier pregnancy.
During your pregnancy your body is going through extensive changes and at times you might feel uncomfortable and experience growing pains, like lower back and neck pains. This is where the beneficial part of yoga comes into play; doing a few simple yoga poses each day can help alleviates those pains. While also alleviating pains you are learning how to breath which is called; Pranayama is the formal practice of controlling the breath. Learning how to control your breath sounds funny, but it will very helpful once the time comes to give birth. Using breathing techniques will ensure that adequate oxygen flows through the body. This is most crucial during pregnancy, where the unborn child completely depends on you for supply of oxygen. During labor using the breathing techniques will help you stay calm and centered which will help the baby stay calm as well and will not introduce any stress into the environment at time of birth.
Before you start this journey it is important that you find the right yoga practice for you. Whether it will be a yoga studio, finding a DVD or developing your own practice at home. It is very important that you listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
Here are 5 simple yoga poses that can alleviate back and neck pain and increase circulation thought the body;
- Side Angle Pose; Relieves stiffness in the shoulders and back & strengthens the legs, knees, and ankle
- Triangle Pose; This wide stance and full body extension, you will find yourself with more balance and strength. When you feel tense or a little out of control, this is a great go to pose.
4. Cat / Cow Poses; gently rocking between cat and cow poses will work to warm up the spine and stretch the body, this will help alleviate back pain.
5. Child Pose; helps relax the lower back, slowly opens your hips and allows your arms to get a good stretch as well. It’s also a great “take a break” pose. Use this when pure exhaustion creeps in and all you want to do is take a nap!
3 Breathing Techniques;
- Think of the word "relax"; It has two syllables, "re" and "lax". As you breathe in, think "re" to yourself, and as you breathe out, think "lax". Don't let your mind wander away from repeating the word "relax"' in tune with your breathing. When you breathe out, try to let go of any tensions in your body. Focus on the muscles that you know become tense when you're stressed. Remember, every time you breathe out, "laaaax". The out-breath is the one to focus on, as the in-breath takes care of itself.
- Counted breathing; As you breathe in, count slowly up to three or four, or whatever number seems comfortable for you. As you breathe out, count to three or four again. You may find that it's more comfortable to breathe in to a count of three and out to a count of four.
- Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth; Keep your mouth very soft as you sigh the breath out. Breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. You may find it helpful to make a sound on the out-breath, such as "oooooooh", or "aaaaaah". Between contractions, have sips of water to prevent your mouth from becoming dry.