Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life when phenomenal changes take place on a physical and emotional level. Garbhsanskar Yoga is an excellent way to prepare for pregnancy and childbirth and to minimize or prevent many of the common discomforts of pregnancy. The optimum time to begin yoga practice in preparation for childbearing is before pregnancy, although a gentle practice may be started under the guidance of an experienced teacher at almost any time during the term. Pregnancy Yoga can usually be safely practised by women of normal health who have no complications related to present or past pregnancies. In cases where health issues or difficulties may exist consulting medical practitioner is always advisable. Gentle and modified yoga asanas practised during the first, second and third trimester brings following benefits for the pregnant women:
Yoga encourages being in the moment — to be fully present. It encourages listening to the body, to accept it as it is, and to surrender to its sometimes uncomfortable changes. Through gentle asanas and simple strength- building postures, a pregnant woman can improve her physical health. Preganacy Yoga opens up trouble spots such as the lumbar spine, shoulders, neck, and backs of the knees, and enhances the flow of oxygen-rich blood flush out toxins.
The hormone progesterone slows down the metabolic rate, meaning thereby the weight gain will be upto 50 per cent more than usual. Prenatal yoga, unsurprisingly, has come into vogue with as a way to stay fit during pregnancy — and to make it easier to get back in shape post-natal. Expecting mothers have an option to choose yoga sessions of varying intensities, from vigorous to slower and more meditative, depending on their needs.
Women whose skins are used to stretching with yoga get lesser stretch marks during pregnancy as compared to non-practitioners. As the volume of blood increases in the body during the pregnancy period, yoga helps to enhance healthy blood flow. Improved circulation acts upon the endocrine system which encourages glands more effectively, no matter how big is the belly.
The breathing exercises help in reduced stress level, relief of the symptoms of depression, easing back and joint pain, improved sleep, controlling nausea, developing the ability to exhale for the full length of a contraction. More over relaxation and breathing techniques help to release endorphins, natures’ natural painkillers.
One of the best things about yoga is the ‘me-time’ one gets – the quiet, reflective time where expectant mother shall focus on herself. The best thing a mother to be finds about yoga is the time to connect with the growing baby inside, feel every kick and flutter with each focused breathe and send wishes and thoughts down to him/her to be well and happy.
Regular yoga practice makes it easier to withdraw from the outer world of distractions and focus on instinctive realm within during labour. Flexibility of body and mind which an expectant mother develops during yoga practice helps to accept and adapt to whatever happens when the time comes to deliver.