Pregnancy is a natural part of procreation. However, no one promises that it will be an easy ride. Most women experience a number of discomforts and difficulties, and some go through quite a few dramatic changes. Some of the distresses pregnant women might face are things like backache, constipation, hemorrhoids, fatigue, headaches, heartburn, mood swings, muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting, nosebleeds, varicose veins, swelling of the feet, legs, face and hands, lower abdominal and pelvic discomfort, shortness of breath, and stretch marks. There are more, but these give you an idea just how dramatic a chance pregnancy can be for women.
The good news is, there are a number of things expectant mothers can do to help relieve or even alleviate these discomforts, and actually improve their chances of having a smooth, relatively easy pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum recovery. Yoga is one of the answers.
Pregnancy and exercise are not mutually exclusive. In fact, proper exercises during pregnancy are a very important part of any healthy routine. Coupled with a mild aerobic program, such as walking, yoga is an excellent choice. Not only does it help to keep the expectant mother flexible and fit, it can also provide very positive ways of dealing with stress and anxiety.
Yoga actually has five vital tools for pregnant women. The first of these tools are the yoga exercises themselves. These poses can work on the reproductive organs and pelvis, aiding in a smooth pregnancy and relatively gentle birth. They also ensure optimal blood supply and nutrients for your developing baby. The second vital tool of yoga is Pranayama, or breathing. Yoga offers powerful techniques for breathing which ensure an abundant supply of oxygen for both the expectant mother, and her developing child. These breathing techniques also help relieve stress.
The third vial tool is Bandhas and Mudras. The gestures provide psychophysical stimulation, which has a powerful effect on the reproductive organs. The fourth vital tool provided by yoga is Meditation. This therapeutic tool brings about a remarkable awareness of self, and of your unborn child. It also helps moms-to-be deal with the inevitable stress and anxieties of pregnancy. The fifth and final tool of yoga is Deep Relaxation. Yoga Nidra, or sleep, is very helpful during pregnancy. It provides both physical and mental relaxation, and helps to prepare you for childbirth.
Of course, as with any exercise program, it is important to play it smart.
Start by checking with your physician. Each mother-to-be is unique, and only your doctor knows for sure if a workout program like yoga is right for your situation. When you get the ‘go ahead’, seek out yoga classes geared for expectant mothers, and actually, this type of class has become quite popular.
Some yoga poses do not work well for pregnant women. However, within a class setting, you will have a competent and qualified instructor to guide you through your workout. Yoga for pregnant women is not only safe, but it is very beneficial, as well.