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Prenatal Yoga- A Step Towards Healthier

1. PRENATAL YOGA-INTRODUCTION

You’re expecting a child?! Congratulations! You must be excited, afraid, delighted, and overwhelmed all at once. It must be difficult to put your finger on exactly what you’re feeling. The kicks are enjoyable, but the cramps are incapacitating. You could be overjoyed one moment and filled with emotion the next. Nothing adequately describes the sensation of having a life developing inside of you. You may also suffer mood swings as a result of hormonal changes. Yoga is undoubtedly a blessing that can help you sail through the journey of pregnancy in a smooth manner. The general benefits of yoga can be accessed here.

2. HOW YOGA HELPS PREGNANT WOMEN

Gurukul Yogashala’s prenatal yoga training helps to keep the body supple throughout pregnancy. They open up the pelvic region, relieving tension around the cervix. This helps expectant mothers prepare for labor and delivery. Yoga and pranayama can teach you to breathe deeply and relax consciously, which will help you deal with the stresses of labor and birthing. Yoga can help with typical symptoms like morning sickness, painful leg cramps, swollen ankles, and constipation. Yoga asanas can also assist pregnant women to recuperate faster after giving birth.

Difference between yoga and prenatal yoga

Prenatal yoga teacher training at Rishikesh is not just a yoga class consisting of pregnant women; rather, the poses given by a well-trained instructor are slightly different and adapted to the physique and unique needs of moms-to-be. Contrary to regular yoga, it is a structured and specialized training that specifically aims to solve the issues related to prospective mothers. Additionally, the instructors of prenatal yoga require special training to adequately address the issues being faced by pregnant women. Such training involves enhanced communication skills and the development of a friendly environment to ensure the physical, mental, and emotional well- being of moms-to-be.

3. BENEFITS OF PRENATAL YOGA

Prenatal yoga, like other birthing preparation classes, is a multidimensional approach to fitness that involves stretching, mental grooming, and concentrated breathing. According to recent research, prenatal yoga is safe and can provide numerous benefits to pregnant women and their new-borns. Its benefits are-

  • Gurukul Yogashala’s Prenatal yoga can help you sleep better and reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Reduce lower back pain, nausea, migraines, and
  • Reduce shortness of breath by increasing the strength, flexibility, and endurance of muscles required for birthing.

4. PRECAUTIONS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS OF PRENATAL YOGA

Prenatal yoga has various benefits throughout pregnancy. Yet, there are some yoga poses to avoid when pregnant. It is also prudent to move carefully and with caution. When it comes to yoga, you must think about both your own safety and the safety of your growing kid.

While pregnant, refrain from practicing:

  • Poses that put pressure on the abdomen
  • Deep twists
  • Lying flat on your back (later on in pregnancy)
  • Follow all the prenatal yoga guidelines, including modifying or avoiding certain poses.

You are your own greatest guide, so pay attention to what seems right for you each day. Take it easy and prevent overexertion and overheating. Perform at a slightly lesser intensity than you are capable of. Avoid any pose that makes you feel uneasy or requires you to put too much pressure on your abdomen.While pregnant, refrain from practicing:

5. ASANAS FOR EACH TRIMESTER

It is critical to be active while still emphasizing relaxation during your pregnancy. Prenatal    yoga comes with learning proper asanas, which should be done in distinct semesters.

First-trimester

You can continue to exercise normally during the first trimester if you adapt it appropriately. Concentrate on increasing your strength and releasing tightness, particularly in your low back and hips. Certain yoga positions with forward bends should be fine for most pregnant women.

Excessive backbends, twists, and forward bends should be avoided during the first trimester. Inversions with powerful or intense abdominal contractions (unless you’re really skilled) hopping, jumping, bouncing, etc. should be avoided.

Do-able asanas-

  • Head-to-knee forward bend (Janu sirsasana)
  • Wide-angle seated forward bend (Upavistha konasana)
  • Cat-cow pose (Marjaryasana to Bitilasana)

Second-trimester

Your body begins to create more of the hormone relaxing during the second trimester. It prepares your tendons, muscles, and ligaments for birth by relaxing them. Be careful not to overstretch because this may cause you to become more flexible.

Don’t push yourself all the way to the edge to avoid discomfort and injury. Excessive backbends, twists, and forward bends should be avoided during the second trimester.

Do-able asanas

  • Bound angle pose (Baddha Konasana)
  • Child’s pose (Balasana)
  • Triangle pose (Trikonasana)
  • Standing forward bend (Uttanasana)

Third-trimester

Because your baby is now taking up more room, you may find it more difficult to breathe and move freely. Take it easy, move slowly, and rest whenever you want.

Excessive backbends, twists, and forward bends should be avoided throughout the third trimester. If you’re prone to prolapse, do arm balances squats while lying on your back or on your right side.

Do-able asanas

  • Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
  • Garland pose (Malasana)
  • Easy pose (Sukhasana)
  • Side corpse pose (Parsva Savasana)

6. PRANAYAM AND MEDITATION – A BOON FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

Pranayama exercises give you more control over your breathing during pregnancy, which aids with emotional management. It is an excellent technique to deal with the regular fluctuations in hormones that frequently cause stress and anxiety. It will also keep you calm and help you bond with your foetus.

Here are some major benefits of pranayama for pregnancy:

  • Increases oxygen flow and breathing capacity.
  • Maintains your calm and tranquillity.
  • Help in developing a bond with your child.
  • Assist in the preparation for childbirth.
  • Controls hormonal fluctuations.
  • Breaks through emotional and mental boundaries.
  • Controlling blood pressure lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Encourages a clear and attentive mind, which reduces mood swings.
  • Aids in the reduction of anxiety, tension, depression, and irritability.

If you are new to pranayama or are just starting out, you should avoid doing it during the first trimester because there is a greater risk of miscarriage. Begin pranayama practice in the second or third trimester, after about 14 weeks, by doing it for a minimum of 2-3 minutes.

Pranayama, like most yoga activities, should not be done immediately after eating. Yoga and pranayama are best practiced three to four hours after a large meal or a couple of hours after a light meal or snack.

7. TEACHING METHODOLOGY

Prenatal yoga is a healthy solution to several problems faced by prospective mothers on their journey from conception to giving birth. More than 90% of women believe that yoga helps improve health during pregnancy, however, many women do not exercise owing to a lack of knowledge, etc. It becomes essential to devise proper methods and techniques for performing various asanas. Teaching and training with regard to prenatal yoga should keep in mind the following-

  • Safe and appropriate pranayama techniques should be developed for each semester individual. The health status of women should be taken into consideration at each step for the same.
  • Awareness programs, education, along with, relaxation techniques can further be developed and modified as per the varying needs of women
  • Proper communication skills should be employed to enhance the interaction between trainers and pregnant women.
  • A safe, supportive, and amiable environment should be developed for the healthy growth of women.
  • Sequencing and scheduling for prenatal yoga classes should be undertaken.
  • Adaptation of classes for individual needs and abilities.
  • Feedback, evaluation, and self-assessment of both the trainer and trainees.

8. CONCLUSION

Prenatal yoga as can be seen from the aforementioned is a step towards a more comfortable and healthy pregnancy. What becomes relevant is to strike the right balance between yoga techniques and the health of a pregnant woman. A mom-to-be should be very cautious about the postures to maintain when practicing yoga. She should avoid exerting herself and should refrain from practicing yoga in case of discomfort. Thus, it becomes imperative to adopt the right teaching methodology keeping in mind both the physical and mental health of moms-to- be.

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