Yoga and Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a wonderful and amazing time full of change, challenges, awakenings and the development of new life. For most it is a time of incredible wonder, when the most common thing in the world becomes the most powerful. Most human beings have the potential to create new life and this journey and process is the beginning of a new self and new life as well as the death of an old self that was possibly more self- centred and self-consumed.
Pregnancy is the first phase of truly giving to something else. It is spiritual and physical, as well as emotional and psychological. It challenges and enriches on all levels and leads you to the period when you eventually give birth to a new and precious life in the form of your tiny baby.
Change is both exciting and difficult. And change in pregnancy is no different.
Your body experiences many of the following physical changes:
- Breast tenderness and enlargement
- Weight gain
- Fluid retention
- Morning sickness and nausea
- Increased blood flow to uterus, vagina, cervix and vulva
- Dietary changes and food reactions/cravings
- Heightened sense of smell due to hormonal changes
- Lethargy and tiredness (that baby is eating YOUR reserves!)
There are also many spiritual and emotional changes as the baby grows and develops. You may experience some of the following:
- Intense feelings of love for unborn child
- More bonding with partner and shared journey together
- More emotional or more teary
- Greater sense of self direction and self assuredness
- Increased fear – “Will I be ok as a mother?”
- Financial insecurity
Yoga and Stability
Try a good pregnancy and yoga class to help you deal with all the changes – physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological. A yoga practitioner and teacher can help you strengthen your body and your mind in preparation for birth and for later pregnancy, when your body is carrying to full term.
Health practitioners, naturopaths and even medical practitioners now suggest yoga as a gentle and relaxing way to prepare for birthing.
Renowned paediatrician Frederick Leboyer even stated that “the intelligence of the body is awakened through the practice of yoga and it will guide a woman throughout the pregnancy, making her perhaps feel more in touch with herself than ever before. She is then taken closer to her own nature and ready to flow with the moment of birth when it begins.”
Yoga’s Tools for Pregnancy
Here are the main tools/advantages for pregnancy:
- Yoga exercises massage pelvic region and increase blood supply to childbirthing area.
- Pranayama – Breathing. Optimises your oxygen supply and also helps you deal with contractions and pain in childbirth. Also acts as a stress reliever
- Meditation- relaxes and centres the mother. Releases fears and conflicts, insecurities, ground the mother and the baby
- Yoga Nidra – yoga sleeping – helps with relaxation and can be done at home using youtube or dvd’s. 
Remember, if you are pregnant, your attendance at a yoga and pregnancy class can really help you on the pregnancy journey. As a bonus, you may even meet some other pregnant women to share the experience with.
Combine this with a natural health strategy and naturopathy for a completely wonderful pregnancy experience.