Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga is recommeneded 3x weekly during your pregnancy but should not be done between weeks 8-11, due to many miscarriages taking place during this time. You could use Yoga Nidra or Ujjayii breath which will help your body warm up and relax.

Here are some tips to be aware of while you practice:

  • If something doesn't feel right or is uncomfortable, you should be aware and stop what you are doing. Your body knows what it needs and it will let you know too. 
  • Intense back bends should be avoided due to the possibility of air embolism and twisting should be avoided because it can compress the belly.
  • Avoid lying face down or flat on your back due to air and blood restrictions and possibly crushing the baby.
  • Don't hold poses for too many breaths, its important to keep the energy moving.

Healthy Sitting on the Floor

This pose is recommended to reduce lower back strain, discomfort, and pressure while seated on the floor. To help keep the spine straight in any seated position, sit with your entire spine elongated, stretching from shoulders to tailbone--if needed rest against a wall for support. You may also wish to sit on a firm cushion or folded blanket to help keep the spine straight. 

Cat Pose

Kneel in "table position," with knees under hips and arms beneath shoulders. Back is straight, head faces forward. Exhale and drop head and tailbone. Arch your back, exhaling further. Tighten buttocks and abdominal muscles. Do this several times, inhaling and exhaling deeply. 
Benefits:- Strengthens a relaxes the lower back, you are carrying so  much extra weight, doing this pose morning and night will allow tension to release - Improves circulation - Stretches muscles along the back, neck, and arms - Opens the spaces between your spine - Good for relaxation during labor (if you haven’t had an epidural)

Warm Up: Knee Rocking

1. Sit in a cross-legged position with your left leg on top. If necessary, lean against a wall to support your back. 
2. Cradle your left leg with both arms, lift it toward your chest and abdomen as far as it feels comfortable. 

3. Keeping your back straight, raising the crown of your head to the sky, hold the leg as high and close to you as possible without feeling any strain, if you feel strain, release.
4. Moving from the hip joint, gently rock the leg back and forth as though rocking a baby. 
5. After rocking one leg several times, switch leg position and repeat with other leg. 
Benefits:- Helps alleviate tension in the hip joints caused by the pressure on the nerves and joints on the hips, thighs and buttocks from your growing baby. It also improves flexibility in the hip, pelvic, and groin areas.

Easy Pose Meditation (Sukhasana)
 1. Sit in any comfortable seated position on the floor with your arms by your sides or relaxed in lap, shoulders down and away from ears. Close your eyes, begin breathing deeply while you relax.

2. Inhale and exhale deeply as you repeat in your mind or out loud this affirmation:
Meditation: I am aware of my body and muscles holding myself up while I sit and I am relaxed.

3. Exhale and and do a full body visual scan, acknowledging those muscles and the good work they do to carry your baby. 

4. Inhale and repeat silently in your mind: 
Meditation: I release any tension along my back and shoulders with each exhale .

 5. Exhale, allowing those muscles to relax completely. Breathe deeply several times as you continue to relax and let go. 

Benefits:- Relaxes the muscles - Brings you back to the present moment - Slows the mind - Reduces blood pressure and heart rate - Calms the entire being, promoting peace and serenity *An important part of birth preparation and labor is learning how to relax muscles not being used.

A great article about benefits of prenatal yoga from yoga journal.
 Click here


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