Yoga practice during pregnancy should be structured to support the health and wellness of the pregnant woman, prepare her body for childbirth, and ensure the healthy development of the fetus.
Practices that require an effort of the will should be avoided throughout pregnancy. Pregnancy is not the time to develop your yoga practice in the context of new, more intense asanas and their variations. During pregnancy, due to the hormonal changes taking place, the woman’s body becomes stronger and more flexible. However, this is not a reason to use these changes to advance in practice. Instead, focus on carefully aligning the pelvis, spine, and whole body, and developing sensitivity to yourself and your baby.
What is absolutely forbidden during pregnancy?
- any jumps, including when entering inverted asanas;
- sharp, fast movements;
- sloppy entrances and exits from poses, provoking compression, tension;
- asanas that cause pressure on the abdomen and pelvis;
- holding your breath;
- most twists;
- deep (more than 45 degrees) slopes.
The first trimester, according to Ayurveda, lasts not 12, but 16 weeks, and imposes a number of restrictions. It is worth completely excluding asanas that compress the abdominal area: Ardha Navasana, Bhekasana, Bharadvajasana, Dhanurasana, Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana, Salabhasana, etc. Forward bends should be performed carefully, do not squeeze the stomach and stretch forward more. If you have had a miscarriage in the past, eliminate standing postures from the practice.
As pregnancy progresses, the options for performing asanas change. For example, in asanas, the classical versions of which involve the connection of the feet and legs, they are spread wider, the inclinations turn into exclusively vertical stretches, and some of the inverted poses and deflections are gradually leaving the practice. In order to avoid dizziness, turning of the head is gradually eliminated in Uttita Trikonasana and Uttita Parsvakonasana. By the middle of the second trimester, balances are completely excluded, since there is a risk of developing symphysitis (excessive divergence of the pubic articulation). If pain occurs in the perineal region due to the pressure of the growing fetus on the fundus of the uterus and ligaments, asanas with legs wide apart should be avoided.
In the third trimester, asanas are excluded, which involve the position of the body lying on the back, because the growing fetus squeezes the vena cava in this position. As a result, it becomes difficult for blood to flow to the heart. This can manifest itself in the form of severe dizziness or even loss of consciousness. Therefore, Shavasana is performed on the right side, preferably with a bolster between the legs.
Yoga during pregnancy
Yoga practice contributes to the harmonious development of the mind and body. They help to look for harmony in oneself, to listen to one’s inner world. In addition, yoga has a beneficial effect on all body systems, improves well-being, and tones the muscles.
Pregnancy is by no means a reason to quit yoga. On the contrary, many asanas will help you not only put yourself in order but also find peace of mind and relieve stress, because everyone knows how vulnerable the nervous system of women is during pregnancy.
The benefits of yoga for the body during pregnancy
During pregnancy, there is a restructuring of all systems of the woman’s body. The body is preparing to fulfill its new functions, to protect and raise the baby. At this time, he, more than ever, needs support and your help. The course of pregnancy and childbirth will depend on the physical and psycho-emotional state of the woman.
The benefits of yoga during pregnancy are determined not only by the fact that it helps to put the body in order and prepare it for the safe bearing of a child and childbirth, but also by the fact that a woman learns to relax correctly, gains peace of mind and harmony with the world around her. It is important to note that with yoga, you can quickly learn breathing techniques that will help you relax during labor.
While doing yoga during pregnancy:
- blood supply improves, the body is saturated with oxygen, which helps to avoid fetal hypoxia
- the spine unloads and relaxes, back pain disappears
- joints, muscles, tissues gain suppleness, become elastic
- the general well-being of the pregnant woman improves
- breathing exercises
- the psycho-emotional state improves
- controlled weight
- decreases nausea