Pregnancy: During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes transformations that can cause discomfort. Yoga helps to alleviate them and to adapt to changes.
The practise of yoga during pregnancy helps you concentrate more deeply to recognize resistance, energy levels, and bodily discomfort.
Also, yoga gives you the time and space you need to integrate the important changes that are taking place in you and helps you reflect and develop emotions and capacities to make you stronger in the face of new challenges.
In pregnant women, yoga enhances flexibility, elasticity, balance, and strength gently without causing fatigue, and at the same time, it favours the harmony of the body and the mind.
It helps develop the ability to concentrate and relax and recognize the benefits of breathing, generating renewed energy.
The first step to start on the path of yoga is to let yourself be guided, loosen, feel, and express emotions.
You have to look for comfort and harmony: remember that pregnancy is not the time to set yourself great challenges with your body and constantly and progressively adapt over nine months.
The real challenges you have to face are the changes in your body, birth, breastfeeding, and motherhood. Practising yoga will be of great help to you to achieve the necessary improvements to feel good.
It is always a good time to start practising yoga because you can adapt the practice to your time and your needs. You can vary the method according to your age, constitution, physical and mental health, physical form.
When starting to practice yoga while pregnant, the important thing is your motivation and awareness of your current personal moment, in what weeks of gestation you are, and the symptoms you have.
The great yogi Krishnamacharya recommended some precautions to pregnant women: suspend the practice in the first twelve weeks of gestation if they have nausea or reluctance, and if there is a risk of miscarriage; avoid many postures that were done before pregnancy and modify and adapt postures at each moment of pregnancy.
Before starting a yoga practice, you should keep the following in mind:
Get a yoga mat or a folded blanket, a pillow, and a chair or stool where you can sit if you need it.
You should consider other aspects: how you feel before starting the yoga practice; Are you tired? Irritated? Do you need to calm your mind?
Assess your symptoms, and if it’s late or you still have the whole day ahead of you.
Before you begin, stretch or sit quietly to connect with your body and your breath. Watch how it flows without trying to make it different or change its rhythm.
Let it flow at its natural rate. This helps you direct your attention inwards and allows you to be more aware of the sensations, get in touch with your thoughts and emotions, learn to recognize your limits and work with the body with respect.
This exercise can be finished at the beginning and the end. It consists of breathing, but it is not easy because you must try to close yourself to external stimuli and keep your attention in one direction for a while.
Put one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, and observe the movement generated in these parts of the body.
You can also location your hands on the rib cage’s sides, notice how it opens, and appreciate the sensations in the back.
Observe how the air enters through the nostrils, how it reaches the chest, and how the lungs fill. Observe how the ribs widen, the trunk’s sides, the back, and the belly, and how the air leaves your body again.
Uttanasana helps you stretch the lumbar and sacrum and reduce pressure on the pelvic floor. It also eliminates tension in the arms, shoulders, and neck.
This asana is normally performed standing, with the legs stretched out, but we can adapt in a sitting position.
Among other beneficial effects, Apanasana favours intestinal transit, which is often complicated in pregnant women. It also supports the balance of the lower abdomen.
Lying on your back, with your back close to the ground and your arms at the sides of your body, bend your knees and support your feet against the wall.
Your calves and thighs should be at a right angle. At all times, keep your legs comfortably apart, approximately hip-width apart.
Please put your hands gently on your knees and, as you breathe out, bring them closer to your chest. As you breathe in, bring your feet back into contact with the wall.
Do not tilt your head and check that the face and jaws are relaxed. Make sure that the chin is oriented towards the chest. In this position, it is better that you do not support it on a cushion.
Repeat 4 to 8 times and perform the movements slowly to loosen the lower back and sacrum.
It is important to recognize the pelvic floor muscles. Knowing how to relax them favours the baby’s release. This exercise will help you with this recognition. It is also useful for preventing or treating haemorrhoids, a common problem in pregnant women.
This exercise opens the chest, making it easier to breathe. It also improves the back muscles’ mobility, loosens the cervical muscles, rests the legs, and relaxes the pelvic floor.
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