When we think of pregnancy, it’s simple to be surrounded by cliches that paint a picture of a different world where radiant ladies stroll through without even a sign of discomfort – and almost always while wearing appealing maternity clothes. The reality that many women find their pregnancies difficult and the transition daunting can be shocking given how ubiquitous this idealized vision is, especially for the mothers-to-be.
Preparing physically, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually for the many obstacles of pregnancy through yoga is essential during pregnancy. While giving birth is an emotional process, one is left feeling happy, satisfied, and worn out. Yoga helps you regulate your emotions, gives you more control over your decisions, strengthens your bonds with your body, mind, and fetus, enables you to accept and value yourself, and improves your coping mechanisms for pain management during labor.
Yoga in Pregnancy
Yoga therapy can assist women in transition into this new stage of life with the most resilience possible by giving them more resources to address these issues and maintain a sense of serenity. Pregnant women benefit greatly from yoga’s relaxation, which is attained through regulating the stress response and calming the nervous system. This helps them during a time that can be understandably stressful. Women who practise yoga can use it as a safety net if needed, enabling them to enjoy the healthiest and most comfortable pregnancy possible.
WHAT YOU SHOULD GO FOR: PRANAYAM, DYANA OR ASANAS?
Our body, breath and mind/emotions are connected. In yoga, we have tools and techniques to access either and all. For some, the connection to the body through asana shifts breath and mind. Some people experience a change in their physical and mental well-being due to developing their breath awareness.
Others reach meditation and silence through their thoughts, which impact their bodies and breath.
Pranayam: This involves complete, slow, extended breathing and revitalises and energises the mind and spirit. Pranayama practice regularly will give you emotional stability and help you eliminate stress, worry, and other negative emotions. Additionally, it will increase your stamina, vitality, and ability to breathe, which are advantages when pregnant.
Useful pranayama techniques:
- Dirgha (connection with the baby during pregnancy and new postnatal awareness of the abdominal muscles)
- Pranayama with anulom vilom (to hold breath and give mother and baby more oxygen)
- The Ujayii (settle and rest during pregnancy and after breastfeeding)
- Exhalation of a golden thread (helps with anxiety and panic that may happen with the arrival of the baby and during labour)
- Alternate-nostril (lifeline during periods of emotional swings)
- Bhramari (promotion of acceptance and contentment)
All of this is meditation. It is a relaxing technique that promotes clarity, increased awareness, and mental calmness. Harmony fosters between the mind, body, and soul. Chant mantras like “OM” for 8 to 10 minutes while sitting upright.
Yoga asanas are positions that stimulate various energies in the body. Following are a few asanas or mudras.
- Aparna Mudra- helps deal with pain perception
- Gyan Mudra calms and purifies the mind
- Aakash mudra- promotes positivity
- Pushan Mudra- helps to relieve nausea, heartburn and a feeling of fullness
- Yoga Bandha- refers to static postures.
Yogic Philosophy to Practice for Optimal Mental and Spiritual Benefit:
- Let Go of Things (Ishvara Pranidhana): The Sanskrit phrase Ishvara Pranidhana means “to surrender.” This activity reminds us that something greater than ourselves is in control and maintains order.
- Mantra Meditation or Japa – Using mantras might help you feel better and be less stressed. You are free to do it whenever you choose, day or night. I’m trying my best is a straightforward assertion about life. And my best is good enough” can do wonders to reduce stress, elevate your mood, and reduce anxiety.
- Curtail all your senses (Pratyahara) – Sometimes, you need to clear your mind and let go to refocus or realign yourself, and it helps you conserve energy and restore your senses.
- Cultivate Stillness – You can reduce your level of tension by meditating to relax your thoughts. Start with meditating for a short period each day, however challenging it may seem at first.
WINDING UP THOUGHTS:
The feeling and stress of suddenly having to take care of someone who is a part of you and is very precious to you can be managed in many different ways with yoga. The transition to motherhood cannot be avoided; you must go through it head-on, which is the most crucial thing to remember.
Because yoga therapy is a supportive intervention that fosters connection and confidence rather than carrying the stigma of many mental health treatments or the additional stress and health risks associated with taking antidepressants while pregnant or nursing, yoga therapists are uniquely qualified to assist women with PND and their infants. This is especially true for yoga therapists who are eligible to collaborate with the more significant healthcare industry.
Mr. Harish Singh Pawali aka Hari Pawali.
Owner and Founder of Shree Hari Yoga School.