New age, crunchy or not, yoga is an ancient practice that is taking over the West and more and more people attribute their sense of well being to this practice. The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit “yoke” witch means to unite, to join, to attach, and reality is that you won’t ever be as united with your baby as you are now. Your baby is alive because you are and depends exclusively on you.
So how yoga can help moms- to- be?
The first trimester of pregnancy is the time to learn to slow down. There are a lot of changes going on in your body and key organs are forming in your baby. You are even developing a new organ yourself! About 12 weeks into the pregnancy you will have a fully functioning organ- the placenta. This will support your baby’s life and be in charge of cleansing and keeping the hormonal balance of your babies new home- your womb. Keeping your body relaxed and oxygenated will surely assist in this process. Breathing exercises and meditation will ensure a good start.
With the return of the energy and the cessation of morning sickness in the second trimester you might feel ready to show off your growing baby bump in some yoga pants!. A prenatal yoga class will benefit you in relieving some aches and pains associated with the extra weight in pregnancy. You might feel extra nimble now, but do not rush into that split. “Relaxin” is the hormone in pregnancy that prepares your body to open up when time is right, so you need to remember to go just a 70 % of your capacity. Kegels exercises should also be part of your rehearsal for birth. Kegel exercises will support a strong pelvic floor and may lower the chances of tearing during birth, and even lower your chances of peeing in your undies when you sneeze or when you have a good laugh. Hip openers, pelvic tilts and squats will help to develop strength, stamina and muscular memory so when you approach the birth your body will recall what it felt like in your yoga class and it could be a good tool for coping with pain and adopting the right position for birth.
Your third trimester will have some spurts of energy now and then ,but you might just enjoy the breathing exercises or the gentle postures lifting your uterus and providing relief for your bladder. Perhaps even the stretch of your legs and feet and more kegels and of course enjoy the bonding that, by now, you’ve created with your baby each time that you take a breath for the two of you, every time that you picture her in a long meditation, or each time that he kicked and let you know he was feeling good too!