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Yoga and Pregnancy /Yoga in Pregnancy

Yoga and Pregnancy /Yoga in Pregnancy
Many times people ask whether pregnant women can practice yoga. They have genuine concerns and should be taken seriously as pregnancy is a very important phase of life and has far reaching consequences for coming life.

The answer to the query is yes and it can have far reaching positive consequences for the expected mother and to be born child, both. It has great effects on health and makes the pregnancy really smooth. Further it helps in natural childbirth. Along with the positive consequences for mother it positively affects the physical as well as the mental development of the child and it can have effect on the temperament of the to be born child. But, during pregnancy yoga should be first practiced under supervision of an expert guide only.

The important components of yoga during pregnancy along with their utility description are as follows-

Sukshma Vyayama-
It is an integral part of any yoga program including yoga during pregnancy. It provides flexibility and life to important joints of the human body, which makes bearing pregnancy easy.

Yogic Exercises-
These focuses on specific body parts and organs like pelvic area etc and make the pregnancy and the natural childbirth a smooth process. It has an impact not only on the expectant mother, but has a positive effect for the foetus also as it helps in better blood supply along with nutrients.

Relaxation Exercises-
These exercises provide the much needed rest and results in states of deep relaxation. Shavasana is an important asana to achieve relaxation. Studies have found positive impact of yoga nidra (yogic sleep) on physical, mental and emotional health as it develops a deep state of peace.

The effects of mediation on the overall health of any individual are well known. The affects the mental well-being of an individual in a very positive way. The effects on neurosis, depression, anxiety, fears etc are well documented. It brings a state of heightened awareness of self and pregnancy which results in developing a strong connection with the to be born child.

Mudras and Bandhas-
The gestures of mudras and the practice of bandhas results in the stimulation of psycho-physical systems of the body. This stimulation results in a positive effect on female reproductive organs. This makes the pregnancy and childbirth a better experience.

The practice is based on the control of breath, 'prana' it has tremendous effect on the well-being of the performing individual. It increases the supply of oxygen to the expectant mother and foetus as well. It also develops a state of balance- physically and emotionally.
To get all these benefits of yoga during your pregnancy it is important to practice the yoga rightly and regularly. It will not only make the pregnancy and the childbirth a smooth process, it will also result in better development of the child in all physical, mental and emotional areas.

During pregnancy following asanas can be easily practiced:
Butterfly stretch, Cat-Cow, Cobra (in the first trimester, if you feel comfortable doing this face-down pose)
Standing forward bend incorporating the modification of use of chair), Triangle pose (incorporating the modification of use of chair)
Seated forward bend (incorporating the modification of use of chair), Side angle pose

The following asanas are strictly forbidden:
Camel, Handstands, Headstands, Upward bow, Backbends
Balancing poses on one leg (unless supported by something like-chair or wall)

Modification is very important in practicing the yoga during pregnancy and it should be never forgotten. While practicing yoga or any other exercise during pregnancy, never forget to listen to your body and do not over strain yourself. And this not over straining is an important component of yoga, also.

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