Yoga in pregnancy Yoga is an ancient system of truly holistic self care and spiritual development that began in India over three thousand years ago, and is now practiced all over the world in many different forms. It is helpful to pregnant women simply because it works at every level to create a genuine sense of well-being and joy: • The physical techniques of gentle movement promote grace, strength and comfort as your body changes from day to day, so yoga can help you to move freely and easily through pregnancy and labour. • The breath practices connect you to your breathing patterns, and really boost vitality and calm, helping you to enjoy better levels of energy through the day and deeper more restful sleep at night. • At an emotional level, the sense of well-being that yoga encourages through deep relaxation can be of great comfort, soothing anxieties and building courage and self assurance. • At a more cosmic level, there is a sense of well-being and connection enjoyed by pregnant women who practice yoga that truly helps them feel 'part of it all', and that brings a really deep and lasting sense of joy and delight in life, which is crucial as you prepare to encounter the challenges of motherhood. As if all these benefits were not enough, pregnant women who practice yoga often enjoy the way that it helps to build a deep connection and bond with the unborn child: because the babies are doing yoga too. They enjoy the calming breaths and rhythmic movement, and can really sense the fact that their mum is taking time simply to send a loving and nourishing energy to them in the womb. And as an added bonus, regular practice of yoga throughout pregnancy can be of great benefit during labour, partly because the postures can help the baby to move into an optimal position for an easier birth, and partly because all those breathing practices and relaxation techniques truly come into their own as you go into labour. Philips AVENT has created three ten minute yoga routines with yoga teacher, Uma Dinsmore-Tuli that can easily be followed at home: 1. Warm-up 2. Main routine 3. Relaxation The videos feature three women in each of the trimesters so it's easy to follow at every stage of pregnancy. Even just ten minutes of quiet breathing and relaxation can make all the difference to your sense of well-being and levels of vitality but, once ready, if you have half an hour spare then try the whole routine. There's no need for any special clothes or equipment, just space enough to get down on the floor with a carpet or mat beneath, and an old T shirt and a pair of leggings is perfect. Yoga is best done in bare feet.
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