Pregnancy Yoga – the benefits, the science – a list of 5.

These subjects are foremost in my life right now. My Passions – intellectual & physical. Pregnancy. And as always, Yoga.

And linked to these are time, energy, motivation & space (physical & mental space – clear the floor of toys & debris, clear the mind of chatter for a few moments)

Last week I wrote about my relation to Balance during this pregnancy . These days the above things all meet in perfect harmonious balance when I finally move myself into a yoga pose that feels OH so right. As though my body needs to move in certain ways to make space, stretch, release – sometimes my hips feel so stuck & hard that I feel like I’m carrying 2 bags of pebbles on either side of my hips! And that’s when I start to circle my hips – small circles at first, spiralling into bigger & deeper circles.belly-dancing hips sway: Eastern portrayal The softening & releasing begins. Blood flows easily & I start to feel good. Sometimes a catchy tune is playing at that moment that might have inspired the hip circling & swaying. My 3 yr old daughter gets involved shaking & swirling her own little bendy body 🙂

 

 

This is my current Yoga practice – of the moment, pure & impulsive – not assigned to a sacred time & space of silence & stillness. (Although I still need those sacred times too!)

This little baba in my belly always reacts to the new movements, to the shift in gravity – swirling & spinning & kicking. I know it feels good. Baba knows. And the science has figured it out too.I thought I should share the ‘sciencey bit’ with you as a reassurance that the beauty of yoga movements during pregnancy ( and at any time in life) are not to be feared – ‘Am I doing it right?’- or guilt ridden -‘Will this hurt my baby?’. They are there for you to explore, enjoy & return to again & again for the goodness they offer your body & mind.

Small Hands on a Big Belly

Small Hands on a Big Belly

So here they are – the Major Benefits of Prenatal Yoga – as experience currently by me & many other Yoga Mamas.

  1. Enjoying Yoga during Pregnancy helps promote good stress management & relaxation. 
  2. The above benefit leads easily to No 2. – The journey of Pregnancy is enhanced through the promotion of Emotional Wellbeing by a regular yoga practice, particularly in a group setting.
  3. General Fitness (stamina) & health is enhanced and maintained. The cardiovascular, nervous & circulatory systems are all nourished during a Yoga session. This leads to the assertion that blood pressure, hormone regulation & energy levels are improved or strengthened as a result of a regular yoga session.
  4. Improved Balance, Flexibility & Tone – a mother can move with grace & ease as she maintains muscle tone, prevents or eases back & hip complaints & posture is aligned as a result of a Yoga practice.
  5. A heightened awareness of her body & baby during a Yoga session means Mothers are more Empowered as they prepare for Labour & Birth. She has a deeper awareness of her body and through the yoga practice she has developed the tools she needs through breath, relaxation & yoga movement to have her needs met. In this sense a mother is not a passive participant of her pregnancy & labour, but she is active, is flexible in her perspective & grounded in her body. 

Over the coming weeks I will share a Yoga movement with you once or twice a week that you can bring into your daily life and pregnant or not you will feel good. Explore them. Be Curious. And let me know what you feel about them. What works? What feels stuck?

How do you find out more?  Check me out on facebook to keep up with my current sessions – for pregnancy & general Yoga or feel free to drop an email to myyogamoves@gmail.com. And you are welcome to follow my blog journey here too :). x

sept 2014 prenatal yoga with Maria

Pregnancy Balance Shifts Daily – Go with it.

Being in my second pregnancy (30wks) with a 3yr old little girl along for the ride in this one, has brought a real awareness of balance into my daily life.

Yes I’m talking about the physical sense of balance – when I’m in a rush I will probably bump into something or my baby belly will ! When balancing food on a fork or biting a biscuit, inevitably some of that lands on the protruding belly which keeps me an extra foot away from the table compared to everyone else. Then there is the lack of visibility to ground level. As my daughter has come to learn, if she is standing somewhere below my sphere of vision, when I go to walk or suddenly change direction, she goes flying!
And finally, yes, when I drop my pen or coins – they stay where they land. It’s sometimes too much of an ordeal to get into a wide leg supported forward bend (yoga talk for ‘bend over’) to just pick up a pen.
However, that’s when my 3yr old ‘gofor’ comes in really handy! Bless her !

third trimester wisdom

But I’m also talking about the emotional balancing act of pregnancy & I guess being a Mum already now for 3 yrs. Hormones surge & recede with a real mind of their own. I can’t control it. That’s the job of my pituitary gland in my brain. But I can become very involved in how I react to these fluctuating emotions. Feelings of helplessness, anxieties about my labour & birth, loss of ‘control’ of my life, plagued by insecurities about the future and sheer physical fatigue can have me crying, or pacing erratically around the kitchen. Yes I can do something about that. I can be a lot kinder to myself. I’m simply experiencing a common symptom of pregnancy that no GP or OB/GYN will ask you about when they are checking your blood pressure or weight – the letting go or loss of control that you thought you had.
The journey of pregnancy & birth is the most carnal or primal life event of all. Nature is in charge. It’s a process and it has its own way. The sooner I surrender to that & learn to flow with it the better. My baby has to do it. I will too.
Anyway, once the biscuits are nearby and the steaming cup of tea is brewing, I will be fine. I know I will.

relax nothing is under control