By Gopi Rao
Practicing safe prenatal Yoga is a wonderful way to keep yourself fit and relaxed during your pregnancy as well as great preparation for the process of childbirth. Clearly, your health is reflected in the complete health and well-being of your baby.
If your stress or anxiety levels are high, it is quite possible that your baby will also experience a degree of anxiety or discomfort in the womb. If you are as relaxed as possible, your baby will also be more able to relax.
As you practice prenatal Yoga, do remember that during your pregnancy, a hormone that helps your ligaments and bones to soften in preparation for childbirth is released, so please be mindful to not overstretch in these poses. It is highly advisable to learn prenatal Yogic techniques from a certified Yoga instructor at a professional studio.
* Pranayama: Ujjayi Breathing
Ujjayi breathing is a calming, relaxing “ocean-sounding” breath that will bring oxygen into your whole body and calm and soothe your baby. With your mouth closed, slowly breath in through your nose. While breathing, close the back of your throat slightly, so that you are making a sound like the ocean. After breathing in, exhale without breath retention. Repeat up to ten times.
* Seated Open Spinal Twist
Open twists are governed by the same principles as Triangle pose (Trikonasana). To deeply twist is dangerous to the unborn child as it causes compression. To do an open twist, your navel and chest always face forward because you don’t want to compress on the baby.
Sit in a straight-back chair or on a bench. Slowly, turn to your right and place your left hand on your left knee. As you breath in, extend your spine up to the sky, as you breath out, reach a little more to your right. Only twist with the arms while your torso faces forward. Hold the twist for up to five relaxing breaths and repeat on the other side. This pose releases tension in your arms, shoulders and back.
* Standing Open Twist
This is the standing variation of the seated open twist. Stand on your Yoga mat, spread your feet about 4 feet apart and extend your arms at shoulder height to your sides. Take one full breath in, as you exhale, gently turn to your right while keeping your arms horizontal to the floor. Keep your torso stationary and only move your arms (not your torso). Hold up to five breaths and repeat on the left side.
* Standing Back Stretch.
As you stand behind a chair or facing a counter, lean forward and place your hands on the chair back or counter with your palms facing down. Keep your arms shoulder distance apart on a declined angle. Slowly breath out and bend your waist to a 90 degree angle, with your arms parallel to the floor, stretching out your back and arm muscles. Hold this posture for up to five breaths. Repeat one or two times.
Always consult with your physician(s) before practicing prenatal Yoga. Pregnant students who practice Yoga should be in a prenatal class with a certified prenatal Yoga teacher specialist. Generally speaking, a specialist has, at least, 200 hours of foundational Yoga teacher training and a minimum of 100 hours of prenatal Yoga training.
Those are just the minimum standards. Many prenatal Yoga teachers have many more hours of study, have been teaching classes for hundreds or thousands of hours, or have medical credentials.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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