When you are pregnant everyone has an opinion and an important skill to learn early on in the pregnancy is to be able to listen to these opinions, comment politely and then make up your own mind. There are as many different ways of having and raising children as there are children, and once your child is born you need to do what works for you and your family, not what worked for someone else. This doesn’t mean you should ignore advice that is given to you. Usually it will be being dished out by women who have been there and done this before, and knowing what works for others is often a good indicator of what may work for you. Ultimately however the decision is going to be up to you, and so you will learn to collate the collective advise and filter the wisdom from the opinion. One of the pieces that you will find almost universally recommended by those who have tried it is Pre Natal yoga, but a lot of women get nervous about the idea of starting an exercise program when their bodies are going through so many changes. This article deals with some of the most common questions that will be asked about Pre-natal Yoga.
Question One: Why Should I Do Yoga While I Am Pregnant?
There are numerous benefits of Yoga for pregnant women, physical, mental and also spiritual. In a nutshell Pre-Natal Yoga is designed to give you a toolbox of techniques and methods for dealing with your pregnancy, your labour and even the stressful times of the first few days, weeks and months after the birth. People who complete Prenatal Yoga are better equipped to deal with the babies delivery itself as well as the recovery period after the birth.
Question Two: Is It Safe To Learn Yoga During Pregnancy?
It is perfectly safe to start Yoga during your pregnancy provided you begin your class with a qualified Prenatal Yoga teacher. Prenatal Yoga is specifically designed for pregnancy because there are exercises and techniques in a regular Yoga session that are not appropriate for a pregnant women. It’s also recommended to wait until after the first trimester is complete before you commence a Yoga class as this first trimester is a time for babies to grow and develop, whereas later they will be increasing with size in preparation for the birth and the mother needs to take advantage of the opportunity Yoga presents to ease this process. Talk to your instructor about your pregnancy before the class begins so you can be sure that they understand anything unique to your pregnancy that may require exercises to be modified(for instance women carrying twins are encouraged not to do squatting exercises).
Question Three: How Will Yoga Benefit Me Physically?
Yoga is a discipline which is designed to regulate the blood flow and breathing as well as strengthen the body in general. All of these factor in the benefits to pregnant women. Blood flow is of course critical in ensuring that your body is getting all the nutrients and oxygen to all the organs that need it. It’s possible for baby to get greedy and hog these resources, or the opposite could happen and the baby is deprived of what is needed to grow. The increased strength will help deal with the delivery by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. This can potentially shorten the duration of labour and it will definitely decrease the time it takes for the vaginal passage to recover from the birth. There is even strong evidence that the increased blood flow to the skin will assist in avoiding and/or recovering from stretch marks.
Question Four: Should I keep doing Yoga after the Birth?
Why not? You will keep getting all the benefits discussed above and more. You will probably want to go to at least one standard yoga class, as these can be quite different than the prenatal Yoga. Of course life can be quite hectic with a new baby so the opportunities to attend formal classes are probably going to be few and far between. Luckily one of the biggest benefits of Yoga as an exercise regime is that it doesn’t require specialized equipment, so it’s possible to do in the comfort of your own home during those few precious moments when your baby is asleep.
For a lot of people the first image that will pop into their head when they think of Yoga is a little old man in a loincloth sitting on top of a stone pillar with his legs crossed and his arms on his knees. He’s probably chanting, humming or got a look of relaxation and serenity on his face. I’m not a person who likes to sit still and I hate any minute that I feel is wasted so this idea of sitting around doing nothing all day was not something that appealed to me. I’ve changed that initial perception quite a lot and in this article I want to tell you about the personal journey that taught me about the benefits of yoga for a very non-spiritual person.
The first yoga class I ever went to I spend a lot of time sitting in silence with a bored expression on my face and thinking, “This is so dumb”. I listened to the instructor drone on about inner peace and harmony and balance and energy flowing through my body and I was pretty close to never going back again. Then I got lucky.
One of the guys in the class was a professor at the local university and it struck me as a little strange that a professor of biology would be doing this spiritual Yoga thing. I got an opportunity and speak to him briefly. Actually he singled me out and observed I looked bored. He explained he had felt the same way when he began and then he translated the instructors talk into biology terms and it was all very sound.
That hit me like a ton of bricks. As I thought on it more and more I could see this from a purely scientific point of view. For instance take the ‘energy’ that flows through our body. A lot of people are turned off when they start to hear talk like that, but it’s a very core component of Yoga. I substituted ‘blood’ for energy and looked at this thought process again.
I know that blood carries nutrients and oxygen around our body. I know that if our cells don’t receive these nutrients and supplements they become weak and we can become ill. I know that people can become sick if they have high or low blood pressure. The regular healthy flow of blood is clearly a very important factor in us staying healthy. Of course, Yoga was first used many hundreds of years ago and while it would be arrogant to assume that we know everything about circulation and blood flow, we certainly know more than the average Chinese peasant from that time. “Energy” is just a nice word that anyone can understand for blood flow.
Yoga stretches out certain muscle areas and allows our blood to flow more freely and bring the nutrients to all parts of the body which need them. That is a nice scientific explanation I am quite happy to accept. You can do the same with the other ‘alternative’ terminology you don’t relate to when you hear the instructor talking about it. Inner peace, oneness, emotional calm – it’s all just a very dressed up way of saying concentrate on one thing – your blood flow and the health it is bringing you, or your breathing and the supply of life giving oxygen it brings you. Concentrate on that just for this one small part of the day and make being alive and healthy your only goal. Forget about what’s happening at the office because you cannot do it from here. Forget about what your husband or wife is doing or whether the kids are being bullied at school and just concentrate on being you, being alive and being healthy.
Now stress has been attributed as a major factor in over 40% of all medical issues. Stress, in a nutshell is caused by thinking too much. This practice shows us how to let all those worries be something we can think about later and leaves the brain free to concentrate on doing all it’s vital health giving functions.
It’s strange that as I’ve done more and more Yoga I have developed a spiritual side that I never had before. It’s not a religious thing but more a case of recognizing that my own health and wellbeing are important and worthy of being made a priority. Whether the same happens for you is yet to be seen, but if you’ve been putting off learning Yoga or giving it a try because of all the spiritual talk I can assure you there are scientific reasons behind it and that if you give it a chance you may just be surprised.
Itâs easy to begin experiencing the relaxing and strengthening benefits of yoga with the Wai Lana Get Started Yoga Kit! This kit includes everything you need to jump start your practice. The Yogi Mat is the perfect foundation to your exercise. It features a sticky, non-slip surface for extra traction and support. The Relaxation DVD includes exercises to help you let go of stress, increase flexibility, and strengthen your thighs, abs, and lower back. The Foam Yoga Block and 6-Foot Yoga Strap help you go deeper into poses, ensure proper alignment, and add extra support to your practice. Be prepared and ready for your yoga practice with the Wai Lana Get Started Yoga Kit!
Everything you need for your yoga practice and workout. Non-slip yoga sticky mat provides a secure and comfortable surface for your asanas, 2 foam blocks allow for safe positioning and support, 6ft. cotton yoga strap extends your reach and can be used for numerous restorative positions. This kit is designed by Yoga Professionals to help beginners and intermediate levels. A great down to earth value.
This Cap Barbell yoga kit includes a 68-in x 24-in x 1/4-in yoga mat with carrying strap and mesh bag, 2 yoga bricks, and instruction sheets.