These 4 things are great for just about anyone, but especially helpful for pregnant women. -Krystle K
by Aubrey Rissler | staff writer for The Snap Mom
Feature image courtesy of Pure Emotions Photography
I find myself fortunate that I am getting certified for my yoga license while I am pregnant (currently in my final month). The 200+ hours that I spent in meditation and asana (bringing breath into the physical aspect) taught me so much.
Here are the reasons why I recommend yoga to anyone, no matter what stage of pregnancy they might find themselves in (trying to conceive, pre- and postnatal).
If yoga has taught me one crucial thing about myself, it’s understanding my need for balance. Pregnancy can be extremely taxing on the body. There are days where you literally need to just rest. Yet, more and more health care providers are understanding the need for exercise during pregnancy. For me, getting my heart pumping, “fire” breath, and completing a somewhat strenuous workout did wonders to balance my day. No longer did I feel huge, uncomfortable, and as a result, somewhat down in my disposition. It gave me a sense of taking back control of my body, and the release of dopamine helped balance out my mind.
I know so many people who simply won’t do yoga because they don’t want to deal with the stillness. The healthiest thing to do for your mind (and your baby) during pregnancy is to slow down that outer mind that is always running, and just be present for a moment or two. Check-in with your physical body: Do you have imbalances in the body you didn’t notice before? Is there something you can do to stretch that out? Check-in with the mind: Is there a life issue wrecking havoc? Acknowledge it. Notice it. Don’t try to fix it, yet. Just note it as a casual observer and maybe jot down some thoughts about it. Treat yourself gently and lovingly by offering advice as you would a valued friend or loved one. Breath into these moments aware of your little miracle within. Create a little space between these cries for attention and the moment at hand. I loved these moments where I could just notice my little baby’s existence without interruption. Create even the smallest moments of stillness. There’s something sacred within them.
Due to the fact that I continuously did yoga, I had less back and body pains than many others I know. A good thought here is to use yoga to give yourself balance and edge. Do a yoga sequence that is balancing to your life! For the on-the-go, can’t stop personality, super athletic: you should try restorative. If you can’t get moving, have a hard time self-motivating and getting yourself up and out, or have a depressed disposition: you should try classic or power yoga. Injuries happen all too often in yoga. Find your edge and get right up to it, but don’t push past it. Always always always ask yourself: am I pushing my body beyond where it should go? Am I bullying myself to get into this pose? Am I using caustic language to force myself into tolerating something my body or mind is telling me not to do today? These boundaries are especially important during pregnancy.
Now that I have done an entire pregnancy-worth of yoga, I’m somewhat prepared for labor. Ok, I haven’t experienced labor yet. But I’m aware of my breath. I’m aware of its importance in pain management and the way it brings me out of chaos and back to the present. Diaphragmatic breathing (when you are breathing deep in your belly and not allowing shallow breaths) has given me a better ability to control my thoughts. Many natural birthing classes even teach this kind of breathing.
Bringing yoga into my pregnancy, and my plan to use yoga postpartum, will help me work through difficulties that might arise: be that life, mind, or body. I hope you bring yoga into your pregnancy and life as well!
About the author: Aubrey Rissler is a part-time writer and full-time nanny. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a magazine journalism degree. Aubrey is passionate about travel, health, and yoga. Follow her on Instagram: @srqyoga