Journeying through a yogic pregnancy




Pregnancy is a time of change and transformation. It is often met with many varying emotions, from excitement to fear, stress, sickness, joy and even heartbreak. For first time mums, the journey through pregnancy will be one of her own. A unique unfolding from maiden to mother through physical transformation as well as mind and soul. Yoga and yogic based practises are a wonderful way to create a positive birth and labour and to provide support through the trimesters. For those who are regular yogis, bringing the joy of yoga into your pregnancy can be a fulfilling extension of their practise. Yoga in itself can support you from the beginning stages of trying to conceive, through your trimesters, labour and in post-pregnancy too.


Let’s look at various tools under the yogic umbrella that you can dip into for support during this time -


Pranayama


At the core of yoga is the breath and this rings true for your pregnancy. Mastering pranayama techniques throughout your trimesters will help you to remain relaxed and calm, while breathwork can play an important role in active labour. Particularly in your first trimester, short periods of conscious breathing can help you to develop a more sustained pranayama practise throughout your pregnancy. To begin, start by simply taking a few quiet moments to close down your eyes and notice your natural breath. Advance this to slowing down each exhale. ‘Humming bee breath’ is often used in pregnancy to encourage rich oxygenated blood to flow through your body and to your baby. In general, natural, soft breathing without breath retention is advised to ensure that you do not feel unwell or light-headed while pregnant.


Mindfulness


Taking a mindful approach to your pregnancy will help you to remain kind and forgiving to yourself when self-doubt, criticism or fear comes up. Mindfulness allows us to embrace the now as we know it and by practising it often, we can become more accepting of our feelings around pregnancy with minimal stress. The more you practise being mindful, the easier your will adapt to the intensity of emotions that come with the changes of becoming a new mum. Trust, patience and gratitude are all interconnected pillars of mindfulness that can transform your thoughts and feelings.


Meditation


Meditation is a deeply nurturing and restoring practise that enhances emotional stability and has an incredibly calming effect on both mind and body. Science has also shown that meditation is a powerful tool for navigating the rollercoaster of sensations in labour and can aid in reducing both stress and pain. Through the deep rest that meditation provides, you are able to enjoy improved quality of sleep and therefore feel better overall. The tranquil state that meditation helps us to achieve provides a pathway for us to experience a deeper bond with your baby, with your own self and with your partner(s).


Affirmations


A simple way to bring yoga into your pregnancy is through affirmations. Allowing a short positive statement to naturally enter your mind and repeat this daily. You can also write out some affirmations and keep them nearby to look at often.


“I make the right choices for my baby and me by trusting my inner wisdom”


‘I love and accept my changing body”


“I am prepared for whatever path our journey takes us on”




Asana


Yoga asana is a wonderful way to move your body through your pregnancy with love and kindness. In yoga, we connect with our body in the present moment and allow ourselves to truly feel as we are. If we are tired, yoga encourages us to take rest. If we feel energised, yoga provides creative pathways to exploring our body. In essence, yoga works with your body – not against it. This is key as the body changes through each trimester and you begin to navigate what you feel comfortable doing. Each person’s practise at this time will look different and it is important to ensure that you are practising your movements with the safety of your body and that of your baby in mind. This may mean modifying, adapting or using props in your practise – but this does not mean you cannot practise vinyasa for example. Asana can also be great for labour and birth preparation – take a pre-natal yoga class with your birth partner as a perfect way to bond together and meet other people.


Visualisation and Hypnobirthing


Hypnobirthing is a combination of breathing, relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques all centred specifically around pregnancy and birth. The aim of hypnobirthing is to allow you to feel empowered and in control of your body and your choices at a time when many things may be truly out of your control. Practising hypnobirthing during your second and third trimesters can give you confidence in your ability to have a gentle, positive birth and feel less-worried pre-labour. You can take hypnobirthing classes at a local studio, which can be a lovely way to meet expecting mums, or you can listen to an online recording / read a script from a book. If you are interested in hiring a doula for your birth, your second trimester is also a good time to find one that you would like to use and they can also assist with hypnobirthing.




Pregnancy is not only a transformation from one soul into two, but it is also a profound coming home for you to your own body. There is no right or wrong way to navigate this path, so long as it is done with the safely of all in mind. A mindful birth can happen at hospital, at home or at a birth centre – be open minded to creating a pregnancy and birth plan that is authentic to you and your needs.


Looking for more? I teach pre and post-natal yoga, yoga for birth prep and yoga for those on the TTC journey - get in touch for 1:1 and small group practise.





20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All