Yoga practice while waiting for baby

It is now accepted that yoga is a precious ally during pregnancy. It is even an integral part of the birth preparation courses given by maternity hospitals, that's how beneficial it is in these delicate periods that are pregnancy and childbirth. Here is everything you need to know before you start, especially if you want to practice independently.

1 - Prerequisites

You must imperatively ensure that you have no contraindications to the practice of physical activity with your doctor and your gynecologist. You should also be aware of the basic physiological changes that pregnancy (and labour) brings about, especially if you wish to practice alone. Ligaments, and therefore joints, are more lax - in other words, you feel more flexible! This may seem like good news, but beware that this sudden flexibility is only intended to allow your body to carry the baby, not to make you feel like a contortionist. Another effect of pregnancy is compression. As your uterus and baby grow, this naturally compresses the organs and arteries in your abdomen. As a result, you feel out of breath, your intestinal transit is affected as well as your blood circulation! You should therefore be calm and gentle, especially in the last few weeks, and be aware that your body is changing and needs all your attention and care. It is out of the question to do anything during this period. Now that you know that you have to pay attention to your joints, your abdomen and your breath, let's move on to practice!"

2 - How to practice?

First of all, know that you don't need to have practiced before, or even to have done sports at all to start practicing yoga during your pregnancy. For those who can travel, the best option, especially if you have never practiced before, is to find a yoga teacher who specializes in prenatal yoga. Hiring a pro will allow you to enjoy each session to the fullest and be sure not to make any false moves. You will be able to take advantage of private classes as well as group classes which will allow you to be in contact with other pregnant women. If, as is my case, you can not move (too much nausea permanently for example) several options are available to you to practice at home independently. Many videos are available on the internet with specific sessions performed by teachers specializing in the issue, but beware of adjustments! To avoid any problem I advise you to watch the video once to get acquainted with the session. Watch the postures carefully, then listen to the instructions concerning the breath, then try the postures individually, if you have difficulties stop immediately and go to the next posture. Only then can you complete the session in one go. Take the time to do this work over several sessions, and proceed in this way for each session: gently and taking your time. You can also find many books on the subject, including the very serious: Yoga for pregnant women: Before, During and After Childbirth by Tara Lee, which I've seen in the hands of midwives during birth preparation classes! Proceed in the same way as before.

3 - To conclude

Between breath work and postures, yoga will undoubtedly be of great help to you to spend a pregnancy as serene and comfortable as possible. During labor yoga will help you manage the pain as well as possible and after the delivery it will help you recover faster. One last piece of advice during this delicate period is to keep in mind to listen to your body. Whether you practice independently or with a teacher be attentive to each of your sensations and take advantage of these moments to connect with your baby!
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The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph. Self-realization requires a very great struggle.

Swami Sivananda

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