The road to motherhood can be both wondrous and bumpy. Prenatal yoga is one way to optimize the highs and alleviate the lows of this journey. Watching and following a recommended prenatal yoga DVD will teach you how to re-appropriate some asanas or poses in such a way that supports and energizes your pregnancy. It shouldn't be overbearing for your condition as the use of blocks and straps, as well as bolsters, pillows, folded blankets and other props are recommended to support the spine and to relieve pressure during these poses.
What's Prenatal Yoga?
Prenatal yoga varies from trimester to trimester, with a different focus and level of difficulty as the baby grows and develops. Ideally, a good prenatal yoga DVD will teach you how to limber up before giving birth, and they usually focus on strengthening the spine, especially the lumbar (lower back) region. They also stress the importance of building strength and flexibility in the pelvic area, where the baby resides, and to really engage those muscles in preparation for the delivery date. By utilizing a lot of hip-opening poses and sequences, they are able to instill the benefits of yoga and couple them with the process of childbirth preparation.
Don't Forget To Breathe
Another very important technique that a properly balanced prenatal yoga DVD will teach you is how to breathe properly. Not only is ujjayi breath (which translates to "victorious breath") useful for warming up the body and loosening up your organs and muscles in preparation for yoga practice, but it mentally conditions and relaxes yourself so that you can focus on your intention and cut out distractions. Pranayama (breathing) is foundational knowledge in any form of yoga, and ujjayi breathing will instill many benefits of yoga on its own. This is because ujjayi breathing is especially deep and generates heat by constricting the base of the throat with each inhale and exhale. During labor and delivery, the knowledge of ujjayi breathing will come in handy by keeping you calmer, more relaxed, and more focused on what is happening around and within you.
Every mother should know these basics, as they are useful enough to carry over into other aspects of your life post-delivery. The benefits of yoga are such that they affect your well-being holistically, which includes the well-being of your child. So not only will you be strong enough in body and mind to deliver and care for your child, but your baby will also be instilled with the particular sense of calm that peace that only yoga can really provide.