Benefits and contraindications of Yoga for Pregnant Women
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Whether you have been practicing Yoga for years , or if you have never set foot in a shala, the practice of Hatha Yoga can help you carry a more bearable pregnancy, but like any exercise, it has several contraindications that it is important to take into account. In the first place, the basic notions tell us that it is better to stop the practice during the first trimester, to give the baby a chance to settle down, so that in these three months you can take advantage of meditating, doing breathing exercises and for Of course, relax a bit.
The most important benefit that Yoga brings is learning to breathe. In the practice of any style of Hatha Yoga, special emphasis is placed on inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Ujjaji breathing, which is practiced in Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow styles and is done by closing the glottis, which produces a sound similar to the waves of the sea, helps keep your mind calm and focused. In addition, long and calm exhalations act on the parasympathetic nervous system, relaxing your body. Learning to breathe in and out in this way will greatly benefit you the day your baby comes into the world. Although probably nothing quite prepares you for that moment.
On the other hand, hip-opening postures, such as Baddha Konasana, the butterfly, and Padmasana, the lotus, are wonderful for preparing this area and facilitating childbirth. It is important to remember that as your baby grows and especially in the last trimester, lowering the torso in these positions becomes increasingly complicated. As soon as you feel uncomfortable, better keep your back straight and focus on your breathing: the most important thing is that you feel good.
The cow-cat sequence greatly relieves back pain and is therefore highly recommended for all women who, due to the weight of the baby, begin to suffer from pain, especially in the lower back, which is the one that carries all the weight . Remember to open your chest with each inhalation and round your back, like an angry cat, with each exhalation. Practice this sequence slowly and you will notice the changes.
It is important to avoid any posture that puts pressure on the abdomen, such as prone postures such as Bhujangasana, the cobra and Dhanurasana, the bow. Strong twists like Marichasana are also not good, instead you can try Bharadvajasana instead: Sit on the floor, or in a chair, cross-legged and twist your torso slightly, first to the side, staying in place for a couple of breaths and then the other.
Be careful with inverted poses: if you’ve never done one, this is not the time to learn. If you feel comfortable, you can keep the shoulder stand in your practice, which is very relaxing for the legs, because it helps circulation, since the blood is returned to the heart more easily. The headstand is best not done to avoid accidents like an eventual fall, especially since as your body changes, your sense of balance will be affected a bit.
Lastly and most importantly, remember that your body is your best teacher, if you don’t feel well, it’s better to take an easier pose or even stop altogether. The best thing is that you enjoy these months and if you have doubts, ask your teacher.