Many mamas come to yoga for the first time during their pregnancy. Yoga is recommended by a care provider or a friend as a way to address some of the common discomforts that go along with inhabiting a pregnant body. It can also provide much needed mind-body practices that can help address stress and anxiety and potentially prepare one for childbirth. There are many folks though who have had a regular yoga practice up until the point of their pregnancy and want to continue doing their regular yoga classes. My advice? Definitely check out a prenatal yoga class or pregnancy yoga videos online this will give you an idea of what you can and can't do. And will also give you inspiration for modifications when you're in a class that is doing something not recommended for the pregnancy body. There are some general guidelines you can keep in mind in your practice:
When I was newly pregnant I found myself worrying all the time. Worrying about baby's development, worrying about what mysterious thing could happen to me during pregnancy and worrying about the birth. I had no idea what I worry I could be, but I sure found out. Between the knowledge I had coming into pregnancy and birth as a prenatal teacher, combined with reading and internet searches, I found worry could be an easy constant companion in my pregnancy. I also found very quickly that I needed a practice to help me navigate that. Below is a practice I used during my pregnancy to help with anxiety and worry (the great thing? we keep having those feelings as parents to so you can continue to use this practice postpartum).
I've seen this article and info circulating in birth and pregnancy circles recently and so many folks commenting "oh I'm on day 2 and this is killing me" or "I could barely get past day 4". Have any of you done this? Tell me your experience, I'm honestly curious.
It appears this article was written in 2016 and so is probably just making a resurgence as of late due to someone finding it on Pinterest or Instagram. I gotta say, as a prenatal yoga teacher and someone who has been pregnant myself, I have a BIG problem with this challenge for many reasons.
In my previous post, I talked about how breath can help reduce the stress and anxiety that we experience after baby arrives. In this post, I will talk a little bit further about the underlying energy of anxiety. I will also offer a more specific practice that can help to address stress relief and also anxiety.
Anxiety in the body not only causes the mind to feel scattered but can also lead to issues with sleep and tension in the body, particularly around the neck, shoulders and jaw. For these physical symptoms, I have specific yoga videos that will help you release neck and shoulder tension, but creating a sense of calm and relaxation can be just as important as stretching the body with practices like yoga. And addressing anxiety can help to you also address some of these common issues for postpartum mamas.
Breath is an amazing tool, one that we utilize constantly in our pregnancy yoga practice. Breath not only helps us stay connected to the movement of our bodies, but it also helps us to connect to our potential to relax and release tension in the physical body.
These breath practices can also help to support a softening of the nervous system. When we are stressed or anxious our nervous system is on overdrive, often referred to as fight or flight. When stress hormones in the body rise, the nervous system kicks in and causes a certain changes to take place in response. This fight or flight reaction can make sleep much more difficult, can cause physical body tension and can cause issues around digestion and elimination
Wisdom and insight with a dash of humor to help guide you on your journey through motherhood.