This is Part IV of a four part series on how yoga can support you doing labor and childbirth. Haven't read the first parts? Go back and visit, Part I, Part II and Part III.
As I mentioned in previous posts, there’s no magic yoga pose that you can do in labor that will make things easier or less painful, but what you can do is yoga poses during pregnancy that will help better prepare your body for labor. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but think of it this way: you wouldn’t go out and run a marathon one day with no prior training, labor is the same thing. Yoga poses can help build strength and create opening in areas that will be post impacted by labor and childbirth. Here are the places of focus that yoga poses can help with to prepare your body for birth:
This is Part II of a four part series on how yoga can support you doing labor and childbirth. In the first and second parts we discussed how yoga can help connect you to your breath and your strength Haven't read them yet? Be sure to check it out Part I and Part II.
Relaxation and labor seem to be polar opposites right? The trick with labor is that there are moments of relaxation, even in active labor. Between each contraction there is always a resting period. We might think about contractions as a wave that rise, peak and then ebb. Following the ebbing of a contraction is an opportunity to rest. The closer contractions get to one another, the shorter this rest period is, but taking advantage of these rest periods can make a world of difference in labor, particularly in longer labors.
This is Part II of a three part series on how yoga can support you doing labor and childbirth. In the first part we discussed how yoga can help connect you to your breath. Haven't read it yet? Be sure to check it out here.
Our own strength can surprise us sometimes, and nowhere more so than in childbirth. However, it often takes our yoga practice to help us understand that strength and how we can push through something even when it is physically demanding or difficult. Here are some ways that yoga can help us explore how strong we are as we prepare for the physically demanding reality of birth:
Yoga is amazingly helpful and effect to help address so many of the aches and pains of pregnancy and also offers a powerful time for you to connect with your ever-changing body and bring balance to energy and emotions during this roller coaster ride. People often look to yoga to help support them during birth as well. The thing is there is no magic yoga pose that will be helpful in birth, but what yoga can help you do is learn how powerful your body is, strengthen your body in preparation for the physical needs of birth and help you connect to your breath which is the one thing you will have with you as a tool throughout your entire birth.
Here's Part I of a four part series on how yoga can support you during birth...
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.