Prenatal Yoga: Smart Poses for Common Pains

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Feeling like your workout routine has hit a bump? Meet your new go-to activity. Prenatal yoga helps you stay active, builds stamina and alleviates common aches and pains. By instilling the confidence to trust your body, your practice on the mat can help prepare you for labor, both physically and mentally.

The word “yoga” means “union”, the conscious connection between mind and body. Prenatal yoga explores the special bond between you and your baby. The 40 weeks you spend journeying with another living being are full of ups and downs, from the euphoria of baby’s first kick to not-so-euphoric nagging sciatic pain. Yoga helps bring awareness to one’s self during this sacred time: the intricacies of your body, the union between you and your baby and how your mind reacts to the entire experience. As you build strength, you also learn to surrender and let go. Ahead, we help you breathe through common physical complaints and prepare for labor with relaxing asanas (poses).

Yoga requires physical stamina and mental commitment. Keep these helpful tips in mind as you practice:

  • When the going gets tough, don’t tense up. Instead of holding your breath and willing the pose to be over, focus on the movement of your breath and relax into the sensation. It feels really good to let out a big sigh or deep sound, releasing the pent up pressure.
  • Explore how to work your body without over-working it. You never want to push yourself to injury, but feeling a strong sensation is fine.
  • Repeat a mantra while practicing, then take this mantra into the delivery room. Your mantra can be your own repetitive words or a traditionally religious or spiritual syllable or poem. One student from class reported that she spent 5 hours of her labor simply chanting “Let go”, which helped her breathe, focus and relinquish physical and mental pain.

This article was written by Debra Flashenberg, CD(DONA), LCCE and Director of Prenatal Yoga Center, and Happy Family™ and is for informational purposes only. Always consult your healthcare provider to understand your individual needs.

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