By Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 250

Prenatal Yoga is an ideal holistic practice and it can help you to relax and enjoy your pregnancy. During your sessions you will find physical postures (Asana), mental exercises (Meditation), and breathing exercises (Pranayama) for mind-body preparation for the birth of your child.

Outline of Mother’s Emphasis During Prenatal Yoga Sessions:

1. Recommended asana practice with appropriate modification for each trimester.

2. Careful pranayama and meditation for relaxing the mind.

3. Focusing on healthy fetal development.

4. How to ease symptoms, which frequently occur during pregnancy.

5. Knowing the symptoms of pre-term labor.

6. Appropriate Yogic lifestyle of during pregnancy.

7. How to manage labor and delivery.

8. Becoming familiar with post-natal practice.

Guidelines of Safety for Pregnant Yoginis:

Pregnancy brings great changes in your body. Wear loose clothing at all times during pregnancy. During this period due to hormonal changes the ligament around the joints become loose and soft. Your body is adjusting to this new situation which can take up to 14 weeks. Hence the following points should be taken care of.

1. It is safety important not to overstretch the body but to stretch cautiously and slowly.

2. Never do jarring motions when entering a posture and exiting from it.

3. Never compress abdomen and pelvis.

4. During breathing exercise don’t hold the breath and don’t strain yourself.

5. Pregnancy can make you feel more tired than usual, so if you feel tired after yoga it means you are likely doing too much.

6. Symptoms such as pain, cramps, and headache should never be felt during or after yoga practice.

7. If you are new to yoga, you can perform gentle movements, meditation, and carefully controlled breathing exercises.

8. It is very important to be aware of fact that between 10-14 weeks the risk of miscarriage is greatest. To be entirely safe, you should not practice asana at all during this time.

The Aim of Prenatal Yoga Practice:

1. Asana increases flexibility, reduce stiffness in joints, relieve fatigue and tension that occurs in the internal organs.

2. By practicing asana, the pelvic region is expanded creating space inside the uterus for the baby to move.

3. Breathing exercises increase lung capacity and help to improve the circulation in both mother and baby.

Overall, Hatha Yoga practice during pregnancy reduces pain or anxiety – which often tend to occur during pregnancy. This gives Yoginis restful sleep, preparation for labor and gives a great deal of pleasure to the new life you carry within you.

© Copyright 2010 – Amruta Kulkarni / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

Amruta Kulkarni is a certified Yoga teacher and an exclusive author for Aura Wellness Center.

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