When do you start doing yoga in pregnancy? What yoga positions to do in pregnancy? how is a prenatal yoga class structured?
In the previous article on yoga in pregnancy, we saw why to do prenatal yoga and its benefits. Now, however, let's see how classes are structured for expectant mothers and how the practice changes as the baby bump grows over the course of 9 months.
Leading us through is Elisa of @benessereingravidanza who explains how she helps pregnant and postpartum women feel good through her yoga programs.
PRATICING YOGA IN PREGNANCY
The practice of Yoga in Pregnancy is a practice adapted to the changes the body undergoes in the 9 months. It tends to be gentler but it's not just stretching as you think.
Meditation and breathing are key parts of a class but also training the body to make it stronger and more flexible. Practice is not only recommended, but recommended! Recommended because it can help relieve many of the discomforts associated with pregnancy, it helps you get to the birth stronger and more ready and finally it is your ally in the postpartum helping you to heal better and in less time.
Pre-natal yoga is structured to stimulate and strengthen the pelvic area, increase the space in the pelvis and increase flexibility in the knees and hip flexors in anticipation of childbirth and the positions you can assume to facilitate success by helping to stretch the ligaments in the pelvic area as well.
THE THREE TRIMESTERS
YOGA: NOT ONLY PHYSICAL STRENGTHENING, BUT PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT
Throughout the three trimesters, women face continuous physical and mental changes, Yoga helps to focus on themselves on what is happening and what is happening to their bodies by increasing the ability to listen, to feel their inner world and increase the ability to reconnect with their emotions accepting them, facing them and letting them go.
This suggests that the practice of Yoga also works especially on the psyche and is therefore considered an excellent traveling companion for the expectant woman. As well as working on the physical level, it also has a purifying function for the entire system, improving the functionality of the organs, regulating the digestive system combating constipation and bloating, it provides excellent help for this problem.
Energy falters, fatigue and exhaustion
The changes are HUGE, but not visible to the naked eye, it is a mainly hormonal, emotional change. In this period we try to prefer a more meditative practice and focused on an inner work on rootedness.
In the first trimester the physical change, though imperceptible, is very great. Inside the body, as soon as the future little one gets into position, an enormous amount of work begins on the part of the body. Blood flow to the pelvic region increases, especially to the uterus to ensure more nourishment for the entire "structure" that is forming.
The first month, usually, flies by without realizing the new state in which you are and often, on a mental level, it is quite heavy because you tend to be more restless and nervous, just as you feel in premenstrual syndrome, but your period does not start. From the delay pass the days until you have the physical evidence of pregnancy status, there begins a series of new things that you have to do.
It is a moment of strong emotion, beautiful and heavy (but not always immediately accepted). All this change, the body beginning to behave in a different and new, albeit natural, way, can have consequences on one's balance. Energy levels falter, you often feel much more tired than normal, there is a huge change at the hormonal level, it is a very intense and delicate period of trasformation
This is the time to regain your balance by trying to root yourself well to the ground, slow down and increase rest then focus more on your inner world trying to create a favorable environment for the little egg that will soon become a fetus.
Steadier energy, "newfound normality", nausea passes and we feel serene
We are in a more serene phase, of newfound confidence, and the body begins to change visibly. With prenatal yoga, it's the perfect time to work on DEVELOPING STRENGTH and endurance to sharpen awareness of the pelvis and spine, and create more inner support to help balance the body that will inevitably change over the course of pregnancy
In the second trimester usually energy levels stabilize. The excessive fatigue typical of the first trimester fades returning to a momentarily normal state. You feel calmer mentally and the fear of a miscarriage almost vanishes because often, except in special cases, arrived at this milestone the fetus is well planted in the uterus and strong.
You begin to live more serenely the pregnancy, the abdomen begins to swell and does not bother too much in the first period. As the uterus grows, throughout the second trimester, it is no longer protected by the pelvis because it protrudes, the center of gravity of the body begins to gradually change as the belly grows.
The skin of the entire body begins, in alternating periods, to distend and stretch. This can cause discomfort, continuous itching and in some cases can form dermatitis in the points of greatest tension.
The weight increases, or should increase gradually and depending on the constitution you can form a stagnation of liquids in the lower body, typically in the legs (in some cases even hands and face may swell slightly).
Since the abdomen is now clearly visible it is good to avoid positions that go to compress it, twists too deep and jerks between positions. Even if you are an experienced Yogini it would be good to avoid jumps and stretches that are too deep, precisely because the body has changed and there is a greater risk of getting hurt.
unstable energy, moments of strength alternating with moments of intense need to recover.
The physical effort is increasingly intense, emotions of impatience to meet the baby and the fear of childbirth are mixed. We always work with positions that strengthen the legs and the back to give greater support to the spine, we also deepen the positions of opening of the hips because they can be of enormous help during the expulsion phase of childbirth.
In the third trimester, energy levels are more unstable and you may experience peaks of vitality combined with an extreme need to rest. All of this is due to the lack ofsleep caused by the larger and heavier abdomen which makes it difficult to find a comfortable position, the nightly pain in the legs (sometimes mild and sometimes stronger, (sometimes mild and sometimes stronger, always caused by the weight of the belly and the circulation which is heavier) and by the continuous need to go to the bathroom because the uterus and the baby begin to press on the bladder.
The pain in the back increases especially in the lumbar area and in the sacrum part. These are months of continuous mood swings because the hormonal work in the body is incredible. There is a lot of excitement and impatience about meeting the little one in your womb, and the fear and thought of the inevitable labor and delivery
The body works day and night to prepare for the event and to make, at the moment, the "nest" as comfortable as possible for the little one. The levels of relaxin (hormone secreted in pregnancy) are still high and increase. the stretching and relaxation of the tendons of the whole body as well as the pelvis. The uterus is no longer protected within the pelvis but protrudes outwards and its size continues to increase until it reaches the height of the stomach, creating continuous burning and an exhausting digestion.
The legs begin to be more unstable because the whole structure of the pelvis is changing, this is especially noticeable in the last 2 months and eventually, when the baby begins to descend towards the birth canal, simple walking requires extra effort. It is therefore very important to continue with movement and Yoga activity, which at this point begins to be even more moderate.
All prenatal Yoga serves to accustom and strengthen the body, so that the positions held during labor and delivery are less tiring to hold.
Yoga practice is a woman's ally, and if practiced throughout pregnancy can really make a difference, on the labor and delivery experience itself.
the author of the article: Elisa you can find her on Instagram at the profile @Wellbeingingpregnancy