In recent years, Yoga has gained worldwide popularity of unprecedented proportion. Health benefits attributed to this practice are one major reason for the growth and following of Yoga. Evidence proves that when performed properly, Yoga can improve internal and external aspects of the body. Blood pressure decreases, toxins are released from the body, while strength and flexibility increase. Those who practice Yoga also benefit mentally, leading more peaceful lives and in general, feel less stressed.
Yoga has also recently attracted a large group of pregnant women. It has been proved that Yoga increases their energy, and rids their bodies of the pain and nausea commonly associated with pregnancy. Unlike some workouts, Yoga should never harm the body or cause it pain. Practicing Yoga is a healthy way to stay fit during the ninth month of pregnancy. Breathing techniques and meditation used in Yoga are beneficial during labor.
During a woman’s pregnancy, the body changes dramatically. Yoga can help women to welcome these changes, and take the time to live in the “now” of pregnancy, rather than feeling as if pregnancy is a waiting period before birth. Meditation calms the mind and reduces negative thoughts of one about oneself, and others around them, thus improving the Yogis mental health.
Although Yoga can improve a woman’s health during pregnancy, there are Yoga postures that should not be performed, specifically when they call for the woman to lie on her stomach. Yoga during pregnancy, should be performed under the instruction of a video or Yoga teacher. These experienced Yogis can direct you to poses that reduce pain and swelling of the lower body, and correct the issues that weight gain presents to a woman’s posture. Specific postures, such as squats, can better prepare the body for childbirth. As a woman’s pregnancy progresses, her joints will loosen (some women even require a larger size of shoes!), but Yoga allows the strengthening and flexibility of these joints.
The nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic) causes entirely different reactions in the body. The sympathetic nervous system works to prepare the body for distress by raising the blood pressure, and releasing stress hormones into the blood stream. The breaths will increase in numbers per minute to accommodate the other fast-paced functions. This “fight or flight” response was originally designed for protecting our bodies against dangerous predators. However, more recently, these symptoms may come about for a number of reasons; stress, anger, and frustration, which are all negative feelings. The sympathetic nervous system can cause health issues such as ulcers and migraines because of its negative energy. During a pregnancy, this energy also affects the baby, as it feels the same effects as the mother during times of distress.
The parasympathetic nervous system controls different functions that basically undo the symptoms brought on by the sympathetic nervous system. Blood pressure and breathing return to normal. Blood once again travels to vital organs as well as the whole body. Studies support the idea that deep breathing promotes overall health in the body, by causing a state of relaxation, thus allowing it to heal.
By harboring a baby in your belly, you are allowing a being to grow safely under your care. However, many women do not realize the variety of things that can actually affect their pregnancy. The oxygen you breath is shared by the baby. Also, the baby can feel the same emotions that the mother feels. Yoga can help ease the minds of the two, and you can relax during this sometimes difficult state. A child learns many things inside the womb that it would not otherwise learn on earth.