Some women will move through their pregnancies without the need to make any significant alterations to the asana component of their yoga practice, but realistically, as bellies grow and bodies change most of us will need to make some or many modifications. There are some modifications that all pregnant women should be making from early in pregnancy to nurture the growing babe within: avoiding postures that will squeeze, compress or compromise the womb. As pregnancies progresses some, or even many, asana that would be considered still “suitable” may no longer feel right or bring nourishment to you and/or baby. This can create much frustration, especially those women who previously have had a strong or very dynamic asana practice.
One of the most effective ways to begin to soften and find comfort in allowing certain aspects of your asana to drop away is to simply ask yourself “is this truly what my baby and I need or is this ego holding onto that which I think I need and/or should be doing”. Practicing with deep and genuine reflection during pregnancy provides a wonderful opportunity to start tuning into your deeper intuition, which in turn, is what will guide you through birthing your baby.
Motherhood is filled with the need for compromise, flexibility and non-attachment. Our experiences during pregnancy can be the perfect time to start investigating these aspects of our being and, if we choose to, begin creating more space and greater acceptance around them. Preparing to bring a new life into your family mix is a huge adjustment in itself, and if we are honest, often in reflection pregnancy can feel like a breeze compared to the adjustments needed in our new lives after baby is born. For me personally, parenthood has stripped back everything I have ever though about myself and continually reminds me just how far I have to go on this yogic journey.
With this in mind -
* Do take the time to check in with your practice each and every time you come to your yoga mat. Choose to use props if they help you to attain better alignment and support your changing body.
* Stop and take time or simply a round of breathe in each pose and/or move with mindful attention if you are practicing vinyasa.
* Respect yourself and your baby on days you are experiencing fatigue choosing a few restorative poses or coming into restive asana as often as you need.
* Don’t over stretch or overheat. The point between stretch and strain can be very hard to locate with all that extra relaxin
Most importantly, simply listen (truly listen). We modern women are wonderful at pushing through, and there is a time and a place for this (labour is a great example), but our pregnancy yoga practice is not one of these times, it is a time for deep and fulfilling nourishment!
With Love and Light
Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher
Classes in Murwillumbah and Cabarita Beach