Himalayan Yoga Academy

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Prenatal Yoga

30 Jan 2021 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy

prenatal yoga


Prenatal yoga is an excellent form of exercise for many women during their pregnancy. It includes strengthening, stretching, breathing practice, meditation and relaxation. The practice can easily be adjusted for each trimester within a woman’s pregnancy. Also, you can increase or decrease the intensity of your practice depending on your energy levels.

What is prenatal yoga?

Yoga is a form of exercise and meditation where breath and specific body positions are used to help connect the mind and body. And prenatal yoga focuses on positions that are specifically designed for pregnant women’s bodies.

Despite it being called “prenatal yoga,” this particular type of yoga is also a great mindfulness tool for women who are trying to conceive, because it enables the practitioner a “stress-free” break for her body which benefits and supports the internal, instinctual gift of reproduction.

› Prenatal Yoga: 1st Trimester

› Prenatal Yoga: 2nd Trimester

› Prenatal Yoga: 3rd Trimester

Objectives :

Yoga is used for a variety of immunological, neuromuscular, psychological, and pain conditions. Recent studies indicate that it may be effective in improving pregnancy, labour, and birth outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the existing literature on yoga for pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a condition in which women undergo distinct physiological changes and stress and is accompanied by unique physical and psychological demands. There is a need to manage the various physical, emotional, mental, and pain states that arise throughout the stages of pregnancy and labour. The well being and quality of life of the mother is critical for optimal pregnancy outcomes; self-soothing techniques, psychoeducation, and relaxation are particularly important in this transitional and meaningful time

Introduction of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient mind-body practice that originated in India and is becoming increasingly recognized and used in developed nations as a health practice for a variety of immunological, neuromuscular, psychological, and pain conditions. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit term “yuj” and directly translates as “to unite”; more broadly, it means to work towards a unified experience of the self and improved health. Most recognized for its potential to create balance along emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual dimensions, yoga is a comprehensive system that uses physical postures (asana), breathing exercises (pranayama), concentration and meditation (dharana and dhyana), and contemplative practice. A Prenatal yoga class will typically include deep breathing, gentle stretching and suitable postures, with props often used.

Physical exercise can be helpful in the management of stress and other associated conditions or symptoms accompanying pregnancy, such as edema, gestational hypertension or diabetes, mood instability, musculoskeletal discomfort, aches, and weight gain. Engaging in physical exercise during pregnancy was once regarded as a risky behaviour, although it is increasingly recognized as safe and is encouraged in routine prenatal care.

Mind-body practices that cultivate general health, diminish distress, and increase self awareness, such as tai chi or yoga, maybe be particularly effective in addressing both the physical and psychoemotional aspects of pregnancy and labour [4]. Other related practices, including biofeedback, meditation, and imagery, have been found to reduce anxiety and endocrine measures, such as cortisol, in women during labour

Prenatal yoga poses

› Stretching

-Tiger Pose Variations ( Vyagrasana)
– Cat-Cow (Marjariasana)
– Child’s Pose (Balasana)
– Cobbler’s Pose (Baddha Konasana)

› Strengthening

– Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
– Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
– Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
-Modern Goddess Pose

› Balancing

-Palm Tree Pose ( Tadasana)
– Tree Pose (Vriksasana)

› Relaxing

– Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana)
– Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
– Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
– Dead Body Pose (Savasana)

What are the benefits of prenatal yoga?

Much like other types of childbirth-preparation classes, prenatal yoga is a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing. Research suggests that prenatal yoga is safe and can have many benefits for pregnant women and their babies.

Prenatal yoga may reduce stress levels and improve sleep patterns during pregnancy. It may also alleviate physical discomfort such as nausea, headaches and lower back pain.

Prenatal Yoga can:

  1. Improve sleep
  2. Reduce stress and anxiety
  3. Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
  4. Decrease lower back pain, nausea, headaches and shortness of breath
  5. Regulate the body physiologies and vitals.
  6. Prenatal yoga can also help you meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent.

Breathing – You’ll be encouraged to focus on breathing in and out slowly and deeply through the nose. Prenatal yoga breathing techniques might help you reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.

Gentle stretching – You’ll be encouraged to gently move different areas of your body, such as your neck and arms, through their full range of motion.

Postures – While standing, sitting or lying on the ground, you’ll gently move your body into different positions aimed at developing your strength, flexibility and balance. Props — such as blankets, cushions and belts — might be used to provide support and comfort.

Cool down and relaxation – At the end of each prenatal yoga class, you’ll relax your muscles and restore your resting heart rate and breathing rhythm. You might be encouraged to listen to your own breathing, pay close attention to sensations, thoughts and emotions, or repeat a mantra or word to bring about a state of self-awareness and inner calm.

Are there special safety guidelines for prenatal yoga?

Talk to your health care provider. Before you begin a prenatal yoga program, make sure you have your health care provider’s OK. You might not be able to do prenatal yoga if you are at increased risk of preterm labor or have certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or back problems.

Set realistic goals. For most pregnant women, at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity is recommended on at least five, if not all, days of the week. However, even shorter or less frequent workouts can still help you stay in shape and prepare for labor.

Pace yourself. If you can’t speak normally while you’re doing prenatal yoga, you’re probably pushing yourself too hard.

Stay cool and hydrated. Practice prenatal yoga in a well-ventilated room to avoid overheating. Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated.

As your pregnancy progresses, use props during postures to accommodate changes in your center of gravity. If you wonder whether a pose is safe, ask your instructor for guidance.

If you experience any pain or other red flags — such as vaginal bleeding, decreased fetal movement or contractions — during prenatal yoga, stop and contact your health care provider.

How do I choose a prenatal yoga class?

Look for a program taught by an instructor who has training in prenatal yoga. Consider observing a class ahead of time to make sure you’re comfortable with the activities involved, the instructor’s style, the class size and the environment.

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