Saturday, 2 June 2012

Yoga for Childbirth

Many pregnant women want to find a way to strengthen their bodies for the arduous tasks of carrying a baby to term and staying strong through labor and delivery, but they worry about starting work out routines that might cause harm. Loosening joints and changes in equilibrium caused by pregnancy place women who choose to work out at a higher risk of injury. Because of these changes, doctors advise women to continue working out with the routine they were in before getting pregnant and to start exercising slowly if they were inactive before.

Yoga becomes the perfect solution for women looking to strengthen their minds and bodies for the task of childbearing. Not only does its physical focus on balance, strength and flexibility make it the ideal fitness opportunity for growing bellies and changing bodies, but its mental and spiritual disciplines can develop breath control and power of will.

Strengthening the Mind-Body Connection

Kundalini yoga is a popular source of prenatal yoga practice since its emphasis on the mind-body connection allows women to strengthen awareness of their bodies. The movements in Kundalini tend to focus on spine and navel activity under the principle of accessing a coiled energy located at the spinal base. On the other hand, Kundalini is not the only style of yoga pregnant women turn to aid in childbirth. Some women maintain their more physically challenging routines in other schools of yoga throughout pregnancy while others adopt modified versions referred to loosely as prenatal yoga.

Yoga instructors and experienced prenatal practitioners advocate yoga practice as a way to increase awareness of the body, which they say helps add focus and mental strength during the throes of labor. The difference between a yogi and non-yogi in childbirth is the level of control over the body, specifically while in pain, that a practitioner can exercise. In fact, many prenatal yoga instructors work solely with pregnant women because of their passion about seeing yogic principles worked out through the childbirth experience.

Physical Benefits of Yoga for Childbirth

Having a strong mental presence and awareness is clearly important for working through pain, but a strong body is also necessary. Research has demonstrated that women who begin the labor experience physically fit experience less pain and a much quicker postpartum recovery period. The idea behind this principle is that stronger core and pelvic muscles provide more support for the rapid changes the body undergoes throughout the process of childbirth. Similarly toned muscles enable a faster return to their previous shape during the postpartum period of recovery.

© Copyright 2012 - Aura Wellness Center - Publications Division

Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. To receive Free Yoga videos, Podcasts, e-Books, reports, and articles about Yoga, please visit:

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