Pregnancy is no doubt an extra-special time. It’s the happiest of times and yet the toughest too for a woman.
It is also a very unique ride, with no two being the same. Some breeze through it with minimal discomfort, others find they have to tap into all their reserves to find the energy and spirit to get through the days and the many changes both internally and externally.
Through it all, what one should always keep in mind is that pregnancy is not an illness. In fact, it’s a very normal part of a woman’s life, should she choose to experience it.
And the fitter a woman is, particularly in this phase of her life, the better.
If you haven’t been regular with your exercises, then don’t despair. Just start a gentle routine. Two things to keep in mind here — and this can make all the difference — are:
- Always consult your doctor FIRST before beginning a formal exercise class.
- Practice under a qualified teacher.
And that is THE order in which to go about it. Don’t start classes before getting a go-ahead from your doctor. In fact, a qualified, well-trained teacher will insist that you receive your obstetrician’s approval.
Just in case you are wondering how exercise can help, then a quick word on it. Not only are you taking care of yourself physically improving muscle tone and giving your energy levels a huge boost through movement, but you are also conditioning your mind and stimulating the endocrine system to release more feel-good, happy hormones that help keep stress at bay infusing positivity and a sense of calm within.
Most doctors will agree that Yoga is one of the best modalities to embrace during pregnancy. A primary reason for this is that Yoga poses are sequenced in such a way that all parts of the body are addressed. And through correct beathing patterns and by maintaining an inward focus, the mind relaxes and slowly releases all worrisome thoughts and feelings.
Yoga poses also switch between ones that strengthen and others that provide a delicious stretch. Often within the pose, when we flex our right side, we automatically stretch the left and vice-versa. This alternate stretch and flex alongside inhalations and exhalations at the appropriate times helps in the better flow of prana or life force throughout the body. This the reason why we feel so refreshed after a Yoga class.
Do and don’ts before you start Yoga
It’s extremely important that whatever fitness regimen one chooses, the priority must be safety. When it comes to Yoga, ensure you have a good Yoga mat with very good grip. Neither must it slip and slide when laid out on the floor, nor must your hands and feet slip while you stand on top of it.
The second thing to keep in mind is loose clothing. This is so that you don’t feel restricted as you twist and bend. However, ensure that what you are wearing is also not too loose and baggy, that you end up with limbs caught in the folds or feet tripping over the hem.
Do NOT practice after a heavy meal. If you do need to eat, keep the meal light and ensure a gap of at least an hour and half before you start your Yoga.
It is highly recommended that you have a warm shower BEFORE practice. This will help relax all your muscles, reducing any stiffness.
Always ensure that whatever the pose you are doing, you stretch or bend as much as is comfortable for you. There must be no pain. Do not force yourself to achieve a posture.
No two days will be the same. So some days when you turn up for class, you might not want to go through the usual routine, but maybe you might want to do more of breathing or meditation to calm yourself.
It’s also very natural to feel all types of emotions and the trick is not to wallow in them but to let them run their course. Sharing your feelings with a trusted friend or instructor will help in working it out of your system.
In our next blog we will share a few safe postures. So do watch out for it.
Pratimoksha offers one-on-one prenatal and post-natal classes. For more information give us a call or text us at 00971-50-395-5613.