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Yoga and Pregnancy
2018.4.13 | Namita Kurokawa

Yoga and Pregnancy

Just a week ago, I delivered my 3rd child. What a blessing to be surrounded by people you love. Today, we are going to talk about practicingyoga during your pregnancy. Before we start, I just want to inform you that everything in this post is from my personal experience. It may not apply to everyone. So please just take this as one of the many information out there.

 

Tons of questions cross your mind during pregnancy.

Is it safe to practice yoga during my pregnancy? When can I resume my practice? What asanas can and can I not practice?

We’ll take a look on practicing yoga while pregnant.

 

First rule first

It depends on the person!

 

Some people undergo complications during their pregnancy and need to be on bed rest. Others are active to a point that they forget they’re even pregnant.

 

Getting a doctor’s opinion is good, but let me tell you, they’re always going to stay on the conservative side. In my very personal opinion, just ask if there’s any risk of complication or bed rest. If not, and if you feel comfortable, you can practice yoga.

 

Keep your legs strong and shoulders flexible!

As you put on weight, it’s going to be harder to move your body freely. By keeping the legs strong from the beginning of your pregnancy, it will not only help with the remainder of your yoga practice, but also with your delivery when you have to push!

Same with your shoulders. It will be more difficult to move your shoulders and upper body as your body shape changes and boobs get bigger. By keeping the shoulders flexible, it will not only help your posture when carrying the baby, but will also stimulate breast milk production! In addition, when your shoulders are inward and back being hunched, there is a risk for postpartum depression, or feelings of negativity. When times get tough with the baby, it’s important to keep a positive mind, and flexibility in your shoulders and opening of the chest will help!

 

5 Asanas I Recommend and Pointers

  1. Virabhadrasana I: make surethat your back leg is strong!
  2. Prasarita Padottanasana C: squeeze the inner thigh muscles, and lift the arms back giving space in your shoulder sockets.
  3. Adho Mukha Svanasana: pull the sit bones up.
  4. Parivrtta Malasana: make sure the hips are in the center when you twist.
  5. Garudasana: Elbows up and hands away from face to maximize shoulder stretch.

 

Safety

It’s important that you and your baby are safe when you practice.

My rule is: if you’ve been practicing yoga and you feel comfortable, continue doing it! Headstand, for example, can be practiced if you have been doing it before your pregnancy!

If you’re new to yoga, it’s important to listen to your body and your instructor.

I practiced most of my asanas throughout my pregnancy. However, in my last month of pregnancy, it was very difficult for me to practice sarvangasana (shoulder stand) as my boobs and belly were both getting bigger and falling onto my throat. If anything uncomfortable happens, don’t push yourself. You can always practice it after your delivery!

 

After Delivery and Yoga

Ok… this is really tricky.

 

For someone like me, who feels very uncomfortable not practicing asanas, it’s hard to stay away for more than a week. So on the 2nd day after my delivery, I started very slow with paschimottanasana (forward fold), baddha konasana (butterfly), and supta matsyendrasana (supine spinal twist).

 

A week after my delivery, I resumed my regular asana practice.

 

I believe it’s recommended to wait at least a month for natural birth, and 6-8 weeks for C-section. In that case, you can always practice pranayama and meditation, which are vital parts to yoga practice too.

 

Lastly

The most important of them all. Don’t forget to enjoy time with you baby!!

Manager and yoga instructor at Nami Yoga Studio.
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