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maternity yoga

Maternity Yoga

The Pregnant Woman is the universal symbol for fertility and tranquil bliss.

During the nine months after conception, her body is stretched to its capacity to make place for the life she is creating.

And in three trimesters, the trauma that her body goes through culminates in the birth of a living, breathing piece of herself........and all the while, she experiences the human threshold for pain.

It is in respect for these givers of life that yoga, in its innate understanding of the needs of the new mother, offers a range of techniques and practices that nourish body and mind – for mother and child.

Why Yoga?

Today, prenatal and postnatal yoga is one of the fastest growing practices in the world.

This is primarily because yoga provides natural solutions to common problems that are mostly overlooked or diminished with drug use.

It is the only system that creates and maintains a harmonic balance between the body and mind, before as well as after childbirth. And it is the only practice that actively aids the child’s development even prior to its birth!

Prenatal Yoga

For the Baby

As in science, it is the yogic belief that the foetus develops its personality in the mother’s womb. For the first two months, it is little more than a bag of cells. By the third month, it is recognizably human, and the child’s Pancha Pranas (The five Life Forces) start to develop. By the fourth month, the Jiva (Immortal Soul) enters into the child, and from this moment onward, the child has its own awareness and is a separate being from the mother for the very first time.

The baby’s personality is developed at this time. And although its personality depends on genetic factors as well as factors such as the environment of the womb (pH balance, ratios of certain chemicals, hormones, etc.) the character of the developing child will also depend on the mental attitude of the mother during, and after pregnancy. But during this period, the mother goes though a severely emotional phase that is both stressful and exhausting. And this can have a negative impact on the child.

Yoga provides a variety of yogic relaxation and meditation exercises that nourishes the foetus’ personality and spirituality and provides an optimum environment for the growing foetus.

The most reassuring factor for the foetus, at this time, is the sound of its mother’s heart beat. The practice of Mantra Japa and Dhyana adds another dimension to this sensitivity, by evoking a resonance between the consciousness of the mother and the child. This has proved to be an intensely relaxing and positive experience, for both mother and child.

For the Mother

During pregnancy, yoga works to strengthen and relax the abdominal muscles, to better support the development of the child. It increases the flexibility of the spine and the strength of the back muscles, so as to reduce the pain brought on from the weight of the child. A flexible spine will also prevent drooping shoulders that is caused due to the weight of the child which actively pushes the body downwards. Finally, it works to strengthen the pelvic region and make it more flexible, to prepare it for childbirth. This reduces the pain by increasing the ease of the process.

In addition to preparing the body for childbirth, yoga also addresses everyday problems that the mother might experience, such as morning sickness, constipation, Oedema and Toxaemia. No other means of prenatal preparation treats these problems. Although a monthly visit to the doctor’s is recommended, yoga is the only practice that offers natural solutions – which is why is comes recommended by a growing number of physicians worldwide.

Postnatal Yoga

After the birth of the child, the body starts to experience a rapid physical reversal, in which the uterus contracts to its original size. At the same time, the breasts of the mother start producing Colostrum, which induces a state of depression, uncertainty and anxiety in the new mother.

Yoga enables the mother to overcome this the natural way. It prepares and revitalizes the body after childbirth, and speeds up the rejuvenation process. It re-establishes muscle strength and control over the pelvic region, which loosens after childbirth.

It works on the abdominal muscles and reproductive organs, to increase tone and bring them back to the original state. Body aches that are common after the trauma of childbirth are made easy to overcome as a result of it.

There is lesser chance for postpartum depression, because yoga maintains strict meditation and recommends counselling sessions for the new mothers, irrespective of whether or not they show symptoms for depression.

The mother is prepared, body and mind, in the task of taking care of her new born child. She is far calmer, more relaxed and therefore, more prepared to handle any situation that may arise. And the calmer and emotionally healthier the mother, the calmer and happier the child.