Pregnancy is a golden opportunity. It is a chance to become our healthiest, even if we have to get sick and be uncomfortable along the way. The womb we carry is magic, capable of miracles. These bodies we are given are so wise. They know exactly what to do and when to do it, and we don’t have to think about it, in fact, that is when she functions best, when we are out of our heads and fully embodied!
As women, we are the life givers with our wombs, our Shakti, our feminine creative energy. That makes us, masters of change, queens of transformation. The more we clear our blocks, tensions and stagnations, the easier the process of pregnancy (or any female transformation) will be for us. The more aligned our womb is, the clearer channel our body will be for our periods, conception, pregnancy, or an easy birth and delivery of a child.
Yoga during pregnancy is an excellent way to become more embodied and align our wombs. It is a way to tap into the surrendering process of pregnancy, which is so vital in preparation for birth and motherhood, the ULTIMATE surrender. All levels of yoga abilities come to yoga during pregnancy, from straight up beginner to advanced practitioner. Even women that are athletic or advanced yoginis, may spend their first few months or trimester on the couch as their “yoga”, but as the pregnancy continues, there comes a desire for women of any ability to come take a class.
Being in a group of others who are going through a similar experience is so vital for women embarking upon something as unique as pregnancy, birth and motherhood. More often than not, the friendships and bonds made in class reach far into years of motherhood, and their babies lives. This is so valuable in a society that is slowly regaining the tribal connection of women gathering to support one another in life’s initiations. Simply by showing up in our authenticity we help ourselves, and one another greatly.
The breath is one of our biggest allies in life, especially during pregnancy, because it prepares us for birth. Sometimes during the intensity of birth, the breath is all that we have. At the beginning of a “wave” or “contraction”, a deep inhalation through the nose and exhalation through the mouth, is a “cleansing breath” that prepares us for breathing through the entire wave. The cleansing breath is so valuable to practice during pregnancy, especially during yoga or exercise.
Our bodies are changing so much during pregnancy and so does our yoga. Poses that are ordinarily done with feet together, I suggest doing at least hip width apart. I ask women to bend their knees when coming up from forward bending (with legs wider then usual) to put less strain on the back with a growing belly. Poses that are usually static, I offer women to undulate their spines with their breath, and spiral-like energy moving, because this is how the baby moves out of our bodies, in a spiral motion. A large emphasis is put on various positions of squatting because this too, is how the baby moves out of our bodies during birth, through the deep opening of the hips and pelvic floor and lower chakras. Lastly, we always do restorative poses with focus on the breath in every practice, to calm the mind and open the heart.
Whatever you can do to get out of your head and into your body during your pregnancy will help lead you to an optimal brith. Yoga during pregnancy is one way to do that. It activates a woman towards her innate power, and assists opening the lower chakras so birth is as smooth as possible. It helps us utilize and harness this powerful time in our lives and the magic of our wombs, as the golden opportunity it is.
Image Credit: Mangala Yoga Studio