“The destiny of the world and children is in the hands of intelligent Mothers.” Swami Sivananda
The best thing a mother can do for herself and for the baby is taking care of her mental, spiritual and physical health through the practice of yoga. The following points of how yoga can be beneficial are taken from the Pre-Post Natal Yoga book written by my amazing teacher Kate Mandlik.
Yoga prepares the women physically, emotionally and spiritually for conception. It creates a positive environment for a baby while promoting physical and mental health. In addition, yoga helps a women to overcome any barriers and fears they may have in preparation for having a child by increasing the pranic level, vitality and opening energy blockages.
Yoga increases flexibility, strengthens the abdominal muscles which support the uterus and baby for nine months which in addition helps with regards to the birthing process. Yoga also strengthens the spine and muscles of the back which are put under a lot of stress during
pregnancy. It improves posture and helps to correct any postural defects that can come from pregnancy, such as the excessive curvature of the lower back which is common. Moreover, yoga strengthens the pelvic floor muscles while making them flexible at the same time. This is necessary for holding the uterus in place. As the uterus becomes heavier a lot of stress is put on these muscles and can cause urinary incontinence. This is prevented if these muscles are strong.
Yoga teaches women how to relax on a physical level which is necessary throughout pregnancy and birth and helps the women gain more control over her respiratory system while improving blood circulation and strengthening the heart. Yoga during pregnancy balances and regulates blood pressure, improves immunity, prevents and relieves back pain, helps to promote a smooth stress free delivery, can prevent and relieve fluid retention, leg cramps and varicose veins. Yoga also helps to keep the digestive system functioning well and as a result prevents constipation.
Yoga during pregnancy increases energy levels, helps to calm the nervous system. It also helps to open the chest and create more space, especially in the last trimester when the uterus can press strongly, making breathing more difficult.
Yoga during pregnancy can help prevent and overcome morning sickness. Since it is a physical exercise yoga also helps to keep weight gain under control.
From an emotional point of view yoga help in removing fear, anxiety, conflicts, tension and stress. It promotes relaxation and stress management, emotional well-being, increases mental peace, calmness.
Yoga helps to balance and stabilize the emotions which can be unstable due to hormones. Creates positive feelings of love, compassion, appreciation, gratitude and peace while creating trust and faith in ones body.
While practicing yoga, the mother creates a more peaceful atmosphere and positive energy for the baby making the baby feel more secure. Yoga improves blood circulation, removes metabolic wastes and increased nutrition to the baby during pregnancy.