Your 7-Day Introduction To Pregnancy Yoga
I have been a yoga teacher for over 20 years and have developed a new way of being on the mat!
My prenatal yoga will help you prepare for birth in the easiest way for your body, mind and soul…so you can ride each contraction with ease and embrace any the challenges that come your way.
In teaching thousands of mums and supporting for hundreds of hours at births I discovered what women really need to feel strong and also able to surrender.
Oh yeah and I have spoken at lots of national conferences about my prenatal yoga and also I’m the only Australian yoga teacher included in the international award winning film Yoga Woman.
Alongside my scientifically acclaimed birth program, She Births®, this prenatal yoga will allow you to create a more natural, gentle and joyful birth experience.
I hope you enjoy!
Yoga is considered one of the safest and most effective forms of exercise to do when pregnant, along with walking and swimming. It not only lifts our mood during pregnancy but also research shows that it can help create a less painful birthing experience.
This is for you to decide with your health provider. Many mums who have had an ongoing yoga practice find that stopping yoga is too uncomfortable both physically and mentally. Other mums find they have no energy to do more than the bare minimum of life. If you have a history of miscarriage it is best to wait until you are past 14 weeks before starting.
Yoga is considered one of the safest and most effective forms of exercise to do when pregnant, along with walking and swimming. It is best to discuss with your health provider before starting and also best to learn yoga from an experienced teacher.
Join a free introduction to Pregnancy Yoga with Nadine Richardson
Prenatal simply means before birth and relating to pregnancy. The following terms are interchangeable; prenatal, pregnancy and antenatal.
It is definitely not advisable to do all yoga poses when pregnant. Each trimester requires different poses or variations. Each body should be catered to for its varying degrees of pelvic mobility due to the hormone, relaxin.
Key elements to remember are ‘respect the belly’ by not lying on it or compressing it after 16 weeks. Do not overstretch the abdomen with backbends, because it will likely separate your abdominal muscles. Do not do yoga in a heated room because you can sweat but your baby cannot!
Understanding the position of your baby in the third trimester is helpful as there are different poses to help turn a posterior or breech baby. You can learn more in the She Births® Online Course.
Nadine teaches a feminine approach that honours the awesome rite of passage of pregnancy and birth.
She has crafted movements and poses that can be dynamic as well as meditative, nurturing and healing.
Doing a practice that empowers you during pregnancy is critical. Being given options as well as the space to uncover intuitive ways to move and also 'sit' is a great resource for labour. Yoga facilitates a deeper self connection and strength for both birth and motherhood.
”Regular yoga practice in the last 10–12 weeks of pregnancy improves maternal comfort in labor and may facilitate labor progress. The researchers offer several theories for these effects.
First, prenatal yoga poses involves synchronization of breathing awareness and muscle relaxation, which decrease tension and the perception of pain.
Second, yoga movements, breathing, and chanting may increase circulating endorphins and serotonin, “raising the threshold of mind-body relationship to pain” (p. 112).
Third, practicing prenatal yoga postures over time alters pain pathways through the parasympathetic nervous system, decreasing one’s need to actively respond to unpleasant physical sensations.
Yoga during pregnancy strategies that help women prepare emotionally and physically for labor may help reduce pain and suffering and optimize wellbeing in childbirth by providing coping skills and increasing self-confidence and a sense of mastery.
More research is needed to confirm the findings of this study. However, yoga’s many health benefits and the lack of evidence that yoga is harmful in pregnancy or birth provide justification for encouraging interested pregnant women to incorporate prenatal yoga into their preparations for childbirth.”
— Amy Romano MSN
“Prenatal Yoga was associated with reduced pain (mean difference (MD) -6.12, 95% CI -11.77 to -0.47), one trial, 66 women), increased satisfaction with pain relief (MD 7.88, 95% CI 1.51 to 14.25, one trial, 66 women), satisfaction with the childbirth experience (MD) 6.34, 95% CI 0.26 to 12.42, one trial, 66 women), and reduced length of labour when compared to usual care (MD -139.91, 95% CI -252.50 to -27.32, one trial, 66 women) and when compared with supine position (MD -191.34, 95% CI -243.72 to -138.96, one trial, 83 women)…. Relaxation and prenatal yoga may have a role with reducing pain, increasing satisfaction with pain relief and reducing the rate of assisted vaginal delivery.” — by Smith CA, Levett KM, Collins CT, Crowther CA.
– Science and Sensibility
When I was pregnant 20 years ago there really wasn’t much prenatal yoga available. Of the one or two weekly classes (held at very strange times of day) here in Sydney I found all of them to be more like a ‘geriatric’ yoga class.
Teachers appeared to be scared of what might happen to our precious pregnant bodies through movement and stretching that I even fell asleep in class, mid-stretch! And there certainly wasn’t anything specific preparing me for labour and birth.
Although yoga itself has been practised for many thousands of years, it was created by men and for the male body. Women have historically been far too busy tending to children, pre-industrial revolution and feminism so Vedic development and cave-dwelling were left to the guys.
The early pioneers of prenatal yoga in the West were the midwife and yoga teacher, Jeannine Parvati Baker and Janet Balaskas, who both published mainstream books in the 1980s. After that, we started to see a slow uptake which required an actual ‘creation’ of the yoga style itself. Since then, numerous health practitioners will highly recommend prenatal yoga and Amazon now has over 6,000 prenatal yoga titles, all of which has been created in the last 30 years.
As a yoga teacher, I found it interesting to give birth, especially after so many people had said I would be great at labour (whatever that means) because I was young and a yogi. But in an attempt to connect my yoga practice to labour I feel like I was at a loss! The art of combining surrender and strength, being both passive and active, breathing and movement were so unique during birth that all the yoga I had done didn’t prepare me at all.
In my work as a doula, I discovered many of the strategies and pain management techniques that really worked so as a teacher I was able to formulate them into a specific prenatal yoga practice. In She Births ® Prenatal Yoga we teach clear tools for labour, as well share a philosophy to help you embrace the impending challenges of motherhood. You can watch more about the emergence of women in the yoga world as well as see our unique prenatal yoga in the award-winning documentary Yoga Woman.
Read more at boody.com.au
© The Birthing Institute Pty Ltd. Established 2008.
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