Yoga, the science that belongs to our very motherland was practiced by our ancient rishis to attain a fine tune of body, mind, soul and surrounding existence to be one with the divine. This spiritual discipline yoga which once was practiced to realise the divine within, is now being used to derive the physical benefits after realising the enormous power of this inner wellbeing technique. One must thus remember that though spiritual well-being is the ultimate motto, the benefits of yoga if side branched can also be used to attain physical and mental well-being. Realising this immense potential of yoga in attaining flexibility of the physical body and increased awareness of the mind, it’s been utilised as a way through prenatal fitness.
Miss Universe 2000 and the Bollywood celebrity Lara Dutta has been an avid Yoga practitioner for 10 years. Through her videos, DVDs and blogs she has shared enormous information on prenatal yoga workouts and its benefits. Here are few picks from the same without going deep into the technicalities of the asanas. Lara recommends a definite pre-natal yoga routine to maintain a connection with the life within, to deliver a healthy baby. She opines that a rhythmic breathing pattern followed during prenatal yoga workshops is an excellent way of relaxing and helps to calm the mind and body to overcome challenges of labor. Certain pelvic floor exercises followed in the process aids in healthy child birth and speedy recovery after delivery.
Lara further emphasis on Soham meditation which is a mantra that one becomes aware of, by the Ajapa Japa technique. This is practiced to reach deeper level of concentration and consciousness. It is believed that the Soham mantra corresponds to our breath and the soul unconsciously repeats it 21,600 times a day. Increased level of receptivity is noticed by the practice of this technique.
She further explores into Keep—ups which are followed as part of labour oriented endurance exercises. These workouts help relax the mind and utilise it to overcome frustrations and negative emotions.
Har Har meditation is another aspect touched upon by Lara Dutta in her prenatal yoga videos. According to this meditation a positive energy field is created within and around. The mantras hummed softly get tuned in the unconscious mind of the life within and thereby the life within experiences moments of bliss. The repeat mantra for this meditation could either be Har (god’s energy within and around us) or Hari (the creative energy of the divine).
Apart from tips shared by Lara in her videos, there are other beneficial yoga asanas that could be explored for prenatal fitness under the guidance of an experienced yoga master. Few of these are Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 pose, Baddha Konasana, Pelvic tilt, Tree pose and many others.
Pregnancy is a time of change, anticipation and fluctuating emotions. The life within the womb has already started experiencing the world through its mother. Physical and emotional disturbances of the mum could intrinsically affect the baby. Hence an expectant mum should stay fit to deliver a happy baby. This enhanced attitude towards pregnancy can be bought about by practicing Yoga. Prenatal yoga exercises deal with birthing muscles such as those of the lower back, abdomen, and pelvic muscle. They also open up hip to make them ready for labor. Like any other workouts, practicing yoga helps release endorphins that are responsible for the joyful state of mind, which is very much essential during pregnancy.
A word of caution in the post. If you’re a beginner to yoga, you should consult your gynaecologist before taking this up during pregnancy. Your physician and yoga teacher should help you decide the best yoga exercises to be followed during the various phases of pregnancy. Besides, listen to your body and be your own spectator, if you feel discomfort discontinue yoga. Prenatal yoga certainly has its own unique merits and practicing this art at a professional yoga school/centre under relevant guidance will help you reap the benefits of this traditional science during your pregnancy.