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pregnancy and yoga


 

Amanda Lunemann

Yoga Practice in
Pregnancy

Posture Alignment and Pelvic Tilt Info

4 Pregnancy Practice Sessions

Amanda Lunemann
Amanda Full Term
My Pregnancy and Yoga

I had been practicing yoga for about a year and a half when I found out I was pregnant. As a first-time mommy, I knew that I wanted to continue in my yoga practice, figuring it would actually help alleviate some of the discomforts of pregnancy and enhance my overall experience of it. And it did just that! Moreover, by practicing yoga until the end of my 8th month, I was able to be more confident in my decision to do a natural water birth without the use of any pain-relief medication, as I knew many of the techniques and philosophy of yoga would aid in my labor and delivery.  

As someone who has always had a natural propensity for being in-tune with my body, by practicing yoga throughout my pregnancy I was able to intensify that body awareness as my body was changing. It helped significantly with my balance and more importantly it gave me that time of inner quietness and peace that I knew was so good for the development of my growing baby (A stressed out mommy can only lead to a "stressed out" fetus!). Practicing yoga throughout my pregnancy also taught me how to better trust the amazing abilities of my body, knowing that with deep breathing and the quieting of the mind, my body could have strength and stability I didn't know was there. But don't get me wrong, I never did any poses that didn't feel right or were too extreme. I LISTENED TO MY BODY! I trusted that it would let me know what poses would and would not be fine as my belly grew, and I modified the poses as was needed.

As for the labor and delivery, yoga equipped me with the ability to not only breathe deeply, but send that calming, yet energizing breath to wherever my body needed it. And for someone who went through 19 1/2 hours of hard, active labor naturally, this couldn't have been more helpful!! Yoga taught my body how to relax the muscles I did not need to be using and energize the ones that needed to work, or in the case of labor and delivery, open the muscles that needed to be opened. I just translated what yoga had taught me about body control to the experience of labor and delivery.

I know that many women are unsure about whether to continue practicing yoga during their pregnancy, and although I'm not a medical expert and don't know the detailed medical science behind pregnancy, what I do know is that my experience with yoga during my pregnancy was extremely positive and affirming. I felt that it enhanced both the quality of my body and the baby growing inside me. And yes, I went on to deliver a very healthy and beautiful baby girl!

Therefore, for any woman who has been practicing yoga for any length of time and becomes pregnant, I say, "Keep practicing. Listen to your body. Trust it. And know that both you and your growing baby deserve it and will be better because of it!"      

--
Amanda Lunemann
Claremont School of Theology
Claremont, CA

Amanda Lunemann
Amnda Lunemann
In Labor
New Mommy

IMPORTANT! Before beginning your exercise program, talk with your doctor to make sure you do not have any obstetric or health condition that would limit your activity. Variations and modifications of the postures must take into account the needs and restrictions of the individual. Detailed guidelines are available at The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. We encourage you read through this important and informative resource.