tofino yoga during pregnancy

Tofino yoga: Yoga during Pregnancy

by Natalie Rousseau, ERYT, Tofino

the letter 'P'

Pregnancy is a special time in a woman's life. A time of great change and expectation. A time of wonder and new beginning. It can also be a time of increased discomfort as change occurs so rapidly and for those women who are juggling family responsibilities and a full time job this can also be a time of great exhaustion. Yoga can be a fantastic way to replenish depleted energy reserves while reducing the common aches and pains associated with pregnancy. Time out from a busy schedule for the practice of yoga becomes a time to gently relax and attune to your changing body and your growing baby, a time to nurture your self.

The benefits of taking this time are many.

Regular yoga practice builds strength and endurance which can help you move through the transition from pregnancy to motherhood with confidence. The asanas or postures practiced in Yoga help to increase flexibility in the muscles and connective tissues as well as range of motion in the joints which relieves a lot of the tension created by the physical changes of pregnancy. The deep breathing and conscious movement used helps to anchor the attention of the mind in the body, and the present moment which aids relaxation and mental clarity while increasing vitality. The meditative practices and the use of restorative or supportive poses can reduce insomnia and anxiety and so allow you to face change with grace and equanimity while providing the needed rest and relaxation it may be difficult to find time for in the midst of an active day. As well circulation is increased which enhances well being and hormonal balance.

These are just some of the many benefits that you may experience through the practice of Yoga. To find out more about Yoga during pregnancy find a qualified Yoga teacher near you and inquire about group or private instruction - you will find it a great addition to your self care routine. Read on to learn about the 5 Essential Principles of Pre-Natal Yoga and try a simple breath awareness meditation to enhance mental focus and nourish relaxation now.

Five Essential Principles of Pre-Natal Yoga

  1. Breath - steady, even, relaxed, whole body breath.
  2. Awareness - the ability to observe without judgement or reaction.
  3. Connection - cultivating a sense of connection between your breath, your body, your mind, your growing baby, and the spirit that moves through both of you.
  4. Enjoyment - the ability to relax into the moment using the tools of breath, awareness, and fluid movement.
  5. Acceptance - relaxing into the sensation of change and movement. Allowing what is.

Simple Breath Awareness Meditation:

  1. Settle yourself in a comfortable seated position either cross legged on the floor with a cushion beneath your hips or sitting upright in a chair. Keep your spine long and relaxed, draw your shoulders onto your back, and begin to shift your attention to your breath. Once you have a conscious awareness of your breath begin to slow it down and lengthen it out. Breath in and out through the nose, lips and jaw relaxed.
  2. As you begin a slow inhale bring your attention into the low belly first, even place your hand there and feel it expand with your breath. As you slowly continue to fill your lungs allow the breath to expand through the sides and the back of the ribcage. And finally feel the breath filling the top chest and gently lifting the collar bones. Place equal emphasis on each of the three parts of the breath so that the breath stays long and even - avoid pulling in the first part of the breath too fast.
  3. As you exhale empty the body of breath from top to bottom - upper chest, side ribs and waist, and lower abdomen. Maintain evenness of breath to take you right to the bottom of your exhale without strain. Experience the breath as a wave moving through you. Smooth, relaxed and full. Allow your mind to rest in its constant rythym.
  4. Practice for 1-5 minutes for increased energy, greater calm and clarity of mind. Return to your day with a smile.

Natalie Rousseau E-RYT teaches group and private yoga classes in Tofino BC.

Tofino Yoga

Tofino Time Magazine May 2009

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Yoga during pregnancy, a Tofino yoga article on the benefits of pre-natal yoga, by Tofino yoga instructor Natalie Rousseau.

tofino time may 2009

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