Yoga Poses for Pregnancy Bliss

I was recently asked by a client what yoga poses were helpful during pregnancy. I wasn’t able to answer the question off the top of my head so I decided to put together a list and post it for any other mom’s to be who might also be interested.

If you have never tried yoga you may think of it as nothing more than exercise, a series of postures designed to sculpt our body. Let us not forget that Yoga is much, much more than this. The word “Yoga” means union, its holistic practice unites our body, mind and spirit and connects us to the infinite. During pregnancy the practice of yogic postures (asanas) coupled with yogic breathing (prananyam) and daily meditation  facilitates balance for the mother and the child in all three areas.

It is important to always listen to your body while doing yoga especially during pregnancy, do not over exert yourself. stay calm and focus on your breathing while visualizing a conscious healthy pregnancy and delivery. These gentle yoga postures are safe during a normal healthy pregnancy, please consult your physician or midwife before practicing yoga. Enjoy!

Easy Pose – Sukhasana

Butterfly Pose – Purna Titliasana

Cat Cow – Marjariasana

Goddess pose- Supta Baddha Konasana

Lunge- Anjaneyasna

Childs pose- Balasana

Pregnancy and Massage a Sacred Journey has been practiced throughout recorded history and has been an important part of  pregnancy and childbearing for millennia. Pregnancy and birth are a sacred journey, one that creates a miraculous environment for awareness and healing. As a massage therapist, there is nothing quite like working with a mother and her unborn child. The beauty of pregnancy and the energy of new life in the womb gives rise to a deep reverence for the journey the mother and child are on together.

Historically, pregnancy and childbirth were seen to by midwives, healers, birth attendants and family members. Massage was an important tool in assessing the mothers well being, the position of the unborn child and managing stress and pain before, during and after the birth. With the rise of modern medicine and a more clinical birthing environments we have lost some of these beneficial practices. Prenatal massage is making a comeback through the rise of birthing centers and the resurgence of midwifery and doula’s.

Massage therapy increases an individuals awareness of their body and for the pregnant woman, whose body is growing and changing everyday, this awareness is an amazing tool in understanding and accommodating their needs and connecting with their baby.  In addition to body awareness, prenatal massage provides relief from stress and discomfort associated with pregnancy. Stress relief is important for expecting mothers as stress during pregnancy has been shown to cause immune deficiency, nausea, birth complications, including preterm labor, decreases in blood supply to the uterus, fetal distress and even miscarriage.

Benefits of Prenatal Massage include:

Massage during pregnancy can be preformed not only by a licensed Massage Therapist, but by the pregnant mother herself. Gentle massage can have a soothing effect on both mother and baby. In his book, Nurturing the Unborn Child, Thomas Verny, M.D. writes that after the sixth month of gestation the unborn baby can sense massage of the abdomen and respond to that touchThis implies that not only does the mother benefits mentally and physically but so does the baby! Perhaps this type of nurturing touch could even increase the babies awareness of itself and its relationship to its mother and the world at large through the facilitator of the massage.

Prenatal Massage is safe providing the mother-to-be is experiencing a normal, healthy pregnancy. There are certain contraindications and cautions for pregnancy massage such as risk of pre-term labor, preecclampsia, ecclampsia, blood clots and clotting disorders. Consult your physician prior to receiving massage if you have any concerns..

Float Your Way to a Healthier Pregnancy and Delivery pregnant and your body is growing and changing to accommodate a new life. Not only are you concerned with having a healthy pregnancy and delivery but you are now very aware that you are responsible for another life. Trying to balance work, relationships, and the stresses placed on the body during pregnancy can be challenging. Fortunately there are options for managing these stressors and supporting your body through your pregnancy. Floatation therapy is a wonderful way to help you feel healthier and happier during your pregnancy and delivery.

As the baby grows your center of gravity begins to change causing structural shifts that can leave you feeling off balance and in pain. The most common complaints are back pain (both upper and lower), torso discomfort, leg cramps and achy feet. Floatation Therapy during the second and third trimester with clearance from your physician, can offer an amazing escape from the pull of gravity,and relief from muscle pain and tension.

Floatation takes place in a tub or a tank filled with water and 800 pounds of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). The water is kept at 94.5 degrees which is thermoreceptor neutral and safe for pregnancy.The high salt content allows the body to float comfortably without any effort, the body relaxes and stress melts away. During pregnancy it is recommended to float on the stomach with the head rested on the hands or on a float pillow.  Floating offers mothers an environment in which they can connect with their own body and their baby on a deep level. The float provides a similar atmosphere for the mother that the womb provides for the unborn child. Some women have even reported being able to hear their babies heartbeat! Floatation creates a safe, quiet, healing space for mother and baby to commune without distraction.

Relaxation is not the only benefit that floatation offers, the epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) has amazing anti-inflammatory effects and relieves muscle aches and pains. In addition, magnesium has been shown to play a vital role in pregnancy and birth. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to preterm labor, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. It is clear that adequate magnesium levels are necessary during pregnancy and delivery. The floatation solution allows the body to take in magnesium while floating effortlessly. Magnesium assists in building and repairing body tissue in both mother and fetus, as well as regulating insulin and blood glucose levels. It is understood that magnesium and calcium work together in the muscular system. Calcium works to stimulate muscle contraction and magnesium helps muscles to relax back into their normal resting state, which is why it is wonderful for muscle cramps, pain and tension.

Taking time for yourself and your baby is a wonderful gift during pregnancy and floating offers many benefits to both mother and child. Embark upon a journey within and experience the bliss of weightlessness with your bundle of joy, give floatation a try.