Pregnancy is a really special time in the life of a woman - you are growing a whole new human being inside of you and as such there are huge demands on the body both physically and emotionally. Breathing properly is really important to open the chest as well as bring enough oxygen into the body to fuel both yourself and your growing baby.
When teaching pregnancy yoga classes both online and in person I always include breathing exercises (pranayama). They have the benefit of calming the body and mind as well as providing handy tools for birth preparation. So in this article I have decided to share three of my favourite breathing exercises for use during pregnancy. For each exercise I have provided a brief description and a video demonstrating the exercise. Read, watch and enjoy.
Note: Please check with a GP or health professional if you are unsure whether these exercises are suitable for you. None of these exercises involve holding the breath (which you should NOT do during pregnancy.)
1. Golden Thread Breath
This is a really important pranayama (breathing exercise) to practice when pregnant. It is a really calming and gentle technique that is easy to use in various different circumstances, including for pain relief. Practice this exercise as much as you can so that it becomes second nature. This is a great technique for pain relief and best used in the first stages of labour i.e. when your contractions begin. Use it through the peak of your contractions. I have also know pregnant ladies use this for coping with other pain such as sciatica or even a broken leg (although of course this lady went to hospital for medical treatment!) Watch the video below to find out more.
2. Heart to Womb Breath
Bonding with your baby is such an important part of pregnancy and also the postnatal period. For some ladies this doesn't come instantly and for everyone it is a process that takes months and even years. To start the process of connecting with your baby, do this really beautiful breathing exercise (pranayama) on a regular basis. It helps you to bond with your unborn baby. Sit comfortably using a cushion underneath you or the wall or a chair for support and press play. Enjoy!
3. Ujjayi Breath
This exercise is good to practice regularly so that it becomes second nature. This exercise is a useful breathing exercise generally and is used a lot in general yoga classes but in pregnancy it is used during the second stage of labour i.e. when baby is actually is born. It has a warming and downwards feeling to it to help with the journey that baby takes down the birth canal. Watch the video to find out how to do this exercise.
Practice these breathing exercises as often as you can during pregnancy as they have so many fantastic benefits.
If you would like more information about using breathing exercises and guided relaxation during pregnancy please see my online course for pregnant mamas:
Relax Mama Relax - Guided Relaxations and Breathing Exercises for Pregnancy and Birth Preparation
Finding time to relax when pregnant is essential for when preparing for the birth of your baby. This lovingly created series of guided relaxations and breathing exercises will help you to nurture yourself as a mother and begin the process of bonding with your baby. Becoming a mother can put a lot of strain on your body both physically and mentally and through this course you will learn to take care of yourself, reduce anxiety and relieve tired muscles.
Find out more here: https://coursecraft.net/courses/z9Szx