Importance of Pranayama during Pregnancy
Pranayama is a centuries-old breathing technique that has its roots in Indian yogic practises. It entails managing the durations and patterns of your breath. Due to the numerous health advantages of pranayama practise, it has more recently become increasingly well-known in the world. The same way pranayama has immense benefits in pregnancy. When practising pranayama throughout pregnancy, you learn how to breathe properly, inhaling healthy amounts of oxygen and exhaling harmful amounts of carbon dioxide. This enables you to look after both yourself and your child.
Women who are pregnant literally have two sets of lungs. Through the placenta, an organ that forms during pregnancy and adheres to the uterine wall, the expectant woman gives the growing baby oxygen and nourishment and eliminates waste products from the baby's blood. Changing the rhythm, depth, and tempo of breathing is a successful strategy for managing vitality in response to the difficulties and changes in the respiratory system that occur during pregnancy.
Safety considerations for practicing pranayama during pregnancy
Avoid taking rapid, forceful, deep breaths while you are pregnant. Pregnancy is not the time to use breathing exercises like bellow's breath (bhastrika) or cleaning breath (kapalabhati). In addition, Breathing rapidly and quickly could make you feel light-headed, faint, and dizzy.Any pranayama that involves holding the breath should also be avoided by expectant mothers. Never disregard your body's signals. Avoid overexertion and overusing any breathing technique, like with any sort of exercise. Practice it in a place with no pollution or noise. It is best to perform pranayama on an empty stomach. The blood circulation is further improved by exercising after a bath. Also ensure not to use your lips to breathe; instead, use only your nose.
Recommended Pranayama techniques during pregnancy
- Sit in a comfortable position. Neck and spine in line, facial muscles relaxed.
- With your mouth closed, contract the throat (the Glottis) constricting the passage.
- Breathe in allowing the air to pass through the constricted region of the throat. The duration of inhalation may be longer because of the constriction/contraction.
- Breathe out the same way.
- After a few days of practice, you will hear a hissing sound when practicing. You might feel some vibrations during initial days of practice. It will slowly settle down.
- Slight irritation in the throat initially is normal.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
- Sit in a comfortable posture (Sukhasana or Siddhasana)
- Left hand in Chin mudra (tips of thumb and index touching, other fingers straight). Place the hand on the knee or thigh.
- Right hand in Vishnu mudra or Nasagra Mudra.
- Use the thumb and ring finger to control the right and left nostrils respectively.
- Close the right nostril and breathe in from left
- Close the left nostril and breathe out from right.
- Breathe in from right.
- Close the right nostril and breathe out from left.
- Repeat it for 9 rounds.
- Sit in a comfortable meditation asana, preferably Padmasana or Siddha/ Sukhasana with the hands resting on the knees, palms facing upwards.
- Close the eyes and relax the whole body.
- The lips should remain gently closed. (This allows the sound vibration to be heard and felt more distinctly).
- Inhale through the nose. Exhale slowly in a controlled manner while making a deep, steady humming sound like a black bee.
- The humming should be smooth, even and continuous for the duration of the exhalation.
- The sound should be soft and mellow, making the front of the skull vibrate.
Bhramari with Shanmukhi Mudra:
- Raise the arms sideways and fold the arms.
- Place your thumb on the tragus, the index fingers placed on the eyelids, the middle fingers just below the eyes near the nose, the ring fingers placed on the upper lips, and the little finger placed just below the lower lip.
- Be sure to place only very light pressure on the eyeballs.
- If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or claustrophobia, you may not enjoy shanmukhi mudra and should probably skip it.
Pranayama and stress management in pregnancy
You may be able to handle stress during pregnancy better if you practise breathing techniques. You may have a healthy pregnancy by engaging in deep breathing exercises and taking care of your overall wellbeing. However, taking a single deep breath in and one out might not be sufficient.Your body needs more oxygen to perform, at its best while your baby grows. Your infant also needs enough oxygen to develop correctly. Lack of deep breathing prevents the body from receiving enough oxygen. Your body will, however, acquire the oxygen it needs if you practise the right breathing techniques.
Stress and anxiety are normal parts of being pregnant. You can relax and maintain your calm by practising breathing exercises.Your body receives more oxygen as you take deep breaths. In turn, this brings comfort to sore joints and muscles.Labor is the one thing that most pregnant women dread. But labour won't be such a struggle if you routinely perform breathing techniques. You'll be able to better control your labour discomfort and contractions thanks to it. The most crucial benefit of the breathing exercises is that they will keep you "present" during your pregnancy and delivery. They'll let you take pleasure in the wonder of Child birth.
To perceive the maximum benefits of pranayama in pregnancy, one should get right guidance from the experienced trainer.Pregnant women should always be aware of the facts of pranayama before practicing it. Practicing pranayama with right guidance and support will ultimately aid in embracing the motherhood with utmost ease.
If you are the one looking to help the pregnant women deal through their pregnancy journey and looking for the right platform, here is the wonderful course offered by Bodhi School of Yoga. Enroll in the prenatal yoga teacher training programme in which you get in depth knowledge of each trimester in pregnancy, prenatal and postnatal yoga and much more!!!