Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fill Your "Bucket" with Restorative Prenatal Yoga

Reclining Goddess
This last week, my son had a lesson at school where they talked about people and activities that are "bucket dippers" and those that are "bucket fillers." He enjoyed pointing out to each person over the weekend whether they were being "bucket dippers" or "bucket fillers."

This got me thinking about all of the things we do each day that deplete or empty our emotional reserves- our "buckets" as you might say. Work, family life, traffic, shopping, cleaning...all these activities often deplete our "buckets"- which is why restorative yoga poses can feel so good- especially when we're pregnant and under additional physical stress.

Pregnant mamas are still the same person they were before they got pregnant. They can still walk, jog, swim, and even play certain sports that they might have been active in before they became pregnant. Likewise in yoga, most mamas are perfectly capable of doing a challenging asana (yoga) practice that can build strength, confidence and stamina.  But it is important to balance the practice by also practicing gentler, more restful poses that teach mamas how to soften and surrender when it’s time to relax.  In time, both active asanas and restful asanas will help during her labor, when she is required to be strong and active, as well as relaxed and open- willing to work hard and surrender and submit to her body at the same time. 

During pregnancy, one of the greatest benefits of quieter, restorative poses is that they offer mamas time to be with their babies, to listen to baby and to her own body, calm the mind, and take the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of inner thoughts and feelings. Time to become enlightened mamas.

Prenatal Yoga is great for immediate postpartum mamas as well, many of the same benefits apply.

Some of the other wonderful benefits of restorative poses include:
    Leg's Up the Wall
  • Helps reduce stress
  • Slows the heart rate
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Slows the breathing rate
  • Increases blood flow to major muscles
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Reduces hypertension
  • Renews energy
  • Helps concentration
  • Quiet time with baby!
Restorative poses in prenatal yoga utilize blocks, blankets, bolsters, straps, and eye pillows to help mamas relax and feel supported. Some examples of restorative prenatal yoga poses are pictured here.

EngagingBirth Prenatal Yoga classes are Sunday mornings 8:30-9:30 am and Wednesday evenings 7:15-8:30pm. Private classes also available by appointment. Please email me if you are interested in registering for the class: sarah@engagingbirth.com

Thank you to Lamaze's blog: Giving Birth With Confidence for originally posting these pictures and inspiring parts of this article.
Supported Child's Pose
Tarasana with Block Support

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