Yoga Postures For Normal Birth
Childbirth is a natural process and every woman knows how to give birth, but due to lack of awareness of her own body and detachment to her inward self, woman needs to be constantly reminded of what she already knows. This is where YOGA helps by unifying body, mind and breath. This union of body mind with breath is of immense help in pregnancy and during labor. Special yoga asanas, mediation and relaxation techniques taught here at pregnancy 101 prepare the woman very well to stay grounded and balanced in all circumstances and to deal with rigors of labor smoothly.
Following are a series of some simple asanas, which will keep the mother energetic and positive in spite of the hormonal and physical changes that, she experiences during pregnancy and they will also promote the healthy growth of the fetus inside the mother’s womb.
- Toe bending – sit with legs outstretched and feet together place the hands besides the buttocks, lean back a little using the arms to support the back. Move the toes of both the feet slowly backward and forward keeping the feet upright. Inhale as the toes move backward and exhale as the toes move forward.
- Ankle bending – sitting in the same position as above slowly move both feet backward and forward bending them from ankle joints. Inhale as the feet move backward and exhale as the feet move forward.
- Ankle rotation – same sitting position keep the leg shoulder width apart and straight. Slowly rotate the right foot clockwise from the ankle 10 times and repeat 10 times anticlockwise, repeat the same procedure with the left foot. Now rotate both the feet together in the same direction clockwise and anticlockwise. Inhale on upward movement and exhale on downward movement.
- Hand clenching – sit in any position and hold both arms straight in front of the body at shoulder level, open the hands, palms facing down and stretch the fingers as wide apart as possible. Now close the fingers to make a tight fist with thumbs inside. Again open the hands and stretch the fingers. Repeat 10 times, inhale on opening the hands and exhale on closing the hands.
- Wrist joint rotation – in any sitting position extend both arms infront of the body at shoulder level with the fists loosely clenched. Rotate the fists together in the same direction practice 10 times in both the directions.
- Shoulder rotation – in any sitting position place the fingers of the right hand on the right shoulder and left hand on the left shoulder. Fully rotate both elbows at the same time in a large circle. Try to touch the elbows infront of the chest in forward movement and touch the ears while moving up. Stretch the arms back in the backward movement and touch the sides of the trunk while coming down. Practice slowly 10 times clockwise and anticlockwise. Inhale on the upward stroke and exhale on the downward stroke.
- All the muscles and joints are exercised to ensure maximum strengthening and flexibility. It improves blood circulation with minimum energy expenditure.
- These asanas will help squeeze water from the tissue spaces in the body.
- Reduce the swelling of hands and feet
Get down on all fours on your mat and place your hands directly below your shoulders, inhale while raising the head and depressing the spine so that the back is concave, exhale while lowering the head and stretching the spine upward like a camel hump. Perform 5 full rounds with fluid movements.
- This improves the flexibility of neck, shoulders and spine.
- Relieves lowers back pain.
- It strengthens the back muscles.
Sit with your leg outstretched on mat, bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together keeping the heels as close to the perineum as possible. Keep your spine straight, clasp the feet with both hands and gently move the knees up and down. Do this 30 times.
- Increase the mobility of hip joints.
- Tones the pelvic floor.
- Stretch the inner thigh.
It is a simple squatting position used in natural childbirth. In order to practice this asana during child delivery a woman must be able to squat with both heels flat on the ground for a few minutes and then rise smoothly. Full squatting should be practiced in the last weeks of pregnancy and before that little bending or semi squats are recommended.
- The woman who labors in this position can bear down with great efficiency.
- Labor is far more easy and quick.
- Energy is released in right direction.
Lie flat on the back with knees bend, placing the soles of the feet flat on the floor. Feet and knees should be hip width apart, place your arms besides your buttocks with palms facing downwards. Raise the buttocks and the back upward. Hold the pose for a few seconds and then lower the body, practice 5 rounds. Inhale while going up and exhale while lowering down.
- Strengthens the back muscles and relieves backache.
- Massages and stretches the abdominal organs and improves digestion.
- Balances the thyroid hormone.
- Tones the female reproductive organs.
- Removes excess water from kidneys.
- Nadishodhan pranayama – sit in any comfortable position keeping the spine straight. With your right hand bring your pointer finger and middle finger to rest between your eyebrows. Close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through your left nostril. Now close your left nostril with the ring finger and open your right nostril and release the breath slowly. Again inhale through the right and exhale from the left. Repeat 5-10 cycles without any force.
- Whole body is nourished by extra supply of oxygen for both mother and child.
- Efficient removal of toxins.
- Abundant energy for both.
- Induces tranquility and clarity of thought.
- Lowers the level of stress and anxiety.
- Channelization of energy.
- Bhramri pranayama – sit in any comfortable position and close your eyes. Place your index finger on your ears right at the cartilage. Breathe in deeply and slowly, while breathing out press the cartilage with your fingers while making a loud humming sound like a bee. Lips should be lightly closed, repeat it 6-7 times.
- Helps in reducing high blood pressure.
- Instant way to relieve tension and anxiety.
- Helps in alleviating insomnia.
- Increases the healing capacity of the body.