Rita guides you through a most loving and sacred yoga practice. Her gentle nature and lightness allow for the most wonderful unfolding to take place in her class. As a fellow student and teacher I am always appreciative of her gifts and radiant smile she shares with others. ... Aarti Ganesh           Read more...

Pre-Natal Yoga

Pregnancy, a new dimension in a woman’s life, a state of poise and grace, is one of her greatest experiences in life. Maternity is not only to bring a child in the world – instinctively, ignorantly or machine like, it is a process of conscious creation. So the saying “As you sow, so shall you reap.” is very true in this regard. A woman who has looked after her health properly will reap the reward by having a healthy pregnancy and producing a healthy child.



The pregnancy is a totally new experience, a unique journey in a woman’s life. How nice it would be then to begin this journey with Yoga where there is union of cosmic and individual souls. Yoga is a system that is concerned with the evolution of body, mind and spirit; it is the discipline that is concerned with integrated development of all aspects of an individual.

PRE-NATALYOGA

• Pre-natal Yoga can be of great help to the expectant mothers during the pregnancy, at childbirth time and in post-delivery stages. It helps to such an extent that not only we can minimize surgical interferences and much of the painful miserable experience of expectant mother but also convert the stage into a very special, pleasant and memorable one.

• The simple Yoga poses help to make the body more flexible, improve body posture and ease many pregnancy problems.

• The practice of Yoga promotes optimum health of body and mind, unifying a mother’s physical, emotional and spiritual growth with that of her child and helps her to connect to the baby growing within her.

• Yoga relieves the common physiological problems - swelling of feet (Edema), backache and cramp in legs.

• It also relieves psychological problems – worry, irritability, sensitivity, anxiety and disturbed sleep during pregnancy.

• Yoga enhances overall well being and growth of the baby. It creates a very positive environment in which the baby can grow in all the dimensions and achieve its full potentials. The fruits of this total growth can be seen when the baby grows in to a strong, healthy and balanced personality.

• It is rightly said that happy Mommies make happy Babies.

YOGIC TOOLS

Yoga has 6 vital tools for pregnancy. When followed together, they work wonders on mother’s health and her capability to have a smooth pregnancy. They are: Yogasanas, Pranayama, Bandhas, Meditation, Deep Relaxation and Diet.

AUMKAR AND BRAHMARI PRANAYAMA

Start the session with Aumkar and Brahmari Pranayama. For that sit in any comfortable posture with the spine & head erect. You can keep your hands on the knees in Gyan Mudra Posture (join the tips of the index fingers to the tips of the thumbs while keeping the other fingers extended & loose). Close your eyes gently & relax all the muscles. Do each Pranayama 21 times.

BENEFITS

Oumkar and Brahmari Pranayamas done regularly for only a few minutes daily throughout pregnancy keep the endocrinal system regulated to maintain the pregnancy successfully.

STANDING POSITION

HASTOUTTANASANA
• Stand straight with your feet apart & hold your hands above your head with your fingers locked together, palms out.
• Inhale, bend backwards.
• Exhale, straighten up & keeping your fingers interlocked and placing your palms upward on your head.
• Perform this Asana 5 times.

TRIYAK TADASANA
• Same standing position.
• Place your hands on your hips
• Inhale & bend to your right.
• Exhale, straighten up
• Now inhale & bend to the left.
• Perform this Asana 5 times.

PADASANA

PART 1
• Lock your fingers together, palms up & inhale.
• Exhale & bend forward as much as you can without straining yourself too much.
• Inhale, straighten up.
• Perform this Asana 5 times.

PART 11
• Stand straight & hold your hands together by locking your fingers behind your back.
• Inhale, bend backwards.
• Exhale, straighten up.
• Perform this Asana 5 times.

BENEFITS
The combination of these four Asanas improves blood circulation, reduces back pain, strengthens back muscles and helps strengthen thighs.

SHAVASANA

PART 1
• Lie down on your back with your legs resting from knee downwards on a chair.
• Fold your hands together on the stomach & keep your eyes closed while you are breathing.
• Rest comfortably in this position for 2 minutes.

PART 11
• Lower your legs from the chair & turn sideways.
• Lie down on your left side with your legs bent from the hips & the knees.
• Rest in this position for 2 minutes.

BENEFITS
Relieves muscular fatigue, improves venous circulation and refreshes the body and mind.

VAJRASANA
Now from Shavasana sit up either in crossed legs or in Vajrasana. Hands are in Gyan mudra position. Perform Vajrasana for 2 minutes. Now move on to Marjariasana.

MARJARIASANA (CAT POSE)
• Stand on your knees & on the hands.
• Bending your back downwards, inhale & raise your neck & try to stretch your neck backwards as much as you can.
• Bending your back upwards, exhale & bend your neck downwards between your hands.
• Perform this Asana 10 times.

BENEFITS
Strengthens the breast muscles, reduces back pain, helps strengthens thighs.

BALASANA (CHILD'S POSE)
• From Marjariasana sit back in Vajrasana with knees a little wider than your hips. This will create more room around the belly. It also allows deeper breathing.
• Exhale & place your forehead on the floor with your arms out in front or at your sides, whichever you feel is more comfortable, breathing normally.
• If you have difficulty sitting on your heels in this pose, place a thickly folded blanket / cushion between your back thighs and calves.
• Perform this Asana for 2 minutes

BENEFITS
This exercise helps open up your chest and pelvis & increases blood circulation. Rejuvenates the brain cells & relieves fatigue.




TITLIASANA (BUTTERFLY)

PART 1
• Sit on the floor with your soles together and knees wide apart.
• The feet should be as close to the trunk of the body as possible.
• Hold your feet together with your hands. Inhale & move your knees up, exhale & move your knees down. This motion is like flapping of the butterfly wings. Perform this Asana 20-30 times.

PART 11
• Support your knees with your hands, inhale & raise them, try to bring them together.
• Exhale, bring your knees down. Place your palms on the knees, keeping your feet together.
• Press down on your knees & try to bend your legs as much down as you can.
• Perform this Asana 10-20 times.

PART 111
• Spread your legs apart, inhale & place the palms on the floor in front of you between your legs.
• Exhale, walk your hands forwards bending forward as much as you can.
• Inhale, walk your hands backwards till you straighten up.
• Do it thrice.

PART 1V
• Place your hands, palms down on your right thigh, inhale
• Exhale & walk your hand down on the leg bending forward.
• Touch the toes on your right foot & hold them with both of your hands for sometimes.
• Inhale, walk your hands back & straighten up.
• Repeat the step with the other leg.
• Do twice more with both the legs.
• Come back to the half lotus position.

PART V- ON THE BACK
• Lie down on your back on the mat with legs bent & place your feet on the floor.
• Hold your knees with your hands
• Inhale & raise your legs bending them from the hips.
• Exhale, push down on your knees & spread your legs apart.
• Try to touch the soles of your feet.
• Put your legs down & place your feet on the floor.
• Perform this Asana 10 times.

BENEFITS
The combinations of the above five parts are a good way of exercising the pelvis, pelvic region and hip joints and keeping the uro-genital system in good health. It eases childbirth and alleviates labour pains

KATI-UTTHANASANA (WAIST RAISED POSE)
• Lie on your back on the mat with your palms on the sides, with legs bent & place your feet on the floor.
• Bring the heels closer to the buttocks.
• Keep distance between the legs equal to the distance between the shoulders.
• Now inhale & raise the hips & waist upwards as much as possible and remain steady. Breathe normally.
• Hold the position for 3 to 5 breaths.
• Perform this Asana 3-5 times.

BENEFITS
This Asana helps in toning your hips, lower back and your abdomen muscles. It helps alleviate pains in the abdomen caused by the weight of the foetus.

ASHWASANCHALA / MAKATASANA
• Lie down on the back with your arms spread straight out, palms facing upwards.
• Raise your legs & place your feet flat on the floor.
• Inhale, bend your legs to the right & place them on the ground.
• Twist your back on the other side.
• Keep your shoulder flat on the floor.
• Exhale & come to the centre.
• Repeat this step on the other side with inhalation.
• Do 4-5 times each side.
• Legs straight & relax.

BENEFITS
Strengthens the waist & hips, helps reduces belly fat, reduces back & cervical pain, helpful in kidney problem.

PRANAYAMA
Good breathing and control of Prana (energy) are vital because just like the nutrients that you provide to your baby from your food, you are also responsible for providing him/her with high quality oxygen and Prana from the air you breathe.

SIVANANDA PRANAYAMA
• Lie on your back on the mat with your palms facing upwards. Bend both the knees. Keep the knees & feet apart.

• Take your mind to the solar plexus (navel).

• Watch the breath, breathe in as slow as possible and breathe out as slow as possible.

• While breathing in, your stomach is rising, while breathing out, your stomach is falling.

• Remain a witness to the breath

• You must remain happy in this watchfulness.

• While doing conscious breathing, you are filling the body with Prana (the cosmic energy contained in the air) and with each exhalation, while expelling impure air, you are assimilating the life giving energy just inhaled, allowing it to penetrate every fibre of your being.

• Think of the body as being healthy and the mind as being strong and that the child is developing normally. Say to yourself that every thing will turn out fine…and that the baby will be sound in body and mind with all the physical and moral qualities one would like him to possess.

• You can practice Sivananda Pranayama for a period of ten to fifteen minutes in the morning, noon, evening as well as late night, whenever your stomach feels light, about three hours after meals.

BENEFITS
By this Pranayama, you will get mental soundness. It is very useful panacea for blood pressure, mental tension and irregularity of the stomach.

PRANAYAMA- SITTING IN A CHAIR

PART 1
• Sit comfortably in a chair. Hands are upwards on the knees.
• Place your hands just below your stomach & breathe deeply.
• Perform this Pranayama for 2-3 minutes.

PART 11
• Now move your hands apart & hold your stomach from top & bottom & continue breathing deeply.
• Come back & relax.
• Hands are upwards on the knees.
• Perform this Pranayama for 2-3 minutes.

BENEFITS
Calms the mind, cleanses the system.

ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING
• Sit comfortably in a chair.
• Close your eyes & raise the right hand & place the elbow of your right hand on the palm of your left hand.
• Do alternate nostril breathing.
• Close the right nostril with the thumb & breathe in through the left nostril slowly & deeply.
• Close the left nostril with the ring & little fingers and breathe out through the right nostril gently & deeply.
• This completes one round.
• Repeat for 5 minutes.

BENEFITS
Calms the mind, cleanses the system, regulates vital life force..

MULABANDHA
Moolabandha has powerful effects on a woman’s reproductive organs. By repeatedly contracting the anus muscles up and on inner side, the elasticity of vaginal opening increases. Due to this, the child comes out easily and the lady enjoys painless delivery and pleasant childbirth.

METHOD
Focus your awareness on the anus region. Exhale and contract the anus muscles in & up. Hold for a count of five. Inhale and relax. Repeat 10 times.

DIET
It is better to take simple, fresh and vegetarian diet as far as possible. It can be digested easily. It is nutritive and very beneficial for the health of the mother and the intrauterine foetus.

MENTAL RELAXATION
Once the series of exercises are over, you can perform Yoga Nidra or complete Yogic relaxation and finish off by mental relaxation. During pregnancy, the way you are feeling & thinking will affect the child’s mental development. Whatever the circumstances, the future mother should try to lead a peaceful, well balanced life and avoid all negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, hate, desire for vengeance etc. The pregnant lady should remain in a pleasant mood by observing wide open blue sky, wide spread ground covered with green grass, hear the sweet sounds of birds, observe peacocks with expanded feathers, widespread flow of water or a boundless ocean, the flow of clear water of a river, the groups of butterfly playing on the flowers, listen to the humming of black bees, enjoy the peaceful and pleasant wind coming through the fragrance of flowers and trees, showers of rain, the children playing in the water. All these give joy, peace and comfort to the pregnant lady and to the child inside the uterus. If the food which the mother takes in its assimilated form goes into the production of the baby and form of the child in her womb, then to a great extent, the thoughts of the mother during her pregnancy give a direction & impetus to the psychological make up of the child. Hence one of the better times to train the child is when he/she is in the womb.

IMPORTANT NOTE:-
Before you start with any kind of exercise, it is important to seek permission from your gynecologist.

Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna
Aum Shanti