The author of the article is Maria Teryan, a teacher of kundalini yoga and yoga for women, accompanying with childbirth.
Quite recently, in a yoga class for pregnant women, one woman said: “I wake up in the morning, and the name of one of the Ukrainian politicians sounds in my head. Ends and after a short break starts again. And I thought that it was time to finish with the news. In my opinion, this story perfectly illustrates why any person – and especially a woman during the period of expectation of a baby – needs regular yoga classes.
Nowadays, getting information is not the goal. Information is everywhere. It surrounds and accompanies us in public and personal transport, at the workplace, when we communicate with friends, walk, in outdoor advertising and on our own phone, on the Internet and on TV. One of the problems is that we are so used to constantly being in the flow of information that we often do not realize the need to relax and be in complete silence.
Many people live at work and at home. At work, we most often sit – at a computer or, worse, at a laptop. The body is in an uncomfortable position for hours. Few people can say that they warm up regularly. And the key question is what happens to the tension that accumulates while sitting in an uncomfortable position.
We go home by car or public transport – standing or sitting, the tension continues to accumulate. With the thought that we need to relax, we come home, have dinner and … sit down in front of the TV or at the computer. And again we spend time in an uncomfortable position. At night, we sleep on too soft mattresses, and therefore it is not surprising that in the morning we get up already feeling overwhelmed and tired.
In the case of a pregnant woman, the situation is aggravated, because the body spends a lot of energy on maintaining a new life.
In the life of a modern person, there is too little physical activity and too much information that causes emotional stress. And even when we “rest”, we do not really rest: in silence, in a comfortable position for the body, on a hard surface. We are constantly stressed. Back, shoulder and pelvic problems are incredibly common. If a woman has tension in the pelvic area, then this can be the reason why the child will not be able to take a comfortable position before and during childbirth. It can be born already with tension. But first things first…
Without a doubt, one of the main skills in childbirth is the ability to relax. After all, tension causes fear, fear causes pain, pain causes new tension. Physical, emotional and mental tension can cause a vicious circle, a circle of pain and fear. Of course, childbirth is an unusual process, to put it mildly. A woman goes through it only a few times in her life, often only once. And to relax in such an unusual and comprehensive process, new for both the body and consciousness, is not at all easy. But if a woman knows how to relax, her nervous system is strong, then she will not become a hostage to this vicious circle.
That is why in yoga for pregnancy – especially in the Kundalini yoga for pregnancy, which I teach – so much attention is paid to the ability to relax, including relaxing in unusual and possibly uncomfortable positions, relaxing while doing exercises, relaxing, no matter what. and really enjoy it.
When we perform some exercise for three, five or more minutes, in fact, each woman has the opportunity to choose her reaction: she can enter the process, trusting the space and the teacher, enjoying the experience of the moment and relaxingly performing movements (or holding a certain position). Or the second option: a woman can be tense and count the seconds until the moment when this torment finally ends and something else begins. Shiv Charan Singh, a teacher in the tradition of Kundalini Yoga, said that in any situation there are two options: we can become victims of the situation or volunteers. And it is there to decide which option to choose.
There are muscles in our body that we can relax just by thinking about it, and muscles that do not relax with the power of thought. These include the uterus and cervix. You can’t just take it and relax it. In childbirth, the opening should be 10-12 centimeters, the speed of opening is about a centimeter in two hours. In women who give birth to more than their first child, it usually happens faster. The general relaxation of the woman affects the speed and painlessness of disclosure. If a woman has an understanding of the processes, if she is relaxed enough and there is no constant background anxiety, the uterus will relax and open. Such a woman does not worry about anything, listens to her body and its signals, and intuitively selects the right position, which is easier to be in at the moment. But if a woman is tense and frightened, then childbirth will be complicated.
Such a case is known. When one woman could not relax in labor, the midwife asked if something was bothering her at the moment. The woman thought for a moment and replied that she and her husband had not yet been married, and she herself was born in a very religious family. After the husband made a promise that they would definitely get married almost immediately after the birth, the cervix began to open.
Each lesson ends with shavasana – deep relaxation. Women in early pregnancy sleep on their backs, and starting around the second trimester, on their sides. This part of the program allows you to relax, release tension. Since in yoga for pregnant women we rest more than in regular yoga, many women have time to really sleep, relax and gain new strength. Moreover, such deep relaxation allows you to develop the skill of relaxation. This will help in the current state of pregnancy, and in the birth itself, and even after, with the baby.
In addition, yoga is a good muscle training, it gives the habit of being in different positions and the physical sensation of these positions. Later, during childbirth, this knowledge will definitely come in handy for a woman. She will be able to intuitively determine which position she will be comfortable with, because she will be well aware of the various options. And her muscles and stretching will not become a limitation.
It is my deep conviction that yoga is not something that you can do or not do during pregnancy. This is the perfect tool to use as a good preparation for childbirth and new life!