By Guest Writer: Karine Halle
Pregnancy is a time when women experience a tremendous amount of change physically, emotionally, and hormonally. While embarking on this adventure takes a lot of getting used to, there is often a misconception regarding expecting mamas and “limitations”.
It is not uncommon for women to be on the receiving end of comments such as “you should be taking it easy, you’re pregnant”, “I don’t think you should be exercising as much”, and my favourite, “pregnancy is a time to sit, relax, and indulge”. For some reason, women are often portrayed as fragile beings who should be overly cautious of anything and everything they do.
Karine wears 7/8 Legging Havana.
As a 27-year-old first time expecting mama, paddleboard yoga and yoga instructor, I too had doubts and fears regarding pregnancy. While experiencing the indescribable joy of finding out I had a bun in the oven, I also feared the changes that would “have” to come with pregnancy. I was terrified of being unable to enjoy the physical activities I love, teaching yoga, and losing “my body”.
Although it is important to be mindful of the gentle blooming life growing within the womb, that is not to say that women should not feel empowered, strong and beautiful during pregnancy. After doing much research, reading, and speaking to my health care provider, I was reassured that it is generally safe to maintain the same fitness regime as before pregnancy without adding intensity. One of the ways I have managed to maintain my sanity (because let’s face it, hormones can make you go a little crazy), my physical strength, and overall well being is with yoga and daily “mama” walks where I listen to podcasts, meditations and soothing music.
Karine wears 7/8 Legging Butterfly Effect.
Practicing yoga during pregnancy has an abundance of benefits for mamas to be.
As pregnancy progresses, the lungs start to get crowded thus making it more difficult to breathe. It is not uncommon to experience shortness of breath as the baby grows. Pranayama taught in yoga classes can help women find a more purposeful breath. Breathing techniques are also crucial when it comes to labor and delivery to stay strong and avoid depletion.
Gentle yoga and prenatal yoga classes are great ways to get your body moving without straining or overexerting yourself. These classes allow women to work on their strength and mobility as well as relaxation and connection with the baby. It is important to be mindful of not overstretching during pregnancy which can lead to injury due to a hormone called Relaxin. Relaxin is what allows your joints and ligaments to stretch and move to make enough room for baby and prepare you for childbirth.
Getting Ready for Delivery Day
Many asanas practiced in prenatal yoga classes are focused on hip opening. These poses help to prepare the muscles and ligaments around the hips and pelvis to aid with the delivery process. Postures like seated butterfly, malasana and goddess squat are ideal. Some believe that labouring in these positions can aid with a quicker and more efficient delivery.
Although this is not a direct benefit from practicing yoga, it goes to say that attending prenatal yoga classes is a great way to meet other expecting mamas. Having a support group with like-minded people during pregnancy can help ease a lot of anxiety.
Pregnancy can be an overwhelming time for many women. It is not uncommon for expecting mothers to experience anxiety and insomnia linked to hormonal changes, nausea, discomfort and the fear of the unknown. The mommy intuition can really keep the mind running 10000 miles an hour. Yoga and meditation are great ways to disconnect from the busy mind. It allows you to practice releasing tension and letting go of what is beyond the present moment. These techniques are efficient ways to prepare for labour in a more relaxed manner as well as help with insomnia.
Karine wears 7/8 Legging Butterfly Effect.
From one mama to another, I hope that you feel empowered during your pregnancy. Your body is the host of a miracle and you were made for this. There are so many resources out there for expecting mothers. Please, do not be afraid to reach out and to ask questions. Find other empowering women who inspire you and surround yourself with love. Also, if you are looking for beautifully designed yoga wear that is pregnancy friendly and offers cute matching “mini me” styles, Liquido Active is the brand for you. Liquido has been my go-to since the beginning of this pregnancy. The high-waisted designs are perfect to keep my growing bump supported! You can use code KARINELIQUIDO for additional savings on your next purchase!
Enjoy this new adventure mama, it’s one heck of a ride!
About the Writer:
Karine is a 27-year-old yoga and paddleboard yoga instructor from Canada expecting her first child. She has been doing yoga for over 10 years and still humbly considers herself a student; always open to learning and growing. She has been a Liquido Active ambassador since October 2018.