Pregnancy: How Yoga Relieves Anxiety

Calm the Chattering Mind

During pregnancy when there’s so much to think about and planning to do, it’s challenging to stay present.  When a mamma’s mind races into the future, and she experiences fear and doubt, anxiety can rise to heightened levels. For first time moms especially, the fear of the unknown is acute. This is normal and natural.  For some, anxiety can become debilitating.

Yoga Provides Relief

Yoga is an ideal way for a mamma to take control of her body and her mind. It also helps her confidently prepare for labor and birth. 

Movement and Poses

Standing poses ground and center. They also open the hips and strengthen and prepare the legs for what often is many hours of labor. Some go-to poses include triangle, warrior one and side-angle. When practicing these poses, consciously observe the sensations in the feet as  you bring your awareness to your breath. 

Warrior 2 opens the hips, strengthens the legs and grounds.

Warrior 2 opens the hips, strengthens the legs and grounds.

Breath Awareness Practices

There’s a connection between the breath and the mind. By regulating her breath, a mamma learns how to steady her mind. Breathing consciously and intentionally is one of the best ways to prepare for childbirth and motherhood. Two practices that can be explored throughout pregnancy are Womb Breathing and Alternate Nostril Breathing. The former can be used to great benefit during labor while the latter is a super helpful technique to use while raising children. 

Mantra/Vocal Toning/Affirmation

The repetition of sound can have a calming effect as it helps steadies the mind. It also prepares a mamma for labor when vocal toning can aid the process by keeping the whole system including her birth canal and pelvic floor open and relaxed. Effective sounds to explore include “lam” which is a sound associated with the pelvic floor or “vam” which is associated with the womb center. Tradition indicates that these seed mantras hold ancient wisdom. By exploring various sounds during pregnancy, a mamma will intuitively know which ones work best while she labors. 

Calming Reiki Session, days before birth

A Reiki Session

Calms, heals and promotes sleep.

Additional Practices

Any practice that calms and empowers a mamma can be incorporated into her yoga practice. 

Aromatherapy uses of essential oils that have a positive effect on mood and physiology and also have healing benefits. For example, lavender is a calming scent that relieves anxiety and insomnia and can prevent stretch marks and also be used after birth to reduce scar tissue. 

Pelvic Floor Awareness exercises are also key to preparing for birth and can help alleviate anxiety.  According to the chakra system, the pelvic floor is the root energy center, associated with family, lineage, security and money. Practicing these exercises, with the soles of her feet on the earth, can therefore ground a mamma physically and energetically. 

Reiki is a complements yoga and provides calming, healing relief. This gentle hands-on technique also benefits Baby in the womb.

Yoga teaches us how to focus attention and spread awareness. When the mind is focused and the body is relaxed, anxiety begins to ease. Prenatal yoga provides anxiety relief. It also promotes sleep and empowers a woman.