BREATHING TECHNIQUES FOR PREGNANCY

18 Dec

Allowing our bodies to find their natural breathing rhythm brings into alignment all the systems of the body-our heart rate, blood flow, cerebral spinal fluid, hormone flow, lymph drainage, energy streaming and ultimately the pace of contractions in labor.

pregnant yoga 2

Whole Body Breathing

Whole body breathing is a natural and intuitive breath. In whole body breathing we release control of our breathing and invite our bodies’ natural rhythm to arise. When we relax, open and allow the natural rhythm of our breath to arise, then all the other rhythms can resonate more instinctively. We breathe into all the parts of our body.

The practice:

  • Lie or sit in a comfortable, supported position
  • •Become aware of the natural rhythm of the breath.
  • • As you inhale observe the natural rise of the belly
  • • As you exhale, observe the belly’s natural fall
  • • As you inhale, feel a sense of creating inner space, oxygenating all the parts of your body
  • • As you exhale, feel a sense of a gentle letting go or dissolving into experience
  • • As you inhale, visualize drawing in nourishment, love, vitality
  • • As you exhale, visualize letting go, letting be and allowing the body to soften into stillness.

Whole body breathing does not require force or effort, just a natural sense of expansion and a full, gentle release or emptying.

Sheetali: Cooling Breath

The word sheetali means cooling in Sanskrit. The practice of sheetali calms the mind and reduces the stress or fight-flight response. It cools the body and mind and lowers blood pressure. Sheetali may be a useful yoga breath to cool the body and calm the mind during labour.

The practice:

  •  Sit in a comfortable seated position and commence deep breathing.
  •  Inhale through the mouth by rolling the tongue, allowing the air to be cooled via tongue
  •  Inhale initially for 4 seconds and exhale for 6 seconds.
  •  With practice, one can increase the counts of the breathing.

Breathing should be relaxed and not forced. If at any time you feel dizziness, stop the practice.

Contraindication:

Low blood pressure.

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