By Faye Martins
With so many styles of Yoga to choose from a pregnant student may not be sure which direction to take. The first direction is to do your fair share of research for a qualified, competent, and certified prenatal Yoga teacher. After that, there may be more than one style to choose from. Most prenatal Yoga instructors teach some form of therapeutic Hatha, but prenatal Kundalini DVDs can also be found.
“Kundalini” comes from the Sanskrit words for “coiled serpent” and refers to the creative energy, or prana, stored at the base of the spine. When all seven of the body’s energy centers are flowing freely, Kundalini awakens and travels up the spine from the root to the crown chakra. As prana moves, it awakens consciousness, increasing awareness and intuition.
Until it came to the United States in 1969, Kundalini Yoga was a mysterious Indian art handed down from master to student. A highly spiritual practice, it synchronizes breathing and movement to intensify their effects on specific areas of the body. Classes usually begin with chanting and end with meditation.
Favored by many women as a way to maintain spiritual and physical balance during pregnancy, Kundalini Yogic movement can be appropriate for the experienced practitioner who needs to adapt her normal practice as well as the newcomer who wants to start Yoga for the first time. Because it can be physically demanding, this style of Yoga training requires the assistance of a well-trained teacher who is familiar with prenatal Yoga.
Advantages for Pregnant Students
• Creates awareness
• Releases endorphins
• Deepens connection to self and baby
• Creates atmosphere for support when practiced in prenatal classes
• Teaches how to trust intuitive instincts
• Relaxes the nervous system and muscles
• Decreases swelling
• Prepares the body for labor
• Relieves aching backs
• Helps to maintain balance
• Tones the body and maintains good physical health
• Lessens depression and alleviates anxiety
• Increases flexibility
Precautions for Pregnant Students
• Modify Kundalini techniques to meet the needs of a changing body.
• Avoid over-exertion and limit the time spent in each session.
• Join a prenatal class or set up a private session with an experienced teacher.
• If doing alone, consider working with a partner.
• Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise and provide updates during regular office visits.
If prenatal classes are not an option, several videos that teach women to do Kundalini movements are available at bookstores and websites. Pregnancy is a journey through unchartered territory. Yoga provides the tools to be present in every moment and enjoy the process.
© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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