Yoga To Help With Pregnancy Heartburn
Yoga is such a wonderful way to keep fit during pregnancy. It has all the advantages of stretching with the added bonus of that the breathing techniques you practise during a yoga session are hugely beneficial when it comes to giving birth. Yoga in pregnancy promotes health and well-being, is great for alleviating stress and tension, improves your circulation and releases endorphins to make you feel good too!
Yoga to help with heartburn
Heartburn during pregnancy is often dismissed as a ‘one of those things’ – but next time instead of grabbing a bottle of antacid try a few minutes of yoga instead.
But do have a chat with your midwife or doctor first and let them know what yoga postures you are intending to use so they can observe or check your progress and advise you if there are any medical reasons for you to avoid any positions or exercises.
Heartburn in pregnancy
A combination of the softening of the valve at the entrance to your stomach due to the hormone progesterone and the increasing size of your developing baby pressing up under your diaphragm makes heartburn a common affliction during pregnancy.
Eating small meals frequently in preference to large one and avoiding rich, spicy and fatty foods can help. Avoid eating too late at night as well.
A number of yoga postures can be beneficial but try just sitting in ‘Easy Pose’ and breathing deeply.
With your buttocks on the floor, cross your legs with your feet directly below your knees. Rest your hands on your knees with palms upward. Press your hip bones down into the floor and reach the crown of the head up, lengthening your spine and opening up the space in your diaphragm.
Relax your shoulders, allowing them to drop down and back, pressing your chest towards the front of the room and inhale deeply into your belly.
Or try the Prayer Position:
Adopt a kneeling position and roll your shoulders backwards a few times to help release any tension. Bring both arms behind your back placing the wrists, palms, thumbs and fingertips together.
Bring your hands higher up the centre of your back, placing them between your shoulder blades – or as close to your shoulder blades as you are able to without discomfort. Relax your shoulders and allow your chest to widen as you breathe. Hold for a minute before relaxing your arms by your sides.
Yoga to help with stiff neck
Sometimes yoga in pregnancy is just about taking a moment for yourself to ease any stiffness in your neck, breathe deeply and relax. A few minutes focussing on releasing tension, becoming more aware of yourself and your growing baby and remembering how to relax is great for your pregnancy health and well-being!
If you find sitting cross legged or in a half lotus position uncomfortable simply kneel on your mat with your body centred over your feet.
Start by letting your head hang forward relaxing the nape of your neck, your shoulders, face and eyes. Breathe comfortably rotating your head over your shoulder, back, over the other shoulder and forward in a circle. Continue three or four times, come back to the centre and repeat in the other direction.
Sit up tall and relax your shoulders with your head centred.
Raise your right arm and place the palm on the left side of your head so you feel the stretch along the side of your neck. Make sure you don’t pull on your neck, just allow the weight of your arm to gently assist the stretch. Breathe and hold before coming back to the centre and repeating on the other side.
Yoga expert Vikki says: The half lotus position can constrict the blood flow to the lower parts of the legs which can be a problem if you are prone to varicose veins – in which case it is much better to kneel or sit cross legged.