Yoga in the first trimester. Congratulations! You will welcome a new earthling soon. What happens in your body now is a magical interplay of biology and divine energy. For many women, pregnancy is a very happy time. But it can also be exhausting, confusing and challenging. Not only does your body undergo great changes, but also your psyche, your emotions, and your spiritual life. Yoga offers millennia-old tips and tricks to help you in this new phase of your life.
Rest and relaxation
Your body produces a new life out of nothing. For that, it needs a lot of energy and attention. Therefore, allow yourself enough relaxation and rest. Your body is now changing drastically: breasts are growing, hormones are changing and your uterus is expanding. These changes can cause side effects such as tiredness, dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite, cravings or mood swings. Personally, I was very low on energy during the first three months of my pregnancy. Although I never had nausea and I never had to vomit, but I was always tired and spent a lot of time in bed. I was quickly exhausted from small activities. Anyways, in the 4th month everything was better again, so hold on tight.
Yoga in the first trimester
Yoga helps with the upcoming transformation - physically, mentally and spiritually. Your body is changing a lot now, but you may not feel it much or you may not even feel pregnant right now. You cannot see a tummy yet, you do not feel any kicks and you are not yet recognized by others as pregnant. Therefore, it is important to be very careful with the body. Mindfulness and awareness are needed. You now have the responsibility for another being. Imagine how your baby feels in the stomach during the exercises - what is good and what is not. In early pregnancy, you can practice almost all asanas normally, if you pay attention to a few things:
♥ Be mindful - listen to your body and its limits
♥ Send your ambition and your ego on vacation - listen to yourself and do what is good for you.
♥ Modify the sun salutation - gentle, without pressure on the stomach and no jumps.
♥ Begin to physically prepare yourself for the upcoming birth. All hip-opening and back-strengthening asanas are now your best friends (Bardhakonasana - Butterfly, Majariasana - Cat).
♥ Spoil yourself - Do everything which makes you feel comfortable in your own body. Buy a nice new bra, treat yourself to a bubble bath, get a message.
♦ Over-exertion - save the exhausting asanas for the time after birth. Relaxation and stretching are now the focus. Your breath should always flow calmly. If it becomes restless, switch to a simpler variation or rest for a few moments in Balasana (child pose).
♦ Squeezing your stomach – Asanas, where you lie on your stomach or where you compress the stomach in any way is taboo for the next 40 weeks. (e.g. Naukasana - boat, Bhujangasana - cobra) Your uterus and your little miracle need space to expand.
♦ Twisting postures - the same applies to extreme twisting postures, in which your stomach is totally squeezed. (e.g. Ardha Matsyendrasana – Half Spinal Twist, Shava Udarakarshanasana – Universal Spinal Twist)
♦ Jumps - If you practice an active style of yoga like Ashtanga yoga, you should switch to a gentler style for the next 9 months. Switch to Hatha yoga, the mother of all yoga styles.
♦ Inverted postures - are not all ruled out, but if you're just a yoga newbie, now is not the time to master the headstand. In early pregnancy, nothing speaks against inverted postures, if you can do them safely and without falling.
Asanas - Yoga in the first trimester
Badhakonasana (butterfly) makes your hips flexible and stimulates blood flow in the abdomen. It helps to a gentle birth.
Malasana (deep squat) opens your hips and strengthens the pelvic floor.
Majariasana Variation (diagonal two-legged stand) strengthens your back and your core muscles.
Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1) stretches your hips, strengthens the abdomen and tones arms, shoulders, legs.
Pranayama - Yoga in the first trimester
Nadi Shodhana or Alternating Breath cleanse your energy channels and balances your hormone balance. It relaxes your mind, your body and lets prana (life energy) flow freely again. Here you can find our detailed video tutorial for Nadi Shodhana.
Ujjayi Pranayama calms the mind and centers your energies. It helps you to focus on yourself and consciously stay in the moment. You can do this pranayama along with the asanas or after the asanas as an extra exercise. With Ujjayi pranayama, you narrow the vocal cords and thus control the air flow. Just imagine, you're breathing on a mirror. Do this with your mouth closed. After some time, you can not only keep the fine rushing exhaling but also inhaling. Ujjayi breathing keeps heat in the body and the acoustic noise helps you to stay in the moment.
Spirituality in pregnancy
The aura of a pregnant woman is one of the simplest energy fields to see. It is flooded with light and golden color. The golden color is an indication that the pregnant woman is deeply connected with spiritual beings who support her. Your pregnancy is a very special period in which tremendous spiritual growth is possible. Now is a fruitful time for meditation, spiritual reading, and work on your intuition and perception.
Meditation - Yoga in the first trimester
During pregnancy, your rhythm and your baby's rhythm get in line. In technical terms, this is called ‘entrainment’.
Through meditation, you can not only strengthen this process but also build a strong relationship with your little miracle. Furthermore, you must train your mind to allow relaxation of the body. Once you are a master of relaxation, nothing stands in the way of a simple and quick birth. I highly recommend that you meditate from the beginning of the pregnancy. Train your ability to relax. If you are a meditation beginner, I recommend 'guided meditations', which in the true sense is not meditation, but concentration. You can find them in heaps on the internet, also special ones for pregnancy.
If you already practiced true meditation (calming of the mind), I recommend breathing meditation. It calms the mind by focusing on one's own breath. With this form of meditation, you relax your breath, your body, and your mind.
Mantra Chanting - Yoga in the first trimester
A mantra is a syllable, word or phrase that expresses certain qualities. When you repeat a mantra loudly, the vibrations of that quality reach our body and mind. Mantra Chanting is thus a method to promote certain qualities in us. There are thousands of mantras, especially in Sanskrit. Suitable for pregnancy would be "Aum" or the Ganesha Mantra for new beginnings.
But it does not have to be a Sanskrit mantra, you can think of a word or phrase which create positive feelings. For example: ‘I am loved’, ‘I create and support a miracle’, ‘Thank you’.
Every day after your asana or pranayama session or just in between, you can recite your mantra. Your baby will also receive the vibrations.