BKS Iyengar introduced this style of yoga almost 100 years ago. It has proved to be timeless and is set to carry on for hundreds more.
Why practice Iyengar Yoga in pregnancy?
Unlike many yoga classes that focus on basic postures, Iyengar yoga for pregnancy is far more nurturing for both the body and soul. The principles of Iyengar yoga in pregnancy surround facilitating the mother to purify her soul in addition to strengthening her body for labour.
The teachings intend for expectant mothers to take care of her physical health, as we know that this impacts the baby. Women are also encouraged not to practise yoga with the intention of achieving a certain type of birth, but instead to impart good sanskaras or auspicious imprints through to the growing baby.
Is there a physical benefit for expectant mothers?
Yes! Through Iyengar Yoga, pregnant women practise asanas. This enables the expectant mother to strengthen her spine and back while improving her circulation. Through doing this, the endocrine system will function better. It is when these systems are healthy that the body can thrive during pregnancy.
What should women expect from an Iyengar Yoga course?
With regards to what would happen in the class, it is more concerned with specific yoga postures than the breathing techniques that you may find in other pregnancy yoga classes. The classes use props, such as blocks, belts, benches, and straps. These help women to hold and extend some of the poses. All of the Iyengar Yoga poses are safe in pregnancy when taught and supervised by a qualified practitioner.
Iyengar Yoga is unique with its use of props which enable the expectant mother and also the baby to achieve all the benefits without putting the body under any undue pressure. It is an ideal way to exercise the spine which will relieve the general back ache that can be common as pregnancy progresses. Another vital benefit is the inevitable strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles. These are integral to labour, birth and postnatal recovery.
Despite all of the physical benefits, women who have practised Iyengar Yoga during pregnancy describe the mental calmness that follows their classes and many also state that their sleep is much improved for the following evenings, too.
You can find a qualified Iyengar Yoga instructor here.