Publisher: Yogi Times
How wonderful to find out you're pregnant! After the excitement sets in, so does the fear in many cases. What do you do now? Many women are now using yoga in conjunction with hypnosis to strengthen their bodies and minds in preparation for bringing a new life into the world.
For these women, prenatal yoga classes can be a safe place to share their concerns in a warm, supportive environment, where they can confide in each other about the opportunities and challenges that pregnancy presents. Hypnobirthing, acupuncture and chiropractic are some highly effective tools that women can use to heighten their enjoyment of this special time, and lessen the effects of the aches, pains and fears that sometimes accompany pregnancy.
Many doctors, midwives and nurses are now recommending Hypnobirthing as a way to enjoy pregnancy and have an easier birth using hypnosis, visualization and special breathing techniques. Unbearable pain does not have to be a part of childbirth. The fear-tension-pain syndrome that many women experience is the cause of most labor pains. When there is fear, the body tightens, causing the muscles of the uterus to work in opposition and release stress hormones called catecholamine. Women who successfully employ Hypnobirthing techniques do not have contractions, because their muscles are e not tense: instead they have surges, which allow the uterus to open easily.
When the body is relaxed during labor, it produces nature's anesthesia: endorphins, which are two hundred times more powerful than morphine.
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The way to cultivate one's skill is by practicing hypnosis every day. Meditation music enhances the process. Hypnosis can be practiced anywhere and anytime, except while driving. The noises of every day life can be used to deepen the relaxation by saying to oneself, "Any sounds I might hear won't disturb or distract me: they will relax me and take me deeper and deeper into relaxation."
One of the techniques used to go into hypnosis is to focus on a spot above eye level, take in 3 deep inhalations through the nose, 3 deep exhalations out through the mouth, and repeat with the 3rd exhalation, "My eyelids will close as I become deeply relaxed." The next step is to relax the entire body from the top of the head to the tips of he toes. This is similar to savasana. Repeating positive suggestions this deep state reprograms the subconscious and the conscious mind. When ready to come out of hypnosis, all you have to do is count from 1 to 5, and at the count of 5, tell yourself "wide awake and feeling great."
Traditional childbirth classes often create more fear and tension by focusing on pain and situations that may never happen. Shallow breathing methods taught in these classes can lead to hyperventilation. In Hypnobirthing, couples focus on relaxation, hypnosis and the birth they want to have. They use long, slow ujjayi breathing to assist I shorter surges. Powerful breathing is more essential to birthing a baby rather than hard pushing. The muscles in the uterus surge effortlessly to help the baby move down in a more comfortable way. When the mind is at ease the body is able to work smoothly the way nature intended.
Hypnosis and prenatal yoga are designed specifically to assist pregnancy and birthing during the body's many changes. Yoga strengthens the body, and hypnosis focuses on releasing the fear. In yoga, the asanas are designed to tone the muscles that are used for birthing, to add more stamina and strengthen the upper body for nursing. Hypnosis and yoga are the perfect match for pregnancy and many other issues. A flexile spine means a more flexible mind.
Often women who have never done yoga before feel right at home practicing prenatal yoga, since it is so aligned with the body's natural progression toward a healthy pregnancy. It is amazing to witness the strength and balance these women have. It is never too late or early to go to a yoga class. Some women practice yoga even during labor. There is something sacred about a woman who is housing a new life within.