Naturally Rockford: Prenatal Yoga at Pranayama

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11255118102209.jpg’, ”, ‘Jean Skeels’);

Giving birth is one of the most remarkable events for a human. But with it comes fear of pain associated with childbirth. This pain also spurs from the lack of control a woman feels during labor. Her body is tensing, contracting, by itself. Her breathing becomes erratic, anxious. What if one could control these aspects, or at least accommodate them better?

Pranayama (prana: life force; yama: harmonizing human movement of breath with movement of prana) Yoga Studio offers prenatal classes aimed at easing the path of pregnancy and the birthing process.

Jean Skeels, certified prenatal yoga instructor and an expectant mother, has practiced yoga for four years, and taught for two. After the birth of her second child, Skeels looked for a way to get back in shape and accommodate her recent delivery. She tried yoga and says: “There was no turning back from there. I knew it was for me.” She subsequently trailed into prenatal yoga.

Prenatal yoga allows mothers-to-be a safe physical outlet designed for their bodies, emphasizing a connection between breathing, body, mind, and spirit. Posturing keeps muscles flexible. Focusing on the body’s every movement lends a hand in controlling what these parts do. Deep, focused breaths can soothe tense muscles, and ease anxious minds. The breaths provide something to be focused on during birth instead of contractions. It is much easier to release a child if your body is relaxed. “The class provides training for that,” says Skeels.

The physical and mental benefits concerning the birthing process are not the only things taken from these classes. They provide expecting mothers an escape from the pressures of daily life, and a comfortable atmosphere to discuss pregnancy concerns and stories with others who understand. “It’s away from the house, and you get to be around other people who understand (pregnancy),” says 38-week along Angie Chalmers. Education is also prime as the ladies share moments of woe as well as excitement.

Prenatal yoga is beneficial for all stages of pregnancy. The classes provide a calm place to collect thoughts, connect, and ease into the pregnancy and the birthing role.

More Info: Pranayama Yoga Studio, 517 E. State St. (next to the Irish Rose), 815-968-YOGA.

From the Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2005, issue

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