Pregnant Yoga Goals
Below Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani shares the goals she had with her pregnant yoga practice … in an excerpt from her article, “The Yoga of Motherhood.”
… I wished to keep my system relaxed, flexible, and free of toxins, my pelvic area and lower back flexible, my lower back and stomach strong. I wanted my legs to be strong enough to support the added weight and prevent varicose veins. I wanted plenty of pranic energy flowing through my body and breathed as deeply as I could whenever possible. I participated in as much mantra chanting as possible and tried at least to begin and end my day with a short period of concentration.
I actually only had two hours in the morning for my hatha yoga sadhana, though by participating in the ashram sadhana, I also had some time at the high noon sandhyam (transition from one period of the day to the next) for concentration-meditation and again at the sunset sandhyam for mantra chanting.
The rest of the day I carried on my busy work load: ashram administration, Swamiji’s private secretarial work, supervising the printing of books and our monthly “Yoga Life” magazine; teaching classes, receiving visitors, etc.
I did not go to a doctor until the eighth month. I only went then because I wanted to have some idea of the delivery date. At that time, the doctor told me I was in good health and should have no trouble. I found that my body did start to feel heavy towards the end of the eighth month and I found it difficult to take the deep breath to which I was normally accustomed.
Swamiji told me this was because the child was now pushing up against the diaphragm. Two weeks before the actual delivery, the child dropped in the womb and the pressure against the diaphragm and lungs lessened considerably, allowing me to resume once more my various pranayama routines.
About that time I was starting to feel “crowded” in my body. I gave vent to my feelings in a poem to my unborn child, asking the child how it had the audacity to choose me to be its mother without consulting me! In the poem I complained to the child, that there was “scarcely enough room for me in this body, let alone for thee!” I was feeling cramped for space, in spite of all my yoga!
During that last month my husband would often take me to the sea-beach where I found taking bath in the salt water made my body feel light and buoyant and gave a great relief from its heaviness …
About the Author:
Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani is the resident Acharya of Ananda Ashram in Pondicherry, India. She is also the Director of the International Centre for Yoga Education and Research (ICYER), the Director of Yoganjali Natyalayam, and Editor of Yoga Life, a publication of Ananda Ashram. For more information, visit: