Whenever I ask my friends which part of their yoga practice helped them the most during pregnancy and birth – the answer is always the same, ‘the breathing’.
a great technique to practise ahead of time
The technique that comes out top is golden thread breathing. It’s great in later pregnancy and during labour for a couple of reasons: it’s fairly shallow breathing which is convenient for pregnant mamas, as there’s not much space to breathe when your baby is taking up all the room! The other reason this technique is popular with mums-to-be is because it can focus your mind during contractions and that has to be a good thing!
Here’s how to do it:
- Get yourself in a comfy position – if you’re pregnant, find a seated position where your back is supported. Don’t skimp on the cushions, tuck them behind you and around your hips if that makes your feel more supported. If you intend to use this breathing in labour then try as much as possible to relax any part of your body that you’re tensing up. I realise it’s very easy to say and very tricky to do but even just trying to relax your face and stop gritting your teeth will make a difference.
- Take a deep breath in, allowing your chest to expand. Think about the fresh new air coming in to your body and being passed on to your baby.
- As you breathe out, imagine you are blowing your breath out through a straw. Try to keep your face and lips relaxed whilst breathing out slowly. To help focus your mind on your breathing, imagine the air you breathe out will make a golden thread and watch as this thread grows longer with each breath.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3, the flow of your breathing should be slow and easy. If you feel light-headed at any point, stop and return to normal breathing.
If you are expecting a baby soon this is a great technique to practise ahead of time so when you’re in labour you’ll be able to use golden thread breathing without having to think about it.
I hope it helps!