‘I wouldn’t do this again in a hurry!’
I mutter to myself as I endure a blur of queasiness and bone-tiredness.
I really do find that I have to follow my body’s demands for rest – yet again I am walking myself to my bed! There is no other option, you simply can’t fight it and drive yourself.’
– Ana’s pregnancy diary, 2004
When I was pregnant with my son 14 years ago, in addition to resting – a lot! – I found that constant ginger tea and regular protein snacks helped keep the relentless nausea at bay. And I also found refuge in a restorative yoga practice that gently supported my energy during this more delicate, first stage of pregnancy.
Our Senior Bliss Baby Yoga Teacher and mother of two, Mari Notaris, agrees that expecially if a woman is suffering from ‘waves of nauesea’ restorative yoga should be the ‘go-to’.
‘In my experience there is not much else that she really needs at this stage. One of the most nurturing of all of the restorative yoga postures would be Supta Baddha Konasana (supported Bound Angle pose—see Posture 2 in Ana’s Sequence), or the Goddess pose (with legs straight and a blanket or bolster under knees—pictured),’ recommends Mari.
Mari suggests a woman use as many props as possible, in order to ‘support her whole body so that she feels as if she is being held’. She goes on to say:
‘Ensure the height of the bolster which is supporting her spine, is adjusted according to her needs and add the gorgeous touch of a small rolled blanket around the shoulders, neck and head so that her swirling thoughts and nauseated sensations are a little more contained. Be aware of the sternum area and ensure that she has not collapsed and is not compressing the stomach and lung area. You can add on a beautiful pranayama practice such as the Yogic breath to gentle massage her torso and calm her thoughts.’
Another senior Bliss Baby Yoga Teacher, Emma Grant, is also a mother of two girls and she found that she managed the nausea in her two pregnancies by listening intuitively to what her body wanted and needed. “It may have been avoiding a certain food that felt too heavy for my digestion or to know when to rest,” explains Emma. “The practice of Yoga Nidra with a silk eye pillow was my daily ‘go-to’ and seemed to help the nausea or any other symptoms that arose, such as headaches or tiredness”.
Ana Davis is director and founder of Bliss Baby Yoga and is the lead teacher on the Online Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training Course. She is currently working on creating a new Online Restorative Yoga Teacher Training Course.