During the hot summer of 2013, I trained as an Aquanatal Yoga Teacher. Practising yoga in water whilst pregnant reduces your body weight which causes less stress on the body’s joints.
It's harder than it looks! Because water is denser than air, these beautiful aqua goddesses holding Natarajasana Dancer pose needed more muscle force to hold this posture as gracefully as they did. Having already practised regular yoga during their pregnancy, the increased resistance provided by the water helped them gain extra strength.
Balance becomes easier and you may feel more flexible in the water due to less stress on the joints, but it's important to go easy. If tendons overstretch, they may not return to their original shape.
Belly breathing in water strengthens the diaphragm which in turn ensures we breathe correctly. Chest breathing uses muscles in ways that may cause stress that can lead to pain in the quadratus lumborum (low back muscle) and neck … contributing to a general feeling of unwellness during pregnancy.
Sometimes it's hard to try new things, especially when you're in the deep end! But by bringing your awareness inside, you can then focus on how your baby is also experiencing their life right now.
That was such a fun afternoon and thanks ladies for taking the plunge!