Adrenal Yoga and Restorative Exercises for Pregnancy Revealed
Women have a lot to battle in their daily lives. The combined challenges of work, daily responsibilities, and still finding the energy to raise well-rounded children can be daunting. During pregnancy, these tasks can create an overwhelming level of fatigue and stress. There are a few different ways to take time for yourself and boost energy levels. Adrenal yoga is one. Here you will learn how it can help to alleviate causes and concerns associated to Adrenal Fatigue (AF).
Pregnancy Can Drain You
While pregnant you provide nutrients for new life. This divides your ability to absorb nutrients by half, and can make it difficult to maintain your health. This is the reason why women are advised to use dietary supplementation in the form of prenatal vitamins during pregnancy. While pregnant, it is important to listen to your body. If you think you are becoming too exhausted to perform a certain activity, then you should rest. There needs to be a reserve of energy for you to continue to grow your baby. Resting will help you contribute to this.
If you are experiencing AF during pregnancy, be careful when you consider adding things to your routine such as exercise. You may think that because you are pregnant, your ability to exercise is limited, but that’s not necessarily the case. You should look at the things you can still do and maintain a positive outlook regarding your health and fitness. A perfect example of this is adrenal yoga. It is a great way to help yourself stay active and to recover from your new role of supporting your pregnancy.
Techniques and Benefits of Adrenal Yoga
The first technique we’re going to discuss is called “Bharadvaja’s Twist”. It works to relieve stress in the spine and abdominal organs. To practice this pose, sit on your knees with one leg behind you. The other leg should rest on your thigh. Start by placing one hand on your knee and the other slightly behind you. Proceed with a gentle stretch.
This stimulation will help to relax the tension on your back and abdominal area where your adrenal glands are located. Focus on deep breathing and keep in mind that this is a gentle exercise. It’s okay to modify this position to ensure your comfort. The purpose of adrenal yoga is to help you feel restored and refreshed, so make adjustments when needed. It is common for people, who are experiencing AF, to report difficulty falling asleep. These exercises, which lower stress and tightness, can help you overcome that problem.
The second technique: “Sukhasana” or “Easy Pose” encompasses both aspects of mental and physical practice for adrenal yoga. During this pose, you need to sit on the floor and cross your legs while ensuring that your spinal cord is aligned straight up and down. Focus on your breathing, and inhale at a normal rate, while practicing slow and elongated exhalation. This pose will help to open your hips over time, naturally contributing to a more successful birthing experiences.
If this type of yoga is done correctly, it will not only help in the form of meditation, but it will also slow your heart rate as well. Yoga has been taught as a great form of alternative medicine for thousands of years. Adrenal yoga is no different. One of the best aspects of this form of exercise is that it isn’t a substantial detraction from your energy levels. It is restorative in nature. In total, there are 21 adrenal yoga positions.
Immunological Strength from Light Exercise
When you are exhausted and run-down, you are more susceptible to illness. Limiting the effects of exhaustion should be a priority if you are pregnant because there are many risks involved in pregnancy. When you participate in light levels of exercise and yoga, for the purpose of relaxation and other health benefits, you can lower the concentrations of excitatory neurotransmitters in your system. These are the neurotransmitters that help in times of stress.
Lowering your stress levels is important overall, but especially when pregnant. During continued times of stress, your body cannot absorb sufficient nutrients to keep you and your fetus healthy. Chronic stress affects the gastrointestinal tract by slowing nutrient uptake. This reduces what you and your baby are receiving, spiking levels of cholesterol and blood sugar, and putting stress on the liver and heart.
The biggest goal, in implementing light exercise into your routine, when pregnant and experiencing AF, is to help the body find balance and utilize healthy stress response processes. If you have concerns relating to how much and why types of exercise are safe for you, contact your doctor and inquire about options for your personal situation. Safety is always the most important first step, so be sure to ask questions whenever you have them.
Adrenal Fatigue Recovery and NEM Stress Response
Our bodies have a built-in mechanism for managing stress and keeping us aware of possible danger. It is known as the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response. NEM starts when neurotransmitters in the brain signal that there is a threat. This was traditionally physical danger, but in modern times, it has transformed into job stress, relationship problems, and, in this case, pregnancy.
From the neurotransmission stage, there is a hormone response in the pituitary gland which alerts the adrenal glands to react. These responses make up the NeuroEndocrine portion of NEM. There is another side of the NEM that is comprised of physical responses that engage mostly through our organs. This physical side includes inflammatory, detoxification, and metabolism reactions.
The stress that your body undergoes, throughout a pregnancy, can contribute to AF in different ways. During pregnancy, the body’s hormone production is in overdrive, making you more susceptible to the possibility of experiencing AF. If your hormone levels are depleted before your NEM is triggered, you will have difficulty coping with demands once engaged. With the high levels of hormone production during pregnancy, it’s not as simple as just producing more. There are limits.
The concepts can be overwhelming because they are so broad, so let’s dissect NEM a bit more. When the NEM is triggered, your body halts processes like detoxification and inflammation, causing terrible imbalances and suppressing your immunological response. When you are pregnant, it is even more important to keep your immune system strong because of the complications that can arise from being compromised. Combating stress as much as possible, to halt the frequency of NEM, is a must. Once this damage has been done, your body is less able to maintain healthy gut bacteria. Added stress is put on the liver and kidneys.
Practicing light exercise, and yoga, can do wonders to lower stress and help the body return to a normal state. When there is a breakdown in your own health, due to stress induced hormone imbalance and fatigue, it is counterproductive to proper pregnancy support. Adrenal yoga is also helpful because of its relaxation and restorative properties.
Light exercise and adrenal yoga have a direct effect on adrenal health. When you are able to decrease stress and stress hormone production on the adrenal glands, you can begin to enter recovery. This helps to balance the way you metabolize food and absorb nutrients. This aids during the delicate time of carrying a child. The necessity of stress control, in the realm of a healthy pregnancy, is paramount.
Participating in light and moderate exercise can have a direct and positive effect on the levels of stress that you are experiencing when you are pregnant. You just have to be careful. The reduction of stress will help you recover from AF and allow you to focus on a positive pregnancy. Keep in mind that if you have any concerns about how you should proceed with this new information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted professional to verify that it is the correct choice for you. Then, you can move forward without reservation.
© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Dr. Lam’s Key Question
What stages of pregnancy are safe to practice adrenal yoga?
There is no definitive answer to what is best for everyone when it comes to exercise during pregnancy. Some women are safe to engage in adrenal yoga for the entire duration of their pregnancy and some will have to be more careful because of complications. Every pregnancy is different.