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Step-By-Step Yoga For Pregnancy: Essential Exercises for the Childbearing Year Paperback – 16 Apr 2000
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Yoga calms the mind, bringing a sense of peace, relaxation, and well-being as well as optimizing physical health, agility, and strength. "Step-by-Step Yoga for Pregnancy" is an essential guide to the best exercises for each stage of pregnancy and the resources you need for a harmonious pregnancy, birth, and recovery. "Step-by-Step Yoga for Pregnancy" is: a beautifully illustrated yoga handbook for all three trimesters and the weeks following delivery; the perfect resource for newcomers to yoga and invaluable for experienced students; a complete collection of safe, carefully selected postures; written in consultation with top yoga instructors, midwives, and doctors; and, approved by leading pregnancy experts. Wendy Teasdill is an experienced yoga teacher and the mother of three children. She began teaching yoga in Hong Kong, where she adapted her teaching to meet the needs of pregnant students. She lives in Glastonbury, England.
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4 customer reviews
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The text is accompanied by sweet illustrations and has a definite old-school charm! Saying that, it is up to the minute in regards to information regarding the safe practice of yoga during pregnancy.
I would certainly recommend this book as it is clear that Wendy Teasdill has a wealth of information and experience lovingly shared here.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The book is divided into three parts. The first part provides a delightful introduction to well-being throughout pregnancy from a holistic yoga perspective, so topics included are body awareness and minor disorders in the first chapter titled "How yoga enhances pregnancy" and, in "Chapter Two Yoga in everyday life", yoga in everyday activities, for example how to bend and lift, sit and pick things up, the chakras and eating well are addressed.
The three chapters in the second part detail yoga for each of the trimesters, progressively and are very extensive. In the chapter on the first trimester the author cautions against doing any active asanas and discusses the corpse pose, including restorative versions, breath awareness and a lovely 'Body of Light' baby and breathing visualisation (p.45). The pelvic floor, exercises and visualisations for this region are also described.
Almost half the book's contents deal with yoga in the second trimester and many different sequences are described. I love the author's common sense approach, for example on page 50 she writes that although "the postures...have been arranged in sequences...they may be done at other times." She goes on to give several examples such as "if it is morning but you feel tired, do an evening programme." From experience I find that pregnant women try and follow everything 'to the letter', giving them the leeway to adapt their practice and explaining why is very important and empowering for them.
Another excellent example of this common sense approach is given in relation to breathing, "If you are new to yoga... it is better to breathe normally than to try to remember exactly how and when you should be breathing with the movements." (p.50)
As well as providing a written description and illustrations for asanas, Wendy also gives rationales for doing and cautions in relation to them when relevant, for example "The Cat...Caution: Do not allow the spine to sag in this position." (p.56)
Her Salute to the Earth is a beautiful sequence which "acknowledges the nourishing and generous power of Mother Earth." (p.69) I love the author's natural language and revelation of her own groundedness "Do it outdoors and smell the earth; do it indoors and feel the security of your surrounding walls." (p.69)
In this section I think that the pelvic lift illustrated on page 81 shows too much lordosis. I have a similar opinion regarding the reclining thunderbolt [Supta Virasana] where in the illustration the woman is supported by a beanbag and bolster and the lumbar lordosis appears exaggerated. This brings home the fact that when illustrating one needs to be very precise.
In the third trimester chapter the author says that asanas described for the second trimester can be continued if comfortable and modifications will be required, for example "widening your legs... and using support when you can...Avoid standing for long periods of time." (p.112) Some lovely visualisations and meditations are included in this chapter.
Part three is relatively succinct and deals with labour, childbirth, the puerperium and after this. An explanation of "creating the place of birth", support people, the stages of labour and (yoga) positions and visualisations are provided. The final chapter deals with "Life after birth" and talks about being gentle with yourself. "You need to recover your strength, and savour the precious early days with your baby that will never come again." (p.133) In the yoga post-partum section the author gives excellent information in relation to body awareness - shoulders, pelvic floor, abdominal muscles, circulation and so on and provides detail about closing the pelvis joints "Sit in a kneeling position rather than cross-legged and focus on closing exercises such as the Cow-head pose.. and the Thunderbolt. (p.134) On page 137 a blue coloured section provides specific cautions which are excellent.
There is an extensive index and a page "Further reading and useful addresses" immediately precedes this.
Overall I would highly recommend this book to pregnant women and anyone involved in women's health. I advise readers to be mindful of the areas I have detailed where there appears to be excessive lordosis.
I plan to continue to recommend this book
I use it all the time