Qigong for Pregnancy
We are proud to offer you White Tiger Qigong’s “Qigong for Pregnancy” course. As far as we know, this is the first online Qigong course for pregnancy!
The above statements are fairly common experiences during pregnancy.
But what if you could find a practice during your pregnancy to:
support physical, mental and emotional balance and grounding?
help with stability, flexibility, mobility and strength?
reduce aches and pains?
enhance energy flow in the body?
promote better sleep?
Qigong can help with all this, and more. And so we are proud to offer you White Tiger Qigong’s “Qigong for Pregnancy” course. As far as we know, this is the first online Qigong course for pregnancy!
Why Should I Care About Getting Active During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a time when you want to take best care of yourself, to support yourself through the process, and to prepare yourself for childbirth and beyond. A number of physical and hormonal changes occur during the different stages of pregnancy, to help your body to accommodate your growing baby. Getting active during your pregnancy should make it easier for your body to adapt with these changes, to cope with labour and for post-partum recovery.
Being active during pregnancy is not only a great idea for the physical benefits, but it can also improve your emotional wellbeing. A number of studies have shown that pregnant women feel an improvement in mood, and a reduction in stress, anxiety and depression from regular movement or exercise.
Of course, this self-care is not just about your own health, but also about your baby’s wellbeing. If you are physically active, it will impact positively on your child’s health. It has been shown that even prior to birth, the babies of exercising mothers had developed “stronger, more athletic hearts” than the babies of sedentary mums (May et al., 2011).
What makes Taoist Medical Qigong such an ideal exercise during pregnancy?
Well, first of all, it requires no special skill, clothing or equipment, and its simple, gentle steps are easy to learn, even for women who have never exercised before. A pregnant woman can do Qigong to:
However, our Qigong for Pregnancy course is not just another exercise program! This program of Qigong forms has been carefully put together to support and nourish your journey through pregnancy as well as to prepare you and your baby for labour. White Tiger Qigong comes from an ancient lineage of Taoist Medical Qigong practices that were carefully formulated to care for you holistically, in harmony with nature.
Let’s break that down: so, you are not just getting a physical workout, you also incorporate breathing techniques, do breathing meditations, visualisations, and learn to direct your spirit - your intention - to really enhance the experience of the practice. If you just move your body, that is just exercise, right? But if you learn to move your body in conjunction with these other techniques, you can achieve deep levels of relaxation, from the skin, right down through the muscles, meridians (which are channels of energy, or Qi), organs, and even into the bones. This supports health and wellbeing in a way that regular exercise cannot.
And How Does This Apply to You, the Expectant Mother?
On a physical level, as your baby bump grows so you are carrying additional weight, your centre of gravity will shift. This can make it harder to maintain balance. However, the Qigong practices selected here will help you to become more sensitive to this shift in gravity. As you learn to move your body parts through different planes of motion, engaging a full range of muscles, joints and connective tissues, you will develop a heightened awareness of how your body parts move through space, and this will help you to control your balance. Additionally, in pregnancy the joints and muscles of the lower back and pelvic region are under additional tension from extra weight. This can cause lower back pain and discomfort in the abdomen as organs are compressed. If the pelvic floor becomes weak, this can lead to difficulty holding your bladder or pushing during labour. The Qigong will help relieve back pain through motions which gently expand -or decompress - and contract the spine, relieve abdominal discomfort through moving in a way which softly internally massages the organs, and strengthen the pelvic girdle through targeted movement.
We all know that it can be difficult to truly relax, both physically and mentally. But did you know that it can be as simple as learning to stand or move in a particular way, and taking control of your breathing process? Or that a certain way of moving the body will encourage deep relaxation into your body tissues? This Qigong teaches you to tap into your parasympathetic nervous system - or your ‘rest & digest’ response - more quickly, and to even be able to control when this happens. Learning to relax deeply is actually a key to reducing fatigue, increasing energy levels and improving emotional balance. This is of particular benefit if your body and mind are challenged by the changes associated with pregnancy.
Another plus point for Qigong is that you can practise outdoors or indoors. In fact, this course also includes Qigong exercises in a swimming pool for those who can access pool facilities.
“If a pregnant woman needs me for advice on what to do during pregnancy I would say they should practise Qigong. I think I'm quite lucky because before I got pregnant I had already been practising Qigong for a while. While I was pregnant, I continued practising, and thanks to that, my pregnancy went through quite gently.”
What This Course Consists Of
Designed to safely mobilise your joints, moving them gently through their full range of motion, and activate your major muscles, as well as improve energy flow through the body’s energy pathways, or Meridians.
5 Animal Qigong for Pregnancy
Forms to gently enhance abdominal circulation, improve balance, dilate meridians in the arms and legs, strengthen the lower body, train coordination, gently massage your organs and your baby, balance the emotions, develop upper body mobility and much more.
Pregnancy Prescription Qigong
Helps the expectant mother - you - to develop core strength, suppleness, stamina and stability, while enhancing the flow of Qi through the body. These practices also give you a gentle, internal organ massage, promote circulation, loosen tight shoulders, back muscles and fascia, and relieve back pain. Other benefits include improved focus, more efficient breathing, and learning how to deepen the relaxation response. This can not only help you to let go of stress or tension, but can also improve sleep patterns, and have a restorative effect, leaving one feeling refreshed and more energised.
Stances and Stretches
Help to mobilise the hip, deeply stretch the leg muscles, increase core strength and postural stability, and strengthen the lower back. Developing and maintaining strength, mobility, flexibility and stability will help you to better meet the demands placed upon your body as it goes through the changes associated with pregnancy, and also set you up for a healthier labour.
Qigong in the Water
This specially formulated water Qigong takes you through breathing techniques for improving breathing patterns and strengthening the respiratory system, Qigong for increasing mobility, strength and balance, Qigong which gently massages and invigorates the organs, movement for alleviating back pain, and even a birthing simulation exercise.
Qigong studies show that practising this modality during pregnancy can relieve anxiety and depression, reduce high blood pressure, improve breathing patterns, promote musculoskeletal fitness, enhance mother/foetus interaction, and much more. Getting active in the pool has even been shown to be supportive of normal foetal growth.
May, L. E., Meacham, C. D., Gustafson, K. M., & Glaros, A. G. Gestational exercise effects on the infant heart. Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 25(S1), 1108.5. https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1096/fasebj.25.1_supplement.1108.5