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Abstract

Pregnancy is a special period of women-hood in which she experiences significant physiological changes and stress that demands physical, mental and social adaptation. Yoga during pregnancy helps a woman to focus on the delivery process and be prepared to tolerate the pain and also change the stress and anxiety into energy. Based on the Panchakosa concept, the Integrated Approach to Yoga Therapy model incorporates varied yogic practices at each level to helps one to deal with their problems. Yoga helps to improve the physical condition, strengthens the back muscles, the lower abdominal and pelvic muscles, facilitates the labor and delivery and helps to create a perfect balance of physical and mental health. The Asanas render their effects based on: use of gravity, organ massage, stretching of muscles & ligaments, deep breathing, concentration and relieves physical & mental stress. As pregnancy advances, the uterus enlarges to such an extent that the diaphragm is pushed upwards, resulting in a sensation of shortness of breath. The pranayama and meditation techniques keep pregnant mothers healthy and relaxed, and provide the mental focus to aid childbirth.

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