Pratyahara is the act of directing your attention to a "disturbance." Instead of trying to avoid or suppress pain, accept it and experience it. As you get to know it, it will no longer feel dangerous. The pain may not disappear but the fear of it will. Fear and stress can complicate the birthing process and put your body through more suffering than necessary. Once you can accept the pain and allow yourself to experience it, birth becomes a powerful experience. Some women have said they were able to feel each movement of their uterus through this technique, while others have said they were able to allow the forces of nature to work.
The Lion's Roar
Many women have found this vocal toning technique to be very beneficial during labor. Open your mouth and stretch your tongue far out. While exhaling, make a relaxed, deep sound. This will automatically cause your body to respond and begin to relax from your groin to your pelvic floor and up.
In order to relieve tension, succumb to it completely. When a certain area of your body is tense, forcibly tense it, hold it and then release it. Do not strain. Use your breath as a guide and breathe in as you tense the muscle, hold the tension as you hold your breath, (for pregnant women, hold the muscle as you continue to breathe in) and then release the muscle as you exhale.