Pregnancy can be a beautiful and wonderful time, but it can also come with many aches and pains. Often, the body starts hurting on and off, at completely new places as well as in different ways. Yoga is a great way to stay active during pregnancy. It is gentle as well as it has a low impact. here are 10 best and safe yoga poses for pregnancy.
Benefits of Yoga During Pregnancy
- Yoga lowers the health risks for both the mother and the baby.
- Lowers the chance of having pregnancy complications.
- Prepares the body for a safe and comfortable labor and delivery.
- Possibly reduces the risk of a premature birth.
- Offers many physical and mental benefits.
- The gentle movements and slow breathing can also provide stress relief.
- It’ is a safe tool to reduce anxiety, as well as depression throughout pregnancy.
- Reduces pain and discomfort, as well as improve overall quality of life during pregnancy.
Yoga Poses For Pregnancy
Mothers-to-be should focus more on stability and strength, rather than endurance and flexibility. Avoiding any discomfort during the workout is the goal. Hence, these yoga poses are performed with modifications, props, or a wall for a well-supported posture. Pregnancy hormones loosen the muscles and ligaments. This increases the risk of injuries if you push yourself too far in terms of flexibility. Therefore it is recommended to consult a certified yoga therapist before starting yoga during pregnancy.
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10 Best and Safe Yoga Poses For Pregnancy
Marjaryasana / Bitilasana (Cat/Cow Pose)
This basic set of movements stretches the spine and allows your belly to hang, which can ease tension. If you’re experiencing back pain, you can rock between these two poses. It can also help move the baby into optimal position for birth. To maximize benefits of these poses, sync your breath with your stretching by breathing in and expanding your abdomen on the cow stretch and exhaling and contracting your abdomen when you arch.
Utkata konasana (Goddess Pose)
A wide-legged squat can be done with or without the support of a wall for balance. This pose strengthens the legs and pelvic floor, and encourages hip openings, all important components of the birth process.
Bhadrakonasana (Butterfly pose)
This sitting pose helps open the pelvis. Sit on a bolster or blanket to prevent rounding the lower back and to help release pelvis forward. Place soles of feet together and let knees fall out to sides. Hinging from hips, walk hands out in front of you, keep spine long, and leave enough space for baby. You can even give yourself a foot and calf massage to improve circulation and ease the strain of added weight during pregnancy.
Utkatasana (Chair pose)
Sit up straight against a wall with the soles of your feet touching each other. Gently press your knees down and away from each other, but don’t force them apart. Stay in this position for as long as you’re comfortable. This asana is a challenging leg and back strengthening pose. In pregnancy this pose is excellent for strengthening the legs in preparation for the extra weight they will soon need to carry.
Setu bandhasana (Bridge pose)
This is a great pregnancy yoga pose for releasing tension in the upper back and shoulders and taking the pressure off your spine. Setu bandhasana helps reduce stress and anxiety. This pose calms the mind and body while giving you the strength needed for childbirth.
Adhomukha svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Adhomukha asana is excellent to help ease upper back and shoulder tension as well as open up the sacrum and lower back. Using a wall keeps your head elevated, too, which is recommended if you experience heartburn during pregnancy.
Vakrasna (Twisted pose)
Vakrasana will gently massage your abdominal area and exercise your neck, hands and legs.
Tadasana (Mountain pose)
Tadasana is one of the basic asana during pregnancy as it works wonders on pregnant women. It helps in aligning your body and improves balance, especially as the center of gravity of the body shifts with the growing baby.
Vajrasana (Thunderbolt pose)
This asana will help to improve your digestion and prevent constipation, which is a common pregnancy problem. It will also help to strengthen the muscles in your pelvic region.
- Virabhadrasana I and II (Warrior I and II pose)
Virabhadrasana I and II are challenging body strengthing asanas. It is also a deep hip and upper body opener and has been said to alleviate backaches during pregnancy. This pose also increases stamina, improves digestion and stretches the legs, chest and groin and generally the whole body.
Safety Measures for Practicing Yoga Poses For Pregnancy
- Asanas involving balance should be done with care and support.
- Mothers with a condition of asthma shouldn’t hold or suspend breath during the practice of any asana or pranayama.
- Depending on your pregnancy trimester, there are certain yoga asanas that shouldn’t be done throughout all pregnancy months. If the mother feels uncomfortable doing an asana, it is advisable to stop immediately without further straining the muscles.
- If mother-to-be feels pain or nausea during any of the asanas, it is advisable to stop immediately and take rest.
- Yoga can be practiced every day. However, do not overdo it.
- Avoid forward bending asanas, strong back bends, inverted poses and asanas that might put pressure on the abdomen. Asanas that require lying down on the weight of your stomach should be strictly avoided.
- Simple stretching asanas encourage blood circulation. They not only help in avoiding fluid retention but also relieve stress.
Yoga helps in facing the physical demands of labor, birth, and new motherhood. Yoga teaches breathing techniques. How to breathe deeply as well as consciously relax. By practicing relaxation in yoga, you’ll find yourself better equipped to handle stressful situations. Learning ujjayi pranayama will help you stay calm when you need it the most.