You’re expecting?! Congratulations! You must be – excited, scared, happy, and overwhelmed – all at the same time. It’s difficult to put your finger on just what you’re feeling, isn’t it? The kicks are delightful, but the cramps are debilitating. You might be glowing with enthusiasm one moment and overcome with emotion the next. Nothing quite explains the feeling of having a life growing inside you. You may also experience a fair share of mood swings; courtesy of hormonal changes. This is precisely why yoga can be a godsend for you during pregnancy.
- 1 Yoga Poses for Pregnant Women
- 1.1 Vakrasna (Twisted pose) for Pregnancy
- 1.2 Utkatasana (Chair pose) for Pregnant Women
- 1.3 Konasana (Angle pose) for Pregnant Women
- 1.4 Paryankasana (Ham’s pose with one leg) for Pregnant Women
- 1.5 Hast Panangustasana (Extended hand to big tow pose) for Pregnant Women
- 1.6 Bhadrasana (Butterfly pose) for Pregnant Women
- 1.7 Parvatasana (Mountain pose) for Pregnant Women
- 1.8 Yastikasana (Stick pose) for Pregnant Women
- 1.9 Some Important Reminders/Safety Measures While Doing Yoga in Pregnancy
Yoga Poses for Pregnant Women
Vakrasna (Twisted pose) for Pregnancy
-Sit erect with feet stretched in front (parallel).
-Inhale and raise your arms at shoulder level, palms facing down.
-Exhaling, twist your body from waist towards your right moving head and hands simultaneously to the same side. Swing arms back as much as possible. Do not bend your knees.
-Inhale and come back to original position maintaining your hands shoulder level and parallel to each other.
-Repeat on other side.
Benefit-Your spine, legs, hands, neck are exercised along with gentle massage to abdominal organs.
Utkatasana (Chair pose) for Pregnant Women
- Strengthens thigh and pelvic muscles
-Stand erect with feet 12 inches apart. Keep your feet parallel to each other.
-Inhale for 2 seconds and raise your heels and arms at shoulder level, palms facing down simultaneously.
-Exhale slowly; sit in squat pose, on your toes. If not comfortable standing on your toes, stand normally keeping feet flat on the ground.
-Keeping your hands in the same position, inhaling, get up slowly and stand on your toes.
-Exhale, hands down and heels down simultaneously.
Konasana (Angle pose) for Pregnant Women
- Flexibility of waist and fat remains under control in the waist region
-Stand erect with feet 24 inches apart. You can do this asana with the support of wall.
-Raise your right hand up keeping elbow straight. Give a nice upward stretch and while you inhale, bend sideward towards your left. Exhale and come back and put your hand down.
-Repeat the same with other side.
Paryankasana (Ham’s pose with one leg) for Pregnant Women
- Strengthens abdominal, pelvic and thigh muscles
-Lie down on your back. Straighten your legs. Keep your knees together.
-Now, fold your right leg in the knee at the side of your posterior. Breathe normally. Hold the position as long as you’re comfortable and repeat the same on other side. Straighten your leg.
-Repeat with the left leg.
Hast Panangustasana (Extended hand to big tow pose) for Pregnant Women
- Strengthens pelvic and thigh muscles
-Lie down on your back. Straighten your legs. Keep your body in one line.
-Your hands in T-position, palms facing down.
-Slide right leg towards your right side. Don’t try very hard. Hold toe with your right hand if possible.
-Sliding your leg come back to original position.
-Repeat the same on left side.
Bhadrasana (Butterfly pose) for Pregnant Women
- Strengthens inner thighs and pelvic region
-Sit on the mat with legs fully stretched.
-Keeping the legs in contact with the mat, form ‘Namaste’ with your feet. -Sit erect, without leaning forward. Place your hands on knees or thighs. Hold the posture till the time you feel comfortable.
-Straighten your legs and repeat again.
After practicing these yoga moves and pranayamas, follow up with a session of meditation. It will help you relax deeply.
Parvatasana (Mountain pose) for Pregnant Women
- Improves body posture, relief in backache
-Sit on the mat in sukhasna, padmasana or ardhapadmasana.
-Sit straight and while you inhale, raise your arm and join your palms in ‘Namaste’ position. Keep your elbows straight. Hands are near to your ears. Hold the position for a few seconds and come back to normal position again.
-Repeat 2-3 times
Yastikasana (Stick pose) for Pregnant Women
- Corrects posture, body gets stretched, relieves body tension
- Lie down on your back. Straighten your legs. Keep your body in one line. Knees and feet are together. Feet point upward. Hands rest on the sides.
-Inhale and raise your hands; rest them on the floor and stretch upward. Push your toes out simultaneously.
-Exhale, raise your hands and come back into normal position.
-Repeat 3-4 times with in between breaks.
Some Important Reminders/Safety Measures While Doing Yoga in Pregnancy
- Mothers with condition of asthma can try the above mentioned asanas but shouldn’t hold or suspend breath during the practice of pranayams/asanas.
- On the basis of pregnancy trimesters there are certain exercises that cannot be carried throughout all pregnancy months. Konasana (angle pose) for instance should not be continued post seven months of pregnancy. Once the mother feels uncomfortable doing an asana, it is advisable to stop immediately without further straining the muscles.
- Avoid forward bending asanas (strong back bends, such as the boat pose), inverted poses and exercises that might put pressure on the abdomen. Asanas that require lying down on the weight of your stomach should be strictly avoided.
- Exercises involving balance should be done with utmost care.
- Please avoid hurrying into weight-loss exercise regime immediately after delivery. Post-natal yoga (post six weeks after birth) and exercises should be practiced only when the mother’s body is fully ready and relaxed.
- Simple stretching exercises encourage circulation, help fluid retention, and relieve stress
- If mothers feel pain or nausea doing any of the exercises, then they should stop immediately and consult doctor.
Yoga precautions for pregnant women
• During the advanced stages of pregnancy, avoid yoga asanas that put pressure on the abdomen.
• For the first trimester of pregnancy, do standing yoga poses. This will help strengthen the legs and enhance circulation. It can even reduce leg cramps.
• During the second and third trimester, reduce the time spent holding asanas to prevent fatigue. Substitute with breathing exercises and meditation.
• Avoid practicing yoga from the 10th to the 14th week of pregnancy since these are crucial times.
• Avoid doing inversion poses.
• Listen to your body and do as much as you can without undue effort.
Yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy
• Naukasana (Boat Pose)
• Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)
• Ardha Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist)
• Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
• Viparita Shalabhasana (Superman Pose)
• Halasana (Plow Pose)
It is advisable to consult a doctor before taking up any yoga schedule during pregnancy. Learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher.
Practicing Yoga helps develop the body and mind, yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is essential to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained Yoga teacher.
Are You Pregnant?
Follow these simple pregnancy tips on safety and nutrition to stay healthy throughout the nine months before you give birth to a healthy baby.