Congratulations mommies, for the great news! You must have already been planning to provide everything best for the little life growing inside you. For the next 9 months, you are the home to your baby. Therefore, to provide the best nurturing environment for the little one, engaging yourself in eating healthy and staying healthy is very important. And when it comes to keeping your body healthy and active during pregnancy, nothing can be more beneficial than prenatal yoga i.e. yoga during pregnancy. Here is everything you need to know about yoga during pregnancy or pregnancy yoga.
Table Of Content:
- What is pregnancy yoga
- When to start pregnancy yoga
- Benefits of yoga during pregnancy
- Top yoga poses for pregnant women
1. Cat and cow pose - Marjaryasana and Bitilasana
2. Mountain pose - Tadasana
3. Triangle pose - Trikonasana
4. Corpse pose - Savasana
5. Warrior pose I - Virabhadrasana I
6. Warrior pose II- Virabhadrasana II
7. Goddess pose - Utkata konasana
8. Cobbler or bound angle pose - Baddha konasana
9. Hero pose - Virasana
What is pregnancy yoga:
During pregnancy, your body goes through a lot of changes both inside and outside. Your pregnant belly will stretch and grow bigger as your baby grows inside. The rapid hormonal changes will also take a toll on your body. To prevent any casualty or pregnancy complications, you need to keep your body strong yet flexible to withstand all those changes.
This is where yoga comes in. Spending an hour daily on practicing yoga during pregnancy can help in improving blood circulation, body flexibility and strengthening your muscles, tissues, joints etc. Pregnancy yoga helps not only to keep you fit during the pregnancy but also during the labour and delivery by improving core strength and stamina.
Is it safe to do yoga during pregnancy? Yes mommies, practicing yoga during pregnancy is, in fact, healthy for your body. But of course, you need to take a few precautions and be very gentle as well as cautious while trying out different poses. You don’t need to go extreme and try advanced yoga poses - just try some basic yoga poses or asanas.
[Read more: Yoga Poses You Must Avoid During Pregnancy]
When to start pregnancy yoga:
If you have never practiced yoga before, you need to start yoga at a slow pace. Don’t jump forward to trying advanced yoga poses right away. During the first trimester of pregnancy, try some relaxing yoga breathing exercises (Pranayama). As the body goes through some major changes on the inside during this phase, try not to involve yourself in yoga asanas or poses.
You can start your prenatal yoga exercise during the second trimester of pregnancy as your body stamina gets stabilized to some extent. Start with basic yoga poses that help you stretch. Make sure you do not stress your pregnant belly while trying out pregnancy yoga poses.
Benefits of yoga during pregnancy:
The benefits of yoga are known to be endless, even during those 9 months of pregnancy. After all, yoga has gained so much of popularity all over the world for a reason, right mommies?
- Yoga poses help your body relax as well as prepare itself for the various changes it will go through in the next few months and for the tiresome labour and delivery session.
- The right yoga poses create the right environment for the fetus and ensure proper alignment as well as implantation of the embryo.
- The pranayamas teach you breathing techniques that help you during the labour.
- A strong, flexible body recovers faster from any stress or injury. Pregnancy yoga also helps you to keep your body fit and recover easily after delivery.
Top yoga poses for pregnant women:
Here are some basic yoga poses or postures that a pregnant woman can practice without stressing her body. Make sure you practice in a well-ventilated and spacious room where you can move around a little. Keep a chair beside you to hold on to while you practice pregnancy yoga, in case you end up losing balance. You can also join a prenatal yoga class available near your home.
Now, tie your hair up and get your yoga mat, mommies - it’s time to practice some amazing yoga poses:
1. Cat and cow pose - Marjaryasana and Bitilasana:
- The cat cow pose is a great way to lead and place the baby in the favourable position shifting the weight of the baby away from the spine. It helps in relieving your back from stress and pain as well as enhance the flexibility and strength of the spine.
- Get down on your hands and knees maintaining proper alignment with your shoulders and hips respectively.
- Inhale and look up while pushing the stomach area towards the ground thereby making a cow-like pose. Next, exhale and bring your chin towards your chest while pushing the central up towards the ceiling mimicking a cat.
2. Mountain pose - Tadasana:
- Mountain pose is a basic yoga pose that helps you warm up or relax between practicing yoga or exercising, maintain your body’s balance, alignment as well as strength and improve concentration.
- Stand on your mat with your feet hip-width apart. Make sure your pelvis and hips are tucked in, keeping your spine straight. To maintain a straight back, keep your chin up and slightly back. Slowly raise your hands above your head and hold this position for a few minutes.
3. Triangle pose - Trikonasana:
- This yoga pose is excellent to give you a full body stretch, open your shoulders and hips as well as give relief to shoulder pain and digestive issues during pregnancy.
- Stand on your yoga mat with your legs hip-width apart. Keeping your spine straight slowly raise your hands above your head and join them together as a Namaskara.
- Slowly bend backwards by looking towards the sky. Hold this posture for as long as you can.
4. Corpse pose - Savasana:
- The Corpse pose or Savasana is an excellent way to relax your body and relieve your mind from any kind of stress.
- For this yoga pose, lie down with your back on your yoga mat and close your eyes. Meditate for a while in this posture and practice deep breathing. Once you feel completely relaxed, slowly get up.
- You can lie down on sideways to do this yoga asana after the first trimester.
5. Warrior pose I - Virabhadrasana I:
- First place your feet hip-width apart on the yoga mat and lunge forward with one leg by lowering the pelvis.
- Slowly raise your hands above your head while looking forward. Hold the position for a while and repeat with the other leg forward.
- Warrior pose I or Virabhadrasana I is a great pose for relaxing and improving the balance of your body. It strengthens your entire body, especially back, legs, ankles and arms as well as improves respiration, blood circulation, stability and concentration.
6. Warrior pose II- Virabhadrasana II:
- Stand up on your yoga mat and lunge forward i.e bend the front knee and stretch the back leg, balancing yourself by spreading your hands parallel to the ground. Hold the pose for a few minutes.
- The warrior pose II or Virabhadrasana II pose improves blood circulation, respiration and stretches your legs, groin, lung, shoulder etc. and strengthens the hip joint muscles.
7. Goddess pose - Utkata konasana:
- Goddess pose or Utkata konasana increases the flexibility of the hips and pelvic region as well as strengthens the legs.
- Stand up straight on your yoga mat with your legs spread apart at a comfortable distance. Slowly as you inhale, raise your hands above your head in a bend position and lower your hips towards the ground in a squat position.
- Come back to your original pose as you exhale. Repeat this yoga pose a few times.
- This pregnancy yoga pose should be practiced only in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. You can maintain your hands in the Namaskara gesture if it gets harder to maintain balance.
8. Cobbler or bound angle pose - Baddha konasana:
- Also known as the butterfly pose, this yoga pose is practiced right after the strengthening yoga poses during pregnancy as it is great for relieving lower back pain and providing flexibility to the hip joints.
- Sit on your mat and place the palms of your feet together. Hold your feet together with your hands and sit up tall by keeping your spine straight. If you can, try to press your knees slowly towards the ground which will help you stretch the muscles supporting your hip.
- You can sit on a towel or blanket during this yoga pose to relax your hips once it gets difficult to sit on the flat surface as your pregnancy enhances.
9. Hero pose - Virasana:
- Kneel down onto your yoga mat with your knees together and feet slightly separated. Lean forward and put your hands on the floor for support. Now, slowly sit on the floor between your feet. Place your hands on your knees.
- The hero pose or Virasana is very helpful in reducing the swelling and pain of the legs during pregnancy as it helps in stretching the muscles of your legs. Due to this posture, your digestive health improves and gas problem reduces.
- For this pregnancy yoga pose, you need to sit on your legs. If you find it difficult to sit on your legs, place a towel on your legs and sit on it.