Contrary to much prevalent notion, it is an established fact that exercises are necessary during pregnancy. They not only help in the growth and development of the baby but also help the mothers in coping up with pregnancy changes and increase the chances of normal delivery. If you have been regular in your workouts before pregnancy, then you can continue doing all your regular exercises during pregnancy also, except for breathing exercises, heavy exercises, deep knee bends and those exercises which involve risk of causing abdominal trauma.
Best Yoga Exercises Pregnancy Care
For those of you who are yet to incorporate some kind of workout in their daily routine, this is the time to take the plunge.
Many moderate forms of exercises like swimming, walking, jogging, cycling and other low impact exercises are considered safe during pregnancy. Another form which is making buzz all around is PRENATAL YOGA. It is the set of yogic exercises that include stretching, controlled breathing and mental focus. This form of yoga is specially designed for needs of pregnant women; as it tones the muscles, improves circulation, helps with balance, encourages deep breathing and facilitates labour and childbirth. Moreover, enrolling yourself into some prenatal yoga classes can help you bond with other expectant mothers and enjoy some “we time”.
Prenatal-Yoga helps in increasing the flexibility of the body. It relieves strain around the cervix, by opening up the pelvic region. This prepares to-be-mothers for labour and delivery. Moreover, it helps in overcoming the effect of common pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, painful leg cramps, swollen ankles and constipation. All in all, prenatal yoga is a great exercise alternative during pregnancy, providing holistic health benefits for expectant mothers.
There is a wide range of yogic poses that come under the banner of prenatal yoga; here we are telling you about some common and easy-to-learn poses of prenatal yoga.
This is an all round good pose that works the legs, stretches the side body, strengthens the hips, reduces back strain and opens up the shoulders, which generally start to cave in a bit during pregnancy. It also relieves lower back pain, stress and slow digestion. Triangle pose helps to maintain physical and mental balance and is particularly useful for pregnant women as their centre of gravity shifts.
This yoga pose can be practiced as a standalone exercise or as a warm-up move before performing other yogic exercises.
There are two ways to perform this yogic pose; full butterfly pose and half butterfly pose. This pose addresses suppleness in the hip and groin region. It stretches the thighs and knees and alleviates fatigue. It strengthens the pelvic floor muscles. For all these benefits, if practiced till late in pregnancy, it helps to facilitate smooth delivery.
This pose improves body balance and averts the possibility of falling during pregnancy. This Yoga Pose also tones the arms, legs and lower back. It increases stamina and helps cope with delivery. It is particularly helpful in 3rd trimester, when energy levels are low. By using the chair, you may minimise your effort and still enjoy the hip opening.
Seated side bends
Any type of side bend helps an irritable back during pregnancy; you may choose your preferred variation, either with crossed or open legs.
As with the seated forward bend, this posture relieves pressure off your belly and would certainly give you a great feeling. Do not worry about pushing yourself too far into a deep back bend while trying this variation, rather just focus on swaying easily with your breath.
Table Top pose
As the baby grows, the spine bears more pressure, so moving on hands and knees relieves that pressure. The Table Top position also assists to move the baby into proper position for delivery and can provide relief during labour contractions.
Hanging out in a squat pose like this opens up the hips and pelvis, which is ideal for prenatal drill.
It is also known to stimulate digestion and is a very effective stretch through the legs and back. It can be practised by leaning against a wall or squatting on blankets. However, it is only suitable until about 30 weeks.
This aasana is performed on your side, with a support placed between your legs as lying flat on your back is not recommended. This aasana relaxes the body, mitigates stress and repairs the cells. This aids in self-healing which is imperative for pregnant women as they should stay away from pills.
This has healing properties and helps regulate blood pressure. It reduces tension and anxiety. It deeply relaxes every cell in the body and prepares the body for the approaching marathon of delivery.
As much as Yoga is useful for the wellness of body and mind during pregnancy, it’s also important to exercise due precautions in its practice and avoid over exposure.
Here are some safety tips:
Avoid yoga asanas that put pressure on the abdomen, during the advanced stages of pregnancy.
- For the first trimester of pregnancy, do standing yoga poses. This helps to strengthen the legs, enhance circulation and lessen leg cramps.
- During the second and third trimester, reduce the time spent holding asanas in order to prevent fatigue state. Substitute YOGA asanas with breathing exercises and meditation if it causes lots of fatigues.
- Don’t do any asanas on your back after the first trimester as they can reduce blood flow to the uterus.
- Avoid practicing yoga from the 10th to the14th week of pregnancy, since these are crucial times.
- Avoid doing inversion poses.
- Listen to your body, and just do as much as you can without undue effort. You may need to modify your yoga poses as your body changes.
Last, and most importantly, 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 instructor who can help to customize your asanas to facilitate the stage of pregnancy you’re in.
Have A Healthy Pregnancy
Aafiya is a health and wellness enthusiast. She utilizes her spare time to contribute insightful articles around day to day lifestyle challenges and their remedies, that all can relate to.
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