Why is yoga for pregnant women important?
Yoga during pregnancy can we very beneficial. The time of pregnancy is very special as well as difficult for all women. Experiencing hormonal and physical changes naturally takes a toll on the mental condition. However, it becomes doubly important for the pregnant woman to handle herself in the best possible way so that the baby whom she is nurturing inside has a healthy and hospitable environment. Any stress, both mental and physical has a direct impact on the fetus.
We have come up with 8 basic poses of yoga for pregnant women to help them cope with those 9 months smoothly. Before we get into the asanas, it is important to understand how will yoga help a pregnant woman through her journey to motherhood. Will it help physically? Does it have mental benefits too or does prenatal yoga have something special to contribute? The answer is affirmative to all three.
How is yoga for pregnant ladies actually a blessing?
This is one of the most common benefits of yoga for pregnant women. Yoga is a stress reliever and alleviates anxiety. During pregnancy due to the fluctuations in hormonal levels, the mind goes through a lot of stress and anxiety. Not only this but regularly practicing yoga during pregnancy helps you to sleep better. As a result of this, the body gets proper rest and makes way for a healthy mind.
Say Goodbye to Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is an intrinsic part of pregnancy. Constant nausea that does not let you be at ease- it is time to bid adieu to that. Prenatal yoga regulates the hormonal imbalance that goes within the body which, in turn, helps you deal with constant nausea.
No more Painful Cramps
While it is true that expecting women should not be involved in heavy physical work, yoga is an innovative way to keep the body active. It stretches out all the muscles and as a result of this, the painful cramps stop paying a visit to you every now and then.
Prepares you for Labour
The most anticipated and overwhelming time is when you go to labour after 9 months of pregnancy. However, you need to prepare the body to go through it properly and yoga has a lot to contribute in this regard. First, regular yoga increases the strength as well as flexibility in your body that helps you deal with the excruciating pain during labour. The aim is to keep as calm as possible during that time for the sake of a healthy delivery. Yoga helps you develop a proper breathing and relaxation technique for staying composed through the process.
Post Delivery Recovery
Studies have shown that women who practice yoga regularly have experienced speedy recovery post their delivery. Also, it can help you with weight loss post pregnancy.
Things to be considered while practicing prenatal yoga:
- Do not push your limits. As a would-be mother, you know your body best. Therefore, it is recommended to not continue practicing for more than 30 minutes. Remember it is supposed to relax your body not exhaust it
- One of the most important things to keep in mind is that all yoga asanas are not safe for a pregnant woman to practice. For instance, the poses that put pressure on the abdomen area are to be avoided strictly. The inversion poses are not to be practiced as well
- The most crucial time of pregnancy starts from the 10th week. It is best to slow down from then onwards
- Practicing yoga in a hot environment is strict no during pregnancy
- It is already mentioned that the expecting mother needs to be at her best state of mind during those months. Try joining a class that has been specially designed for pregnant women. The soothing environment along with a professional instructor will offer you the most hospitable sessions. Not only this, but you will also get an opportunity to meet the other expecting mothers. This will put your mind at ease when you interact with someone who is going through the exact same phase.
8 poses of yoga for pregnant ladies that can yield maximum benefits
Marjariasana or The Cat Stretch
To alleviate the lower back pain and treat the stiffness in the shoulders and neck. Get down on the yoga mat with your knees and palms on the floor. Keep your head straight and breathe in slowly. While exhaling, bend down your head and form a hinged back. Maintain this position for a while and relax. This also improves blood circulation in the body and ensures that the reproductive organs are in proper condition.
Konasana- I or The Standing Sideways Position
The standing poses are regarded as the safest and best yoga for the pregnant lady. Stand straight, keeping your arms on each side. Raise one arm and stretch it as far as it goes. Bend your body on one side so that the other arm touches the knee. While breathing in and out, return to status-quo. Relax for a moment and repeat the same with the other hand. This yoga pose helps to stretch the sides as well as keeps the spine flexible.
Badhakonasana or The Butterfly Pose
This pose of yoga for pregnant women works best when you have reached the third trimester and start experiencing fatigue. It helps to stretch the thighs and knees while dealing with painful cramps. Sit normally with your back straight and legs bent to form a circle. Make sure to join your feet and keep them on the front. Touch them with your hands while keeping the back straight and breathe in and out slowly. This asana of yoga for pregnant women helps to facilitate a smooth delivery process and can be practiced during the later stages of the third trimester as well.
Viparita Karani or The Legs Up the Wall Pose
To relieve yourself from disturbing backaches during pregnancy, this is one of the most efficient solutions. You will require a pillow to do this. Place the yoga mat near the wall and keep the pillow on it. While keeping the shoulders, hands, and head on the floor, support your back on the pillow and extend your legs up the wall. It somewhat resembles a headstand with support. This also makes way for dealing with swollen ankles and treating varicose veins which are fairly common symptoms of pregnancy.
Nadi Shodhan Pranayama or The Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique
As we all know, Pranayama or rhythmic breathing can bring about immense positive changes in the body. For a pregnant woman, it can do wonders by regulating the blood pressure, calming the nerves, and relieving headaches. Sit on the yoga mat with your legs overlapping each other. Keep your back straight and take a deep breath, covering one nasal hole with your finger. Slowly release through the other by covering the former.
Yoga Nidra or The Yogic Sleep
This is a relaxing pose of yoga for pregnant women that helps to reduce the accumulated tension and anxiety from the mind. Lie flat on the mat, keeping your arms and limbs stretched out. Breathe in and out slowly and experience a calm sensation gradually take over your body.
Utkata Konasana or The Goddess Pose
You can practice this pose during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Put your hands in the prayer position near your chest and stand, keeping your back straight. Then do a wide-legged squat while keeping the inhale-exhale process active. Usually, this is done without the support of a wall but if your balance is not that good, you can use one. this pose of yoga for pregnant women helps them to strengthen the legs and the pelvic floor by making it easier to open the hips. In other words, it stimulates all the essential components of the birthing process.
Dandayamana Bharmanasana or The Balancing Table Pose
From the cat stretch pose, stretch one leg behind along with the adjacent arm at the front. Hold this position for about 3-5 breaths and release while exhaling slowly. Change the hands and legs and repeat. This pose of yoga for pregnant women will help you to work the abdominal muscles which are of utmost importance during labour, by utilizing their core strength.
You can end with the corpse pose, as mentioned in our yoga for beginners guide, which is the traditional yoga asana to conclude your workout session. Those are some of the best poses of yoga for pregnant ladies’ benefits. They can help you emerge much stronger, both mentally and physically by increasing your stamina, during labour. Giving birth is indeed magical; let’s make the journey even more beautiful by keeping the bodies and minds healthy with yoga.