Best Yoga for Pregnant Women
Created - 14 Jul 2019Last Modified - 17 Dec 2019
Many pregnant women have a most common question – "Is yoga good for pregnancy"?
Pregnant women don't suddenly become fragile. Yes, you should not carry heavy weight during your pregnancy. But that does not mean you need to stay in bed all day long!
Regular exercise is important, even for pregnant women. And the best you can do for your changing body is to try doing a few prenatal pregnancy yoga poses!
Yoga is a calm and gentle way in which you can keep your body focused and flexible during pregnancy. It is an appropriate exercise and has been suggested by various doctors and health experts. The aim of practicing pregnancy yoga poses is to ease the pain during the delivery and as much as possible. Yoga for pregnant women has amazing health benefits and practicing them during pregnancy can prepare you for the birth, physically and mentally. Prenatal Yoga can help you calm down your mind and control your thoughts during this emotional and physical journey.
How Can Yoga Asanas During Pregnancy Help?
Yoga provides holistic health benefits for the to-be-mothers. Some Health benefits for yoga for pregnant women are:
- Yoga asanas help keep the body acrobatic and flexible. It relieves tension around the cervix by opening up the pelvic region. This prepares to-be-mothers for labor and delivery.
- Yoga and pranayamas can train you to breathe deeply and relax consciously, helping you face the demands of labor and childbirth.
- Yoga helps in alleviating the effect of morning sickness, painful leg cramps, swollen ankles, and constipation.
- Yoga also helps in building the stamina and strength for giving birth to a life.
- It is beneficial in improving the equilibrium in the essential female hormones such as progesterone and estrogen, which are quite imbalanced during the pregnancy
- Yoga for pregnant women also improves oxygenation and blood circulation throughout the body.
- Yoga asanas also help pregnant women recover faster post-delivery.
When Is The Best Time To Start Doing Yoga During Pregnancy?
For those women who have never done Yoga before pregnancy, it is advised to start Prenatal Yoga only during the second trimester. The first trimester is a critical period and incorrect yoga postures, or excessive strain may lead to complications. However, regular Yoga practitioners can perform Yoga from the first trimester, as the body is already used to the postures. The thumb rule for Prenatal Yoga is to GO SLOW, as there is no hurry. Also, meditation is highly recommended to maintain inner calm and peace.
Which Yoga poses for women during pregnancy can be beneficial?
The following pregnancy yoga poses are followed up with the iyengar yoga techniques i.e with the help of some support which helps the expecting mothers to face pregnancy smoothly. Yoga postures mentioned below focus on strengthening the pelvic muscles that help enhance the womb space for the healthy growth of the fetus. Here we have given the list of yoga for pregnant women to be performed during pregnancy along with how-to and their benefits for pregnant women.
Yoga for Pregnant Women
1. Marjariasana (Cat Pose)
- Start on your hands and knees, aligning your wrists underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your buttocks.
- On the exhalation, pull the head and the tailbone to the floor, arching your back and pulling the shoulder blades away from each other.
- On inhaling pull the back of the head and the coccyx up to the ceiling, bending your back.
- Move from one position to another, coordinating the movement with the breath, feeling how the spine relaxes and lengthens.
- This pose stretches the neck and shoulders, alleviating stiffness and keeps the spine flexible. This is useful because the back has to support more weight as the pregnancy advances. This asana also helps reduce back pain (if any)
- Improves blood circulation.
2. Veerabhadrasana (Warrior Pose)
- Stand in Tadasana.
- With an exhale, step lightly up your feet and hold the rope above.
- Raise your arms perpendicular to the floor and reach actively through the little-finger sides of the hands toward the ceiling.
- It improves balance in the body.
- Tones the arms, legs and lower back.
3. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
- Place a wooden block near your left foot.
- Raise your arms parallel to the floor and your palm must face down.
- Deeply inhale.
- Slowly exhale and bend your body to the left side and touch the block.
- It Maintains physical and mental balance.
- Especially useful for pregnant women since their center of gravity shifts.
- Stretches and opens the hips which can be a big help during a delivery.
- It also reduces lower back pain and stress.
4. Badhakonasana (Butterfly Pose)
- Sit straight on the floor with an erect spine
- Bend your knees by bringing feet as close as possible.
- Try to touch the soles of your feet.
- Inhale deeply, while exhaling press the thighs and knees down toward the floor by pressing your elbows on thighs or on the knees.
- It improves flexibility in the hip and groin region.
- Stretches the thighs and knees, relieving muscular and knee pain.
- It helps facilitate smooth delivery when practiced until late pregnancy.
5. Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall Pose)
- Sit next to a wall, such that your feet are on the floor, spread in front of you, and the left side of your body is touching the wall.
- Breathe deeply. Lie on your back, making sure that the back of your legs pressed against the wall, and the feet face upwards.
- Place your hips a little away from the wall or press them against the wall.
- Relieves backache.
- Improves the flow of blood to the pelvic region, and also eases swollen ankles and varicose veins - a common symptom of pregnancy.
6. Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
- Release the feet and extend the legs, allowing the feet to relax in a relaxed way.
- Lie flat on your back.
- Allow your feet to gently roll open.
- Flip your palms turn up.
- Roll your shoulders down your back.
- Allow your body to be very heavy. Close your eyes.
- This pose relaxes the body and repairs cells. This helps self-healing which is vital, as pregnant women should avoid taking pills.
- Relieves stress.
Yoga Asanas to Avoid by Pregnant Women
During the advanced stages of pregnancy, avoid yoga asanas that put pressure on the abdomen.
Avoid practicing yoga from the 10th to the 14th week of pregnancy since these are crucial times.
Yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy are:
- 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 at LIVE WITH YOGA in Jaipur. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga only after consulting your doctor or an expert yoga teacher at best iyengar yoga center in jaipur.