Yoga is a natural and holistic way to attain a healthy body and a relaxed mind. During pregnancy when women have to deal with fatigue, mood swings, leg cramps and breathing issues, yoga for pregnant women can go a long way towards easing the symptoms ensuring an easy nine months followed by a smooth delivery.
The practice of yoga for women can prepare your body and mind for child birth. The postures can help to keep your body in a good condition and reduce some of the common pregnancy symptoms including constipation and morning sickness. It can also work to ensure easier labor by reducing tension around the birth canal and cervix and by opening the pelvis. The aim of pregnancy yoga is also to enable the mother to bring the child into the world with the least hassle and absolutely no health complications.
It is essential that a pregnant woman takes into account her medical history before she engages in yoga. During the first trimester, it is best to engage in standing yoga poses as these will help to make the legs strong, improve circulation and also reduce leg cramps.
In the second and third trimester, you may engage in some very mild yoga for pregnant women to prevent overwork and fatigue. Instead, you can do more meditation and breathing. It is advised that you do not engage in yoga exercises from the tenth till the fourteenth week of pregnancy as these are crucial times.
Yoga postures that put pressure on the stomach and other difficult postures are best avoided in the advanced stages of pregnancy. Also, the first three months are very crucial and the chances of a miscarriage are high. It is therefore important to exercise the utmost caution at this time.
Yoga works to keep a pregnant mother calm and happy as well. By engaging in yoga for women regularly, happy hormones known as endorphins are released in the body that work to keep the mother positive and energetic and keep erratic mood swings at bay. Here are some effective yoga exercises for women.
Vakrasna – Twisted pose
• Sit straight with legs stretched in front
• Take a breath in and lift your arms till shoulder level with your palms are facing down
• Breathing out, twist your body gently from the waist towards your right, moving your head and hands together. Place your right hand behind as much as possible
• Breathe in and come back to the original position
• Repeat on the left side
This exercise benefits your spine, hands, neck and legs and also gives a gentle massage to the abdominal muscles.
Utkatasana – Chair pose
• Stand straight with feet 12 inches apart
• Breathe in and lift your heels; raise your arms simultaneously to shoulder level, palms facing down
• Breathing out sit with your toes in a squat pose.
• In case you are not comfortable standing on your toes, squat with both the feet flat on the ground
• Slowly breathing in stand up in the original position, hands straight
• Breathing out once again go down in the same position
This exercise helps to strengthen the pelvic and thigh muscles
Bhadrasana – Butterfly pose
• Sit on a mat and straighten your legs in front
• Keeping the legs on the mat pull them gently together to form a “Namaste” with your feet
• Keep sitting straight without bending forward
• Keep your hands on the knees or thighs
• Hold the posture till you are comfortable
• Gently straighten your legs and repeat
This posture helps to make the pelvic region and inner thighs strong
Paryankasana – Ham’s pose with one leg
• Lie down on your back and gently straighten your legs
• Fold the right leg in the knee and hold the posture for some time
• Release the leg and repeat the same with your left leg
This exercise helps to make the thigh, pelvic and abdominal muscles strong
Konasana – Angle pose
• Stand straight with a gap of 24 inches between your feet
• Gently lift your right hand, keeping your elbow straight
• Stretch gently upwards and bend side wards to your left
• Hold the position for some time
• Breathing out, come back to the normal position and keep your hands down
• Repeat the same with the other hand
The exercise works on your waist to keep it flexible and fat-free
With such effective yoga for pregnant women, it should be an easy pregnancy. However, it is recommended that you do the yoga exercises under the expert guidance of a teacher. Also, for those who have not been doing yoga before pregnancy, they should not rush into following a regime without medical consent.