During pregnancy, would-be-mothers are excited, scared, happy, and overwhelmed – all at the same time. It is difficult to put your finger on just what you are feeling. The kicks are delightful, but the cramps are debilitating. You might be glowing with enthusiasm one moment and overcome with emotion the next. Nothing quite explains the feeling of having a life growing inside you. You may also experience mood swings due to hormonal changes. Yoga is the way!!! Gayatri Tagore,
an expert on Hatha Yoga discusses Yoga Asanas to be practised during pregnancy and it’s benefits.
Yoga Asanas help to keep the body supple. It relieves tension around the cervix, by opening up the pelvic region. This prepares would-be- mothers for labour and delivery. Yoga and Pranayama help alleviate the effect of common symptoms such as morning sickness, painful leg cramps, swollen ankles, and constipation. Yoga asanas also help pregnant women recover faster post-delivery.
For the first trimester of pregnancy, do standing or sitting yoga poses. This will help strengthen the legs and enhance circulation. It can even reduce leg cramps. During the second and third trimester, reduce the time spent holding asanas to prevent fatigue. Substitute with breathing exercises and meditation.
Yoga poses for women during pregnancy
Marjariasana (Cat Stretch)
Marjariasana stretches the neck and shoulders, alleviates stiffness and keeps the spine flexible. This helps because the back has to support more weight as the pregnancy advances. It tones the abdominal region and improves blood circulation, ensuring that the reproductive organs are well-nourished.
Konasana keeps the spine flexible and stretches the sides of the body, the abdomen and arms. It helps to alleviate constipation, a common symptom during pregnancy.
Veerbhadrasana (Warrior Pose)
It improves balance in the body, tones the arms, legs and lower back and increases stamina.
Trikonasana maintains physical and mental balance. It is especially useful for pregnant women, since their centre of gravity shifts. It stretches and opens the hips which can be a boon during delivery. It also reduced back pain and stress.
Badhakonasana (Butterfly Pose)
Badhakonasana improves flexibility in the hip and the groin area and stretches the thighs and knees. It helps to facilitate smooth delivery when practised until late pregnancy.
It relieves backache and also improves the flow of blood to the pelvic region. It eases swollen ankles and varicose veins, a common symptom of pregnancy.
Pranayama or breathing exercises during pregnancy works wonders. It releases negative emotions like anger and frustration. It also helps to release stress, keeps the mind calm and composed and helps to regulate blood pressure. It also relieves headaches.
It calms and relaxes the mind and maintains body temperature. It enhances oxygen supply, which helps with the baby’s growth. After practising these yoga moves and Pranayama, follow up with a session of meditation. It will help you to relax completely.
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.