Pregnancy is undoubtedly an extraordinary and beautiful time in a woman’s life. However, it can just as easily be overwhelming and difficult to manage as your body goes through all of the changes involved in bringing a new life into the world. Practicing approved yoga poses during this process can help relieve some of the stress, aches, and pains that often come with pregnancy.
Though some question the safety of yoga during pregnancy, many soon-to-be-mothers have found yoga to be an excellent form of exercise during pregnancy. Certain poses have been praised by prenatal yoga teachers and medical professionals alike for the benefits they can provide to pregnant women. Prenatal yoga is an effective training method for labor, as poses can improve circulation while building stamina and strength. The effects are even more promising when combined with meditation and breathing exercises to promote concentration and pain management.
Poses to Use Throughout Your Pregnancy
These basic poses can help to ease pregnancy-related issues like stress, indigestion, and back pain as you work through the next nine months of your life. Just make sure you don’t push yourself too far and always use the correct equipment.
Always be sure to consult a doctor before starting a new exercise routine during pregnancy
Neck and Shoulder Rolls (Kantha and Skandha Sanchalana)
Roll your head from right to left, back and forth, and in gentle circles clockwise and counterclockwise, and then do the same with your shoulders. Repeat each movement between three and five times to help relieve tension in your neck, shoulders, and head.
Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
Cross your legs from a seated position on your yoga mat so that your knees are over your feet. Grab your knees and use your arms to pull your spine up and forward, elongating it and allowing the bowl of the pelvis to sit upright. Center your head above your pelvis and keep your chin level to the mat as you hold the pose for ten deep breaths or several minutes. Cross your legs the other way and repeat the process to open the chest and hips.
This pose is useful for strengthening the spinal muscles and practicing good posture.
Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
This pose entails sitting with the soles of your feet pressed together in front of you. Grasp your ankles and pull them back toward your groin. Press your inner thighs down as you elongate your spine and keep your pelvis upright. Press your shoulder blades to your upper back to open the chest. Open the soles of your feet and hold the position for ten deep breaths or two minutes before releasing.
This pose will stretch your groin, thighs and help you improve your posture.
Related: Yoga Postures For Better Digestion
Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
From a cross-legged position on the mat, carefully take your right ankle and place your foot onto your left groin as you press your heel to the left of your pubis and draw it towards your navel. Take your left ankle and carefully place it over your right groin, mirroring the position of your right leg. Both feet should be settled on your legs and off the mat. Place your hands on your knees, palms up as you straighten your spine.
Hold the pose for up to ten deep breaths and repeat on the other side to help you relax, stretch your thighs and ankles, and help regulate your blood pressure.
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Warrior II Pose (Vibrabhadrasana II)
Start by standing straight up, then step forward with your left foot so that your feet are three to four feet apart, with your arms parallel to the mat. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees, keeping your ankles aligned, and allow your hips to open up to the right. Bend your left knee so that your left shin is sitting above your left ankle. The shin of your left leg should be perpendicular to the mat, while your left thigh should stand parallel to the mat. Keep your shoulders above your pelvis and your spine straight as you look over your left fingers.
Hold the position for 30 seconds to a minute if you are able- before reversing your feet and doing the same for the other side. This pose helps to stretch and strengthen the legs and relieve backaches. This position can be especially helpful during the second trimester of pregnancy.
Cat-Cow Pose (Chakravakasana)
Start on hands and knees, with hands shoulder-width apart and knees hip-width apart on your mat. You can also keep your hands elevated on blocks if you need to. Inhale while looking up and lifting your tailbone to create a downward curve with your back. Round the spine on your exhale and focus on creating an upward curve with your upper body.
Repeat this process several times to build strength and flexibility in your lower back.
Down Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Like the cat-cow pose, begin on all fours before lifting your hips to the ceiling and shifting from your knees to your feet. Keep your arms and legs straight, but don’t lock them as you hold the pose for 30 seconds to strengthen your legs while aiding digestion and respiration.
You may feel more comfortable using a wider stance during the second or third trimester when performing this pose. Adjust as needed, but make sure that you are still looking at your toes when you look back.
Related: How Often Should You Do Yoga?
Practicing these positions throughout your pregnancy can be beneficial for both your mental and physical health. Make sure to be gentle with yourself and to relax after each session, and be sure to accommodate your growing baby as you go through each trimester.
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