Yoga is a spiritual route to a relaxed mind and healthy body.
During pregnancy, the body goes through many changes, which creates stress on the women mentally and physically.
The remarkable effects of Yoga postures during pregnancy ensures a relieved pregnancy period of nine months, easier and natural labor and smooth delivery and restoration of body shape after childbirth.
If you are a beginner, the ideal time to start Yoga is the second trimester, after about 14 weeks. It is not advisable that you start doing yoga in the first trimester, if you are not used to it.
Here’s a list of the top yoga postures that work wonders on a woman’s health during pregnancy:
Sukhasana (Meditation Pose)
Sukhasana is one of the popular poses for meditation. If you are a beginner, it is good to start practicing yoga with Sukhasana.
Meditation pose helps calm your mind and body and relieve stress and anxiety. Practice this regularly during pregnancy as it soothes your mind to a great extent.
- Sit on a mat with your head, neck and spine erect and your legs stretched out ahead in front of you. You can sit with your back close to a wall for support.
- Fold your legs at the knees and bring them closer to the groin area. One foot should be informed of the other foot.
- Place your hands gently on the corresponding knees. Join your index finger with your thumb.
- Close your eyes and take slow and deep breathe.
- Breathe out slowly.
Do this as long as you are comfortable staying in this posture.
Konasana (Bound Angle Pose / Butterfly pose)
Performing butterfly exercises help you to stretch out the areas in your inner thighs, groins and knees. It also helps open up your hips and improves flexibility and ensures a smooth delivery if practiced regularly until late pregnancy.
- Sit on a mat with your back and spine erect and your legs stretched out.
- Bend your knees gently and bring your feet towards your pelvis. Join the soles of your feet together. Try to bring them close to your groin area, as much as possible without feeling any pain or discomfort.
- Grab your feet tightly with both hands. You may place the hands underneath the feet for support.
- Press your knees softly downwards towards the floor gently. Get your knees as low as you comfortably can.
- Slowly press your knees up.
Repeat the latter two steps (10-20 times) and flap both your knees up and down like the wings of a butterfly.
Vakrasana (Twisted pose)
Vakrasana is a very effective pose that helps you to relax. It gently massages the areas around your legs, hands, neck and your spine, as well as the organs in your abdomen.
- Sit erect and stretch your legs together in front of you.
- Let your arms be alongside of your body and place the palm on the ground.
- Slowly fold your left leg at the knee and place the sole of the left leg near your right knee.
- Place the right palm on the other side of your left knee.
- Breathe out slowly and gently twist your body from your waist area sideward towards your left.
- Move your left hand towards your back and place the palm on the floor. Try to take your hand as much to the back as you can, without feeling uncomfortable.
- Hold this final posture for 1/2 – 3 mins
- Breathe in slowly and return to the original position.
Repeat the same steps on the other side, alternating the hands and leg. Repeat this for 2-3 times and relax.
Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
Trikonasana is a beneficial prenatal pose that strengthens and stretches the hips, back, arms, thighs and legs. Triangle Pose reduces blood pressure, stress, anxiety, back pain and sciatica. Trikonasana also boosts appetite and helps improve digestion.
- Stand straight with your feet about 24 inches apart and arms alongside the body. It is better to stand in front of a wall for instant support if you loose balance.
- Inhale with an upward stretch and raise the left hand up keeping elbow straight.
- Exhale and bend sideways towards your right. Try to stretch the right hand more and touch the right ankle with your fingers, while keeping the left hand straight without bending the elbow. If you are a beginner try to touch any portion of the leg as near to the toe as you can manage.
- Turn your head to look at your left palm.
- Hold this posture for a few seconds.
- Inhale and straighten your body to return to the standing position.
- Exhale and bring your left hand down.
- Repeat the same steps with the alternate hand.
Repeat this 3-5 times from both sides.
Utkatasana (Chair pose)
Utkatasana is a challenging pose that strengthens the muscles of your thighs and pelvic region, while toning the shoulders, hips, buttocks and back. This asana is essential in early pregnancy to prepare your legs to carry extra weight. This pose also improves your overall health, balance and confidence.
- Stand straight on a mat with your feet about 12 inches apart and parallel to each other. Keep a chair beside you for instant support if you loose balance.
- Breathe in slowly and raise your arms upwards at your shoulder level. Ensure that your palms face downwards as you do so.
- Breathe out slowly and gently bend your knees and sink your hips down as it seems like you are seated on a chair.
- Hold this pose for a few seconds.
- Breathe in slowly and rise up gently.
- Breathe out and bring your hands down.
Repeat this for 2-3 times.
The above postures may needed to be moderated depending on each mother’s fitness level, health condition and state of pregnancy. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your own Gynecologist or midwife before practicing Yoga during pregnancy.