Barefoot and pregnant? Get that yoga mat out for this helpful and easy-to-do prenatal yoga.
Pregnancy is no cakewalk for sure. This is one time when your body undergoes innumerable physical and physiological changes, as does your mind, heart and soul. Being pregnant is indeed a wonderful time for you and your partner, for there is no shared joy like making a baby together. However, with most of us living topsy-turvy lifestyles, pregnancies have gotten a bit complicated with gestational diabetes, blood pressure issues, etc.. One big prenatal aid for you could be yoga – its slow, gentle movements concentrate on stretching your body and making it ready for the birthing ahead. Plus yoga keeps you fit, thus limiting your pregnancy weight gain to healthy parameters.
Let’s look into five yoga poses perfect for pregnant women, even in their third trimester. That said, always consult your doctor before you begin any exercise regimen – and this holds particularly true when you are expecting. Let your ob-gyn rule out any problems and give you the formal go ahead to practice yoga. Not all pregnancies are the same and doctor’s orders are the safest to follow…
Supported Triangle Pose
The triangle pose or the trikonasana is a core strengthening one and it helps expand the pelvis and ready it for the upcoming birth. While traditionally the triangle pose involves a full side bend, it’s strictly advisable to do this supported variation when you are expecting so as to not put any pressure on your unborn baby.
Start with your legs apart, farther than shoulder width with your right foot pointing forward and the left foot pointing sideways. Bend your left leg and support yourself by placing your left elbow (1st and 2nd trimester) or left hand (3rd trimester) on your bent left leg. Inhale deeply and then exhaling, lift your right arm up and above your shoulder, twisting your body sideways and looking up at your right hand. Breathe deeply once. Straighten out and then repeat this on the opposite side, doing each side 3-5 times.
The Butterfly Pose
From the standing pose above, we now move into floor poses. For the butterfly asana, sit straight on the mat with your legs in front of you, knees together. Inhale and on the exhale, keeping the legs in contact with the mat at all times, form a ‘Namaste’ with your feet, pulling your feet closer towards your pelvis. Sit erect without leaning forward and place your hands on your knees or thighs. The butterfly pose or the bhadrasana works by widening the pelvic cradle and makes it limber – thus aiding in better chances of a natural birth with quick labor.
The Cow/Cat Pose
Cow/Cat pose is excellent for relaxing your back as well as pelvic muscles – this pose is actually a weight off your back and feet. To do this kneel on all fours with your knees apart. For the cow pose, inhale and pull down your abdomen, tip your tail bone up and look up. Exhaling, arch your back up and look towards your belly (cat pose). Repeat this 5 times.
The Half Ham Pose
The Half Ham Pose is done with one leg as opposed to the traditional both-legged spinal curve pose. This variation strengthens the abdominal, pelvic and thigh muscles. To do this, lie down on your back comfortably and straighten your legs, keeping the knees together. Now bend your right knee and twist your leg such that it lays bent outwards, flat on the ground. Breathe normally, and hold the position until you feel discomfort. Straighten and repeat with the other leg.
The Stick Pose
This pose is beneficial for alleviating the general body stiffness that comes with being pregnant. To do this pose, carry on in the same starting pose above – on your back, legs straight and knees together with your arms on your side. Twist your arms so that they lie palm up – inhale and raise your arms above your head, keeping the elbows straight and touch the floor, extending your spine. Try to be as “tall” as you can by stretching your arms, legs and spine to their maximum but painless potential. Deep breathe in this pose 5 times.
Remember not to strain or stress yourself while practicing any exercise during pregnancy. Avoid any poses that put pressure and weight on your belly and stop doing exercise if it hurts you anywhere. This is the time where you have to focus on being healthy, inside out. There’s plenty of time to lose that baby weight once the birthing has occurred – so remember to use exercise as a health aid in making your pregnancy the happiest and healthiest possible.
Do or did you follow any particular fitness routine during your pregnancy? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below…