6 Prenatal Yoga Asanas for Expecting Moms
Pregnancy makes you experience a lot of mixed emotions. Excitement, fear, happiness, and overwhelmingness can be felt all at the same time. The feeling of your baby moving around inside you is priceless. But the pain and discomfort pregnancy comes with has its challenges. Mood swings, hormonal imbalances, morning sickness, and food cravings are some common problems you have to deal with daily.
Doing yoga during pregnancy can help you overcome a lot of these problems. Prenatal yoga asanas are precisely meant for reducing discomfort and stabilizing mode.
How do prenatal yoga asanas help you?
1. Reduces tension. Yoga during pregnancy can relieve muscle tension around the pelvis and helps mothers to prepare for an easier delivery. Pelvic floor exercises are a crucial part of prenatal yoga asanas since they can help in creating more balance and increase flexibility around the cervix.
2. Prenatal yoga asanas can train your breathing to ensure a relaxing feeling. It helps in reducing anxiety and feeling calmer. Pranayamas can help you stabilize your mood and reduce anxious thoughts.
3. Practicing prenatal yoga asanas daily can help reduce morning sickness, swelling in ankles, muscle tension, constipation, mood swings, and anxiety.
4. Practicing prenatal yoga asanas can help women recover faster post-delivery. Strengthening the pelvic floor is highly important since it keeps the body’s structure intact even after delivery.
5. Practicing prenatal yoga asanas can also help improve sleep and reduce stress surrounding childbirth. The discomfort caused due to difficult sleeping positions can also be treated. Lower back pain and leg cramps also decrease due to the improved blood circulation after performing yoga.
You must keep yourself moving during pregnancy. Pregnant ladies often gain 10 to 15 kgs of weight. However, gaining anything more than 10 to 15 kgs is not healthy. To keep your weight in check even after delivery, it’s important to develop a routine of exercising regularly even if it is mild.
Prenatal yoga asanas are a great way to keep yourself active, flexible, and reduce pain. Restoring body balance can be a lot easier if you start maintaining it before your body gets heavier.
Here is the list of yoga asanas you can perform safely during pregnancy. However, consult your doctor before starting any new routine in case you have doubts about any health complications you might have. If you already have pain in the body, take your doctor’s opinion and start a new routine only after approval.
Marjariasana (cat stretch)
The benefits of this yoga asana are that it stretches the neck and shoulders properly and reduces muscle tension. The cat stretch also increases flexibility around the spine and makes it stronger. During pregnancy, there is a lot of extra weight on the back, which requires more support. This yoga asana helps in strengthening muscles around the lower back and reduces fat around the abdominal region. Added benefits of this yoga asana are improved blood circulation and reduced stiffness.
Konasana (one arm)
This yoga asana is also very beneficial for the spinal area. It will reduce the stiffness around the lower back and neck. An added benefit of this yoga asana is reduced constipation and improved bowel movement in pregnant women.
Konasana (both arms)
Similar to the one-arm stretch, this yoga asana also stretches and reduces fat around the arms, legs, and abdomen. The muscles around the spine are also strengthened using this yoga asana.
Virabhadrasana (the Warrior Pose)
Performing this yoga asana can improve body balance in expecting mothers. It also helps increase stability, and reduce fat around the arms, legs, and back. Performing this asana regularly also boosts stamina and reduces fatigue.
Badhakonasana (the Butterfly Stretch)
This yoga asana helps enhance flexibility in the hip, lower back, and pelvic area. Performing this regularly also stretches the muscles in the legs, increasing blood circulation and reducing pain. It also helps reduce fatigue around the pelvis and lower back. This yoga asana must be practiced until the last trimester to ensure an easier delivery.
Viparita Karani (Inverted Legs Wall Pose)
This yoga asana significantly reduces backache and improves blood circulation around the pelvis. Varicose veins and swollen legs, common during pregnancy, can also be treated with regular practice of this yoga asana.
Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep)
Very similar to Shavasana (corpse pose), this yoga asana reduces stress and anxiety. This yoga asana helps with high blood pressure, common during pregnancy. Practicing this asana every day on the floor will help in the deep relaxation of the entire body.
Although yoga asanas are very beneficial for pregnancy, there are some asanas you should not do if you are pregnant. Here’s a list of yoga asanas that should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Boat Pose
- Wheel Pose
- Sitting Half Spinal Twist
- Cobra Pose
- Superman Pose
- Plough Pose
Prenatal yoga asanas are very beneficial if done regularly. If you do not suffer from morning sickness, you should start practicing them in the first trimester. In case you have nausea, start with breathing exercises (pranayama) only.
Maintaining both physical and mental health is crucial for a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal yoga asanas are not only beneficial for the body, but also have positive effects on mental health. It stabilises blood pressure and reduces anxiety, sleeplessness, and stress. Practicing prenatal yoga asanas will surely help you go through a healthy pregnancy, without any complications, and prevent premature labour.
Read more about pregnancy care here.