the most challenging and respectful time that every woman has to pass through. Pregnant women have to battle with stress and discomfort including fatigue and sickness, painful leg cramps and breathing problems. Weird aches and pains pop up out of nowhere and your heavy growing belly makes you feel impossible in finding a comfortable position while standing or sitting. If you are experiencing these bad situations, Yoga can be a magical medicine for you. Yoga is a combination of Asana, breathing and relaxation techniques to help you achieve balance, as well as control your anger, anxiety, and stress. Through the breathing technique in Yoga, the flow of blood comes to each single part of the body to provide more oxygen to your cells, and then boost the blood flow.
PREPARATION BEFORE TAKING PREGNANT YOGA EXERCISE
If you have been practicing yoga for years, you can continue during your pregnancy. However, if you are planning to start yoga as a form of exercise during pregnancy, it is ideal to do so in the second trimester. Yoga can be performed once a week or every day. The duration can range from 5 to 60 minutes per session. Follow this exercise guideline before practicing Yoga:
Always consult your doctor before embarking on any fitness programs during pregnancy.
Find a qualified yoga instructor who is well qualified and experienced in teaching pregnant women.
Listen to your body carefully. If you feel any discomfort, stop. You will probably need to modify each pose as your body changes.
Avoid lying on your back after the first trimester; it can reduce blood circulation to the uterus.
Avoid poses that stretch the muscles too much.
From the second trimester, when your center of gravity starts to shift – do all standing poses with your heel against the wall or use a chair for support, to avoid losing your balance and risking injury to yourself or your baby.
While twisting, move from the shoulders and back, rather than the waist, to avoid putting pressure on your abdomen. Twist only as far as it feels comfortable – deep twists are not advisable in pregnancy.
SUGGESTED YOGA ASANAS
TRIKONASANA (TRIANGLE POSE)
Try a modified Triangle Pose to regain your sense of balance. A deep stretch for the hamstrings, groins, and hips, Triangle Pose also opens the chest and shoulders. It helps relieve lower back pain, stress, and sluggish digestion. This Yoga pose is more than just a normal stretch; Trikonasana improves overall balance and stability, both physically and mentally, as well as increases body confidence and courage, creating poise and grace both on and off the mat.
START: Stand straight. Separate your feet comfortably wide apart.
FINISH: Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in by 15 degrees. Now align the center of your right heel with the center of your arch of left foot. Inhale deeply and as you exhale, bend your body to the right, downward from the hips, keeping the waist straight, allowing your left hand to come up in the air while your right hand comes down towards the floor. Keep both arms in straight line. Hold this position for 5 breaths and then release. Repeat on the other side.
VIRABHADRASANA (WARRIOR I)
This asana is known as an effective exercise to strengthen the lower back, arms, and legs. It helps to stabilize and balance the body as it increases the stamina. Warrior Pose is great to relax the mind and the body, spreading the notion of peace, courage, grace, and a sense of auspiciousness.
START: Stand erect with your feet together. Keep your hands on either side with palms facing your body.
FINISH: Spread your feet hip-width apart. Place your left foot firmly on the ground and turn your body completely to the right. Bend your right knee. Take a slow, deep inhalation and slowly lift your hands above your head, palms joined together. Stretch backward, without exerting your back. Fix your gaze on the fingers. Hold the pose for 5 breaths and then release. Slowly bring your feet back together. Repeat on the other side.
TADASANA (MOUNTAIN POSE)
Tadasana is a great yoga pose for pregnant women. A correctly executed Mountain Pose will use every muscle in the body. It improves posture and, when practiced regularly, can help reduce back pain. It is also helpful for relieving sciatica and for reducing the effects of flat feet
START: Stand with feet spread out at hips width. Keep your spine erect, with hands resting on either side of the body and palms facing the thighs.
FINISH: Stretch your hands and join the palms together. Stretch your spine while inhaling deeply. Lift your hands above your head at the same time. Now, tilt your head backward and keep your eyes on the fingertips. Hold the pose for 5 breaths. Don’t forget to deeply breathe in and out. With a deep exhalation, relax your body and bring your feet back to the floor. Rest your hands with palms on the thighs. Repeat.
BADHAKONASANA (BUTTERFLY POSE)
Butterfly Pose is a wonderful Yoga asana to increase the mobility of the hip joints and stretches the inner thigh. It is also good for relaxing and stretching the aching thighs. Regular practice of this posture will facilitate in easing the pain related to natural childbirth.
START: Sit with your spine erect and legs spread straight out.
FINISH: Bend your knees and bring your feet towards the pelvis. The soles of your feet should touch each other. Grab your feet tightly with your hands. Make an effort to bring the heels as close to the genitals as possible. Press the thighs and knees downward towards the floor. Now start flapping both the legs up and down like the wings of a butterfly. Start slow and gradually increase the speed. Do this movement for about 1 minute and then release. Straighten the legs out in front of you and relax.
BALASANA (CHILD POSE)
If you are experienced from Yoga for years, you may love this pose because it signifies a short break from a long workout session. When you’re pregnant, however, your normal day can begin to feel like a lot of hard work and it’s important to take time to rest and relax. The Balasana focuses on relaxing the face and breathing deeply into the back.
START: Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips.
FINISH: Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Broaden your sacrum across the back of your pelvis and narrow your hip points toward the navel, so that they nestle down onto the inner thighs. Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso, palms down, and release the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor. Stay from 30 seconds to a few minutes.