If you’re like most people out there, you’ve definitely heard about the varied benefits that come with practicing yoga. There are plenty of articles on the about the benefits of this ancient practice that has become more and more popular in the United States in recent decades. However, did you know that it’s also recommended that pregnant women try out yoga during the time of their pregnancy?
You might not think about it right away because it seems a little crazy when you picture yourself trying out yoga with this newborn inside of you. However, you know better than anyone that you’re going through so much during this time. Pregnant women are prone to leg cramps, mood swings, various sicknesses, fatigue, and breathing problems. All of these issues can be worked at through the regular practice of yoga.
However, it’s crucial that you consult with a medical professional before you begin the practice. This is especially true if you’ve never done yoga in the past and you’re just starting up. Once you have consulted with your doctor and he or she has given you the green light, you can try out the below simple yoga asanas during the time of your pregnancy.
1. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
This pose is perfect if you are feeling a lot of aches and pains in your back, legs, arms, and/or neck. Plus, you’ll get a little massage of your abdominal muscles, which is great during pregnancy. Tip: This pose is good for first 5 months of pregnancy.
In order to perform this pose, you will need to start in a seated, erect position with your both straight and then half-folded. You will have to slide one of your leg, underneath the other and bring it near to the thigh of the other leg. You will inhale and raise your arms to be at shoulder level with your palms facing toward the floor. Without bending your knees, you are going to exhale and stretch your arms and head toward one side. After you have stayed on that side for about 10 seconds, inhale and bring your arms back to their original position. Then, repeat the exhalation and twist to the other side.
This exercise is absolutely fantastic to relieve some of the extra pain you’ve been feeling and stretch your body out a little bit. Make sure to not stretch more than you are able to – there’s no need to push yourself too hard during your pregnancy!
2. Squat (Utkatasana)
The next pose is otherwise known as the chair pose – it’ll make sense once you hear what the position is! This one is great to strengthen your thigh and pelvic muscles, both of which you know more than anyone else that you feel a lot of pain in during your pregnancy. Tip: This pose is good for first 5 months of pregnancy.
You will start in a standing position with your feet 12 inches apart from each other. Your feet should also be parallel with each other. Inhale for about two seconds and raise your arms to shoulder level with your palms facing down (similar to what you need with the twisting pose). Do a slow exhale and sit down in a squat pose. If you can, try to do this on your toes from some extra stretching of your leg muscles. If that is too painful, you can just keep your feet flat on the ground. Inhaling, bring yourself back up into a standing position. Repeat this pose as many times as you would like!
With this pose and the rest on this list, you’re not just going to see physical improvements to your body. They also help with stress reduction and helping out with mood swings, which are all too prevalent in pregnant women.
3. Bound Angle Pose, or Cobbler Pose (Baddha Konasana)
The konasana, or the angle pose, is up to next. When you add this pose to your daily yoga routine, you will see increased flexibility in your waist and it will help to keep the fat around your waist under control.
Start with a seating position with your legs straight. Now bring both of your legs towards your thighs together by holding feet with your hand. Inhale for about two seconds while moving your legs towards your thighs. Keep in this position for 20-30 seconds. If that is too painful, you can just keep your feet flat on the ground.
Right, so this one has a little bit of a weird nickname – “ham’s pose with one leg”. Strange, but we’ll explain it to you and it will make more sense! When you conduct this pose, you will be working to strengthen your pelvic, abdominal, and thigh muscles. This is great for any pregnant woman who wants some more strength in those regions that can be pretty painful during pregnancy.
You will start this pose by laying on your back with your feet straight out in front of you. Now, you’re going to fold your knee and move it over to the side. Try to hold this asana for as long as is comfortable for you – don’t overdo yourself if you don’t have to. Then, you will repeat this same thing with the other side. Remember to inhale as you bring your knee up and over.
5. Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose (Hasta Padangusthasana)
Lastly, we have the hast padangusthasana – the extended hand to big toe pose. Like the other poses on this list, this one is going to help you strengthen your pelvic and thigh muscles.
Like the last pose we talked about, you will start this pose on your back with your legs right out in front of you. Make sure to keep your knees together and make your body as straight as possible, except for your arms, which should be laying out beside of you with palms facing down. Very slowly, bring your right leg towards your side and try to hold your right toe with your right hand if you can. Don’t stretch too hard if you can’t! Just go as far as is comfortable for you. Exhale and bring your right leg back down beside of your left leg. Then, you can repeat with the other side for as many times as you would like!
The ancient practice of yogas has many benefits for those women who are pregnant. We hope that you’ve gained that during this article and will think about implementing yoga into your daily routine.