Benefits of yoga are known to all of us. Yoga brings balance and health to the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions of an individual. Yoga is more than body stretching, it acts as a stress reliever, flexibility, strength, and body posture.
Yoga is beneficial for everyone but it also provides a wide range of benefits to unborn child and mother in numerous ways. Yoga soothes the mind, increases energy and psychologically prepares a woman labor. Numerous studies suggest that yoga prepares a woman to have a labor that is easy and safe.
Yoga asanas are divided into three categories according to the trimesters:
First trimester - In the first trimester, basic poses with few modifications are recommended such as avoid inversions and backbends as that might compress the uterus and causes low blood circulation to the uterus.
Second trimester - In the second trimester, avoid lying on the back as it can reduce the blood circulation to the uterus and also avoid the poses that stretch the muscles too much. Avoid unnecessary pressure on the abdomen.
Third trimester - In the third trimester, you should only practice those poses that do not exert pressure on the abdominal avoid. Also, avoid practicing supine poses.
Also Read: 5 most embarrassing symptoms of Pregnancy
Some Yoga asanas that are beneficial for a pregnant woman include:
Vajrasana is one of the best pose to practice during pregnancy as it provides many benefits to a pregnant woman. It improves digestion, flexibility and blood circulation in the body.
Directions to practice vajrasana are as follows
- Sit on the floor with both your legs folded and your feet under the hips.
- Keep your right palm on the right knee and left palm on the left knee.
- Set your gaze forward with your head straight and turn your attention to your breathing.
- Stay calm and feel the peace (you can also close your eyes in order to concentrate properly).
- Try to stay in that position for at least five minutes.
Ardha titali asana
Ardha titali asana is an amazing exercise for relaxing and stretching thighs. For a pregnant woman, it is a great posture for a loosening of hip joints and enabling easy delivery. It stimulates the digestive organs and also acts as a stress buster. This exercise helps in strengthening the pelvic floor exercise. Directions to practice this posture are as follows:
- Sit on the floor while stretching your legs in front of you.
- Slowly bend your one knee and bring your foot towards the groin. Try to bring the foot close to the groin as close as you can.
- Now, slowly and gently raise your knee towards the chest.
- Next, slowly lowers the knee towards the floor as low as you can.
Anulom Vilom Pranayam
Practicing anulom vilom pranayam has infinite benefits. It is one of the breathing technique that works perfectly on mood swings that can occur during pregnancy due to various changes in the body. It strengthens the body mentally as well as physically and provides more oxygen to the body. As a result, more oxygen is passed on to the fetus. Also, during labor holding of breath for maximum time can help her for pushing during labor. Most importantly, anulom vilom pranayam is very easy to do and directions to practice this exercise are as follows:
- Sit straight in padmasana, close your eyes and rest your hands.
- Now, close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale slowly through your left nostril.
- Take a deep breath and try to inhale as much oxygen as you can.
- Remove your thumb from the right nostril and just exhale.
- While exhaling, use your middle finger to close your left nostril and inhale through the right nostril.
- Concentrate on your breathing and repeat the process for the next five minutes.
Vakrasana is a yoga pose that provides a wide range of benefits to a pregnant woman. This yoga pose enhances flexibility and increases the elasticity of the spine and tones the spinal nerves. It loosens the hip joints and as a result, it relieves stiffness. Practicing this yoga pose makes the delivery easy for a pregnant woman. Directions to practice this yoga pose are as follows:
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched forward and hands beside your thighs.
- Bend your left knee at 90 degrees and place your left foot near your right knee.
- Now, twist your waist and place your right hand on the left knee and slowly hold your left ankle with your right hand.
- Turn your head to the left and place your left hand on the floor and try to hold the position for at least 30 seconds.
- Breathe normally. Slowly release your hand and repeat the process on the other side.
Practicing yoga is an excellent way to improves the overall health of the body but taking precautions while practicing yoga is also important. However, it is recommended that you should practice yoga poses under the guidance of an expert.