Yoga exercises for pregnancy
Pregnancy is a physiological stress posing undue physiological demands on the mother and fetus. Research carried out to date shows alternative therapies have been effective for reducing pregnancy-related back and leg pain and nausea; they promote normal labour, depression and cortisol levels, and the associated prematurity rate. Effective yoga practices for pregnancy consist of loosening exercises, breathing exercises, sitting postures, supine postures, pranayama, and meditation.
9 Yoga poses for the first trimester
The following simple yoga poses are beneficial for pregnant women to make them active, energetic, and supple for the first to three months.
- Ardha Titali asana (Half Butterfly): It is an excellent Yogic practice for loosening hip and knee joints, enabling faster and safe delivery.
- Poorna Titali asana (Full Butterfly): It relieves leg tiredness.
- Supta Udarakarshan asana (Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose): It relieves stiffness caused by prolonged sitting and overcomes constipation problems.
- Chakki Chalan asana (Churning the Mill Pose): It is a good Yogic posture to tone nerves and organs of the pelvis and abdomen region, helping in pregnancy. It regulates the menstrual cycle and is effective for postnatal exercise.
- Kashta Takshana asana (Chopping Wood Pose): It loosens and tones the pelvic muscles.
- Marjariasana (Cat Stretch Pose): It is known for neck, shoulders, and spine flexibility. It also helps to tone the female reproductive system.
- Kati Chakrasana (Waist Rotating Pose): This asana can tone the waist, back, and hip muscles.
- Tadasana (Palm Tree Pose): It is suitable for spinal loosening and clear congestion of the spinal nerves.
- Utthanasana (Squat and Rise Pose): This Yoga posture helps to strengthen the muscles of the uterus, thighs, and ankles.
9 prenatal yoga postures for the second trimester
The following simple and easy prenatal yoga poses are beneficial for pregnant women to make them active, energetic, and supple body for three to six months.
- Matsya Kridasana (Flapping Fish Pose): This asana re-distributes excess weight around the waistline. It helps in digestion and eases constipation, and relaxes leg nerves. It is an ideal posture for relaxation and sleeping.
- Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose): It is suitable for digestion, can be practised directly after a meal, eases hyperacidity, and strengthens the pelvic muscles.
- Bhadrasana (Gracious Pose): Gives relief from acidity.
- Marjariasana (Cat Stretch Pose): This asana improves neck, shoulders, and spine flexibility.
- Hasta Utthanasan (Hand Raising Pose): It helps reduce shoulder and upper back stiffness, good for heart and blood circulation.
- Tadasana (Palm Tree Pose)
- Kati Chakrasan (Waist Rotating Pose)
- Utthanasan (Squat and Rise Pose)
- Meru Akarshanasan (Spinal Bending pose): It is suitable for muscles of the thigh and abdomen.
Pregnancy precautions for the second trimester
Following Loosening Exercises and Yoga, poses should not be performed during the second trimester
- Forward/ Backward Bending
- Ardha Shalabhasana
5 easy yoga poses for the Third trimester
- Ardha Titali Asan (Half Butterfly)
- Poorna Titali Asan (Full Butterfly)
- Supta UdarakarshanAsan (Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose)
- Ankle Crank: Relieves stiffness from the feet.
- Shoulder Rotation (Single Arm & Double Arm): It gives flexibility in the shoulders and upper back, which is good for the heart and lungs. It also stimulates the mammary glands.
Pregnancy precautions for the third trimester
Following Loosening Exercises and Asanas should not be performed during the Third trimester
- Forward/ Backward Bending
- Sasankasana Breathing
- Viprit Karni
- Ardha Shalabhasana
12 Yoga poses for all the trimesters of Pregnancy
Some asanas can be performed during all the trimesters.
- Vajrasana: It is a favourite in all the trimesters and suitable to perform after a meal. It helps to improve digestion and blood circulation, especially in the pelvic region. Improves flexibility in joints like the knee, ankle, and muscles around these joints.
- Marjarasana: helps to improve the tonicity of back muscles.
- Sulabha (simplified) bhadrasana: helps tone the muscles in the groin and pelvic region.
- Sulabha(simplified) Ustrasana: This asana eases the strain of the back muscles, improves breathing patterns, and helps expand the lungs.
- Sulabha (simplified) Parvatasana: This asana tones breast muscles, helps lung expansion, and eases back muscle problems.
- Sulabha (simplified) Utthit Ekpadasana is a fundamental asana for pregnancy. It improves venous drainage from limbs to heart, eases leg cramps avoid oedema problems in pregnancy.
- Sulabha (simplified) Setubandhasana: helps in relieving spasms of back muscles
- Sulabha (simplified) Supta bhadrasana: helps improve breathing patterns.
- Sulabha (simplified)Uttana Vakrasana: helps to massage paraspinal muscles.
- Sulabha Januskandhasan: relieves constipation.
- Sulabha (simplified) Chakrasana: helps in improving breathing capacity.
- Sulabha (simplified) Utkatasana: helps in stretching the perineal muscles.