Yoga for Pregnancy

Yoga prenatalPractice of yoga can help you prepare your mind and body for labor and birth as this helps you focus, to concentrate and keep you healthy.

The Yoga Postures are gentle ways of keeping your body active and supple and minimize the common Pregnancy Symptoms like morning sickness and constipation. It can also help in ensuring easier labor and smooth delivery by relieving tension around the cervix and birth canal and by opening the pelvis.

Vakrasana
Vakrasana

1) Vakrasana

– Sit erect with feet stretched in front (parallel).

– Inhale and raise your arms at shoulder level, palms facing down.

– Exhaling, twist your body from waist towards your right moving head and hands simultaneously to the same side. Swing arms back as much as possible. Do not bend your knees.

– Inhale and come back to original position maintaining your hands shoulder level and parallel to each other.

– Repeat on other side.

2) Utkatasana

Utkatasana
Utkatasana

– Strengthens thigh and pelvic muscles

– Stand erect with feet 12 inches apart. Keep your feet parallel to each other.

– Inhale for 2 seconds and raise your heels and arms at shoulder level, palms facing down simultaneously.

– Exhale slowly; sit in squat pose, on your toes. If not comfortable standing on your toes, stand normally keeping feet flat on the ground.

– Keeping your hands in the same position, inhaling, get up slowly and stand on your toes.

– Exhale, hands down and heels down simultaneously.

Konasana
Konasana

3) Konasana

– Flexibility of waist and fat remains under control in the waist region.

– Stand erect with feet 24 inches apart. You can do this asana with the support of wall.

– Raise your right hand up keeping elbow straight. Give a nice upward stretch and while you inhale, bend sideward towards your left. Exhale and come back and put your hand down.

– Repeat the same with other side.

4) Paryankasana

Paryankasana
Paryankasana

– Strengthens abdominal, pelvic and thigh muscles.

– Lie down on your back. Straighten your legs. Keep your knees together.

– Now, fold your right leg in the knee at the side of your posterior. Breathe normally. Hold the position as long as you’re comfortable and repeat the same on other side. Straighten your leg.

– Repeat with the left leg.

5) Hast Panangustasana

– Strengthens pelvic and thigh muscles.

 Hast Panangustasana
Hast Panangustasana

– Lie down on your back. Straighten your legs. Keep your body in one line.

– Your hands in T-position, palms facing down.

– Slide right leg towards your right side. Don’t try very hard. Hold toe with your right hand if possible.

– Sliding your leg come back to original position.

– Repeat the same on left side.

6) Bhadrasana

Pic
Bhadrasana

– Strengthens inner thighs and pelvic region.

– Sit on the mat with legs fully stretched.

– Keeping the legs in contact with the mat, form ‘Namaste’ with your feet. -Sit erect, without leaning forward. Place your hands on knees or thighs. Hold the posture till the time you feel comfortable.

– Straighten your legs and repeat again.

7) Parvatasana

– Improves body posture, relief in backache.

– Sit on the mat in sukhasna, padmasana or ardhapadmasana.

Parvatasana
Parvatasana

– Sit straight and while you inhale, raise your arm and join your palms in ‘Namaste’ position. Keep your elbows straight. Hands are near to your ears. Hold the position for a few seconds and come back to normal position again.

– Repeat 2-3 times

8) Yastikasana

– Corrects posture, body gets stretched, relieves body tension.

– Lie down on your back. Straighten your legs. Keep your body in one line. Knees and feet are together. Feet point upward. Hands rest on the sides.

– Inhale and raise your hands; rest them on the floor and stretch upward. Push your toes out simultaneously.

– Exhale, raise your hands and come back into normal position.

– Repeat 3-4 times with in between breaks.

Yashtikasana
Yashtikasana

Some important safety measures:

1) Mothers with condition of asthma can try the above mentioned asanas but shouldn’t hold or suspend breath during the practice of pranayams/asanas.

2) On the basis of pregnancy trimesters there are certain exercises that cannot be carried throughout all pregnancy months. Konasana for instance should not be continued post seven months of pregnancy. Once the mother feels uncomfortable doing an asana, it is advisable to stop immediately without further straining the muscles.

3) Avoid forward bending asanas (strong back bends, such as the boat pose), inverted poses and exercises that might put pressure on the abdomen. Asanas that require lying down on the weight of your stomach should be strictly avoided.

4) Exercises involving balance should be done with utmost care.

5) Please avoid hurrying into weight-loss exercise regime immediately after delivery. Post-natal yoga (post six weeks after birth) and exercises should be practiced only when the mother’s body is fully ready and relaxed.

6) Simple stretching exercises encourage circulation, help fluid retention, and relieve stress.

7) If mothers feel pain or nausea doing any of the exercises, then they should stop immediately and consult doctor.

Author: Dr. Karan Katoch, Ceritified yoga therapist & Bachelor in ayurvedic medicine and surgery

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