Yoga is a mental and physical well-being activity. It utilizes a sequence of body positions and breathing exercises (called postures). It is an excellent method to stay active during pregnancy and is healthy for you and your child. Yoga for Pregnancy uses techniques of relaxation and breathing with postures adapted for pregnancy. Yoga has been proven to decrease anxiety and assist females in remaining calm during pregnancy and labour. It can also enhance your sleep. Many of the breathing techniques that you use in yoga can assist you in getting prepared for your child’s birth. They will help you remain calm and breathe steadily through your contractions if you use them during your labour. Doing Yoga during pregnancy may even mean that you need fewer pain relievers during the child’s birth. So if you are interested, keep scrolling to know more about yoga for pregnant women.
Doing yoga during pregnancy is a gift for your body. Yoga is a beautiful and gentle way in which you can keep your body focused and flexible during pregnancy. It is an appropriate exercise and has been suggested by several doctors and experts. The aim of practising yoga for pregnant women is to ease the pain during the delivery and as much as possible.
How Can Yoga Asanas During Pregnancy Help?
Many pregnant women have a common question – “Is yoga in pregnancy good for them”?
Yoga has impressive health benefits, and practising them during pregnancy can prepare you for your child’s birth, physically and mentally.
- Prenatal Yoga can help you calm down your mind and control your thoughts during this emotional roller coaster ride.
- Pregnancy yoga can ease your body by stretching the muscles and preparing you for normal delivery.
- Breathing exercises in Yoga can relieve your stress and helps you relax.
- Specific postures in Yoga can strengthen the pelvic floor, which not only aids in a smooth delivery but also alleviates problems like constipation and lower abdomen pain.
- Pregnancy yoga exercises can reduce swelling in the limbs, muscle cramps, and joint pains.
What is the Best Time To Start Doing Yoga During Pregnancy?
- For those who have never done Yoga before pregnancy, it is advised to start Prenatal Yoga only during the second trimester. The first trimester is a critical period, and incorrect yoga postures or excessive physical strain may lead to complications.
- However, regular Yoga practitioners can perform Yoga from the first trimester, as the body is already used to the postures. It is also recommended to seek a doctor’s advice before signing up for it.
Pregnancy Yoga For Beginners: Precautions and Guidelines
For beginners, picking up pregnancy time yoga can be quite tricky. Several apprehensions may put you off at the start, but with trained supervision and a little confidence, you can experience the fantastic benefits.
- The thumb rule for Prenatal Yoga is to GO SLOW. There is no hurry, and you are not preparing to become a Yoga guru.
- Be very gentle when performing the stretches.
- Enjoy the postures and learn how to sync your breath with each movement.
- Opt for simple postures like Vidharbhasana, Easy Pose, Temple Pose, and Sukhasana.
- Meditation is highly recommended to maintain inner calm and peace.
Best Yoga Asanas During Pregnancy:
If you are looking for some of the best yoga exercises during pregnancy for pregnant women, which will help to strengthen physical and mental health, please refer to this article. Here we have given you a list of yoga asanas to be performed trimester-wise during pregnancy along with how to and their benefits for pregnant women.
1. Butterfly Pose Or BaddhaKonasana Yoga:
The Butterfly Pose shall act as a hip opener. This will stabilize the pelvis which has been proven beneficial and helpful for all pregnant women. These Yoga steps for pregnant ladies will guide you on how to perform it:
- You need to sit in a relaxed pose first and straighten your back.
- Take a few deep breaths and bring your feet together in front of you.
- Let your soles face each other. Now gently bounce the leg and hold it for 4 to 6 seconds and then you may inhale again.
- Do this five to ten times and try to stretch as much as you can without squishing your belly.
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2. Cat Pose Or Marjaryasana:
The Cat Pose helps you stretch your body and aids in the strengthening of neck and spine muscles. It also stimulates bowel movements and helps in the proper functioning of the kidney and adrenal glands.
- Start on your hands and knees.
- You can place a towel underneath your knees or lean your chest on a birth ball if you feel discomfort.
- Your feet should be stretched, and your toes should be curled under the palm.
- Inhale and stretch yourself completely.
- Lift your head and chest.
- Lift your tailbone and make sure you are dropping your belly to the ground.
- Exhale and draw your belly upwards.
- Repeat 4 to 6 times before you can call it an end.
- To rest, you can do the child’s pose, which is also very much beneficial for pregnant women.
3. Tree Pose Yoga Or Vrikshasana:
This is one of the most straightforward and perfect exercises of yoga for pregnant ladies. It stretches the muscles in the thighs, abdomen, shoulders, and groin area. The muscles in the abdominal area are strengthened to support the weight of the fetus. This also works wonderfully for sciatica, a common problem during pregnancy.
- To do this simple tree pose for pregnant women, you must stand straight with your feet slightly apart.
- Now straighten your arms and lift your arms doing the Namaste pose.
- Take your right leg up and bend towards the knees.
- Now place it on the left leg. Now stretch your body and take a few deep breaths.
- Keep your head straight up and hold this position for 4 to 6 breaths.
- Lower the arms and return your foot to the ground.
- Now you may repeat using the opposite leg.
4. The Upward Bow Pose Or Chakrasana:
Experts recommend performing this yoga posture only during the first stage of pregnancy. It is somewhat difficult to perform during pregnancy. It is also called chakrasana or the wheel pose. This yoga pose has a lot of health benefits for pregnant women. It gives great shape to the body and tones the abdomen along with the reproductive system.
- Lie down on your back and stretch your feet wide apart.
- Now, slowly bend your knees and touch the ground with your feet.
- Pull your palms under your shoulders and press them on the ground.
- Gradually, lift your shoulders and elbows, with your feet firm on the ground.
- While inhaling, get into the circular pose and push your chest out.
- After remaining in the position for 15 seconds, slowly go back to the original position.
5. The Locust Pose Or Salabhasana:
Locust pose is the best yoga for pregnant women, according to some people. A pregnant woman has got relevant results when they perform this posture. The different angles that the body bends in while doing this pose helps to maintain a good physique as well.
- Lie on your back with your feet close to each other.
- Inhale and raise your upper back.
- Place your hands near the buttocks and remain in that position.
- Exhale and slowly go back to the original position.
6. Full Squat Pose Yoga Or Malasana:
The full squat pose strengthens legs, thighs, calves, feet, and ankles. It can stretch the lower part of the body, including your spine. This exercise is highly recommended for preparing the lower body for delivery. It can also help you relieve gas from the body and stimulate bowel movements.
- You need to stand with your feet wider than your hips and inhale.
- As you exhale, you must bend your knees as low as you can so that your buttocks are only two to three inches above the ground.
- Bring your hands together in a prayer position and lean forward to balance.
- Hold for a couple of minutes and let it relax.
- It is one of the most effective yogas during pregnancy time, especially in the first trimester.
7. The Chest Opening Posture Or Bow Pose Or Dhanurasana:
If you need yoga exercise for pregnancy, then it is recommended that you go for this chest-opening posture. It can stretch and open the chest muscles, which are extremely necessary for removing the physical stiffness in women during pregnancy. Generally, for a woman during pregnancy, the body becomes weak, and the muscles become stabilized and make the inner fibres of the body stiff and rigid. There are fewer contractions and friction during pregnancy and this can be said to be one of the prime yoga asanas for women who are pregnant. While doing this yoga, one should keep in mind that there is not too much pressure on the belly. It is also known as the bow posture.
- Lie down on your stomach with your palms facing upwards.
- While exhaling, bend your knees and touch them with your hands.
- Hold your ankles and remain in that position for 10-15 seconds.
- Go back to your original position.
8. Hero Pose Or Virasana Yoga:
Hero Pose does look effortless and is excellent for relieving ankle and leg swelling during pregnancy. This yoga for a pregnant woman can relieve gas and aid in better digestion of food. This pose stretches the lower part of the body and offers better balance and support during pregnancy. It also works for lowering blood pressure caused due to pregnancy.
- Get into the kneeling position first and knees together.
- Your thighs should be parallel to each other.
- Stretch your arms over your head and interlace your fingers.
- Twist the hands and hold them for four to six breaths.
- This pose will help you in improving your breathing technique and also ease your labour period a bit.
- This yoga pose is also known for improving posture and helping stretch your back and legs.
9. The Standing Mountain Posture or Tadasana:
Have you ever done the standing mountain posture? This is considered one of the best poses of yoga pregnancy, according to a group of experts. This can reduce physical aches and will also promote better health. In this posture, the woman will have to stand straight with her body kept erect and the back straight. This will assist with the pain in the knees and buttocks as well. Some women experience tremendous pain in the lower back while going through pregnancy, and tips can reduce the pain in that portion as well.
- Place a Yoga mat and stand on it with your feet close to each other.
- Fold your arms in the form of Namaste and stand tall on your feet.
- Stretch your arms and repeat the asana.
10. Cow Posture Or Bitilasana:
According to many kinds of research on yoga poses for pregnant women, it has been found that this particular posture, which includes an excessive stretch of the upper body will be beneficial for the woman. This will allow them to get rid of fatigue issues pretty quickly and can be said to be the most useful and powerful during pregnancy yoga.
- Kneel on the floor and slowly raise your back.
- Support your back on your palms and hold that position.
- While exhaling, go back to the original state.
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11. The Fish Pose Yoga Or Matsyasana:
You can picture this yoga posture from its name. Matsyasana is good for the lower back and the lower limbs of pregnant women. It increases the elasticity of the body and makes a pregnant woman feel a lot better. There is nothing better for a pregnant woman than to get relief from the pain she is going through. Some prefer joining the palms.
- Lie on your back with your feet close to each other.
- Now inhale and slowly raise your upper back in the shown position.
- Bend your neck and touch the ground with your head.
- Fold your palms and place them on your chest.
- Remain in the position for 15 seconds, exhale and go back to the original position.
12. The One Arm Raise Posture:
This yoga exercise generally includes the one-arm extension technique. It can stretch the back muscles to strengthen them. It also tones the wrist, arms, and thighs. This pose can help you alleviate back pain and prepare you to take extra weight during pregnancy.
- Where one arm is extended to the front and the rest of the body remains erect after coming into a particular posture.
- The posture will be extremely beneficial during pregnancy and can reduce physical stress and make one feel well.
- The body should be relaxed while performing this technique.
13. The Sphinx Pose Or SalambaBhujangasana:
This posture can be said to be helpful for dealing with physical stress and random body aches during pregnancy. It has provided effective results over the years. There is a slight difference between this posture and standard planks, that is the stomach is raised at a reasonable level from the ground in planks, but here it touches the ground.
- Lie down on your stomach with your feet together.
- Inhale and slowly raise your upper body.
- Stretch your hands with a slight bend, such that the palms face the ground.
- Exhale and go back to the original position.
14. The Lord of The Dance Pose Or Natarajasana:
This is yet another beneficial pregnancy yoga exercise which women find fun in performing as it is like dancing. For a pregnant lady, it is difficult to perform, but it has so many health benefits. It is also called Nataraj asana yoga. This yoga pose will help to improve concentration during pregnancy time and give balance to the body.
- Stand with your feet together and hands on either side.
- Inhale and lift your right leg and right hand.
- Extend your left hand while balancing on the left leg.
- Maintain your balance and hold that position for 15 seconds.
- Exhale and alternate positions.
15. Warrior Pose Yoga I (Virabhadrasana I):
By having excellent benefits of virabhadrasana, it is beneficial for pregnant ladies. It opens up the chest area, enabling better breath. It also strengthens the hip, thigh, and back regions. This pose helps maintain focus and a better balance of the body. If you are looking for a posture to increase your stamina, try this asana for the best benefits.
- To do the warrior pose, keep your feet flat on the ground.
- Keep your arms by your side.
- Take your left foot and place it at the back.
- There should be a three feet gap.
- Bend your front knee and make sure your thigh is parallel to the ground.
- Now breathe in and out and keep your head upwards.
- Look towards the sky as you perform this exercise.
- Hold for a minute and keep breathing.
- Release your arms now and slowly go back to the mountain pose.
- You should do this about ten times before you may return to the mountain pose.
16. The Supported Triangle Posture Or Trikonasana:
Among all the yoga postures for pregnancy, the supported triangle posture is considered extremely special. This posture is helpful yoga for a pregnant woman.
- The supported triangle posture is done by bringing one leg forward and putting the pressure of the body on the other leg.
- Well, this is just the first stage of this yoga.
- The next step will be to raise the arm upwards and make this technique look like the one-arm raised posture.
17. The Cobra Posture Or Bhujangasana:
This is another fantastic pose of yoga in pregnancy. Generally, women suffer from body aches when they are pregnant. Physical activities such as the cobra posture will be necessary to deal with the physical condition.
- For doing this Bhujangasana posture, a woman has to lie straight on the floor first.
- Slowly stretch her upper body to her back to touch the foot with the help of her palms (arms are stretched backwards).
- Inhale and hold the position for 10-15 seconds.
- Slowly exhale and go back to the original state.
18. The Camel Posture Yoga Or Ustrasana:
Camel posture works great for the shoulders and chest as well. Ustrasana is one of the best yoga asanas during pregnancy. It helps to stimulate the nervous system and improves spine flexibility.
- On the floor, kneel with your shins on the floor.
- Place your hands behind your pelvis and push them in the forward direction.
- Slowly bend your head backwards and touch your ankles with your hands.
- While exhaling gets back to the original state.
19. Low Lunge Pose Or Anjaneyasana Yoga:
The Low Lunge Pose can be pretty tricky to do in terms of balance during pregnancy time. This move shall encourage dilation and allow your baby to descend and rotate.
- Your arms need to be extended above your head as you do this.
- You can also keep blocks and bricks beside your hips so that you can stretch your back and keep your balance.
- Your lower back shall be strengthened, and you can expect to gain a lot of strength from this.
20. The Alternative Lunge Posture:
This particular yoga posture deals with the different physical discomforts that women face during pregnancy. This can also be said to be the starting position of the real lunge posture.
- Position yourselves with your right knee stretched on the floor and your left leg folded.
- Slowly bring your hands into position and place them on the left leg.
- Exhale and alternate the leg positions.
21. The Half Frog Or ArdhaBhekasana:
The half-frog posture can be said to be one of the best yoga exercises for pregnant women. It can deal with stiffness in the muscles and eliminate pain in the limbs as well.
- The frog posture demands a woman to sit on the floor with one leg stretched to the back and the face facing forward.
- One arm should be kept on the floor, and one arm should remain at the waist.
- This will provide equal balance to the body on both sides and will make the posture effective.
22. Easy Pose Or Sukhasana Yoga:
This is also called decent pose yoga or pleasant yoga. To do the easy pose, follow these instructions.
- You must sit on the ground and make sure your weight is on your sitting bones.
- Inhale and cross your legs. Straighten your spine and back.
- Rest your hands on your thighs and knees.
- You should be sitting in a prayer position, and your arms must be behind your back.
- Now hold for 4 to 6 breaths and then let it relax.
- Repeat five to six times before you move on to the next exercise.
- This will help in opening your chest and breathing better. Your flexibility will also improve.
23. Warrior II Pose:
Warrior II pose will give your body an intense stretch to the thighs, shoulders, and pelvic area. This pose will open up the hips and let your baby’s head engage, and in labour, it will be of great assistance as the pelvis will open up easily for the baby.
- If you feel a lot of difficulties while trying to do the warrior II pose, you can rest your body on a wall.
- You will make your delivery a much smoother process if you do the warrior II pose daily along with the rest.
24. Goddess Pose I (UtkataKonasana):
The Goddess Pose helps in strengthening the hips, thighs, and groin areas. It can even strengthen the shoulder areas and open up your chest for better breathing. Pregnant women suffering from respiratory problems must try this asana.
- You need to stand with your hips wider than your hips.
- Bend your knees downward as you exhale and keep them straight and parallel to the ground.
- Your heels should be on the ground.
- Let your arms come up and allow your upper arms to be parallel.
- Bring your hands into a prayer pose and hold this pose for the next two minutes. Let it relax.
25. Goddess Pose 2:
This is a bit different from the previously discussed goddess posture. According to some people, it can be said to be the initial stage of the goddess posture pose. People practising this posture can get rid of the problems faced during pregnancy. There are many other benefits of this posture as well. Want to know what makes this yoga exercise for pregnancy different from the previous one? Pay close attention to the picture provided; here, palms are joined together as if the woman is worshipping or praying.
- Stand on a mat with your feet wide apart.
- Bring your hands close to your chest and open your fingers.
- Inhale and release the position.
26. Corpse Pose or Savasana:
In this exercise, the practitioner lies on the ground and relaxes after the end of every yoga session. This can be very rejuvenating and can lower blood pressure levels.
- Lie on your back with your feet and hands wide apart.
- Slowly inhale and exhale.
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Try the above yoga exercises during pregnancy time and get all benefits which help you have a smooth delivery. Then comment here on your best yoga pose which helped you to have a better delivery.
For a pregnant woman, yoga during pregnancy is excellent, but please do check with your physician before practising these poses of yoga. If you do not have any problems with your health, your doctor will offer you the way forward. A healthy body is a home to a good child! Starting today, do plan to work out during your pregnancy? Do you think about pregnancy yoga or any other forms of exercise? In the comments section below, share with us.