Yoga initially practiced in India, is a form of exercise that raises us to higher levels of freedom from all stress, tension, diseases and misery, moving us into positive healthy living. It gives us the total understanding of the laws of mechanism and the laws of creation, helping us understand that we are not robots. During pregnancy, women face a lot of discomforts, from nausea, back pain to low stamina. It is a trying experience most often accompanied by mixed feelings of torture and joy.
During this time, a woman needs all the help and support that is required in order to have a healthy body and mental state, as they wait giving birth and the experiences that follow. According to fitness expert Tracy Mallet, yoga enables you to breathe and relax, hence your body adjusts to the physical demands of the pregnancy, labor, birth and motherhood. It is also important to note that not all yoga poses are recommended for pregnant women. Ensure to consult your medical instructor and inform them that you are pregnant before commencing on this journey.
During the first and the second trimester, it is important to take it slow. Do very light yoga. The placenta is still not firmly placed and could cause you to the loss of the baby in the progress. Light yoga will help detox your body and reduce nausea. Take frequent sips of water in between the sessions.
The bharadvajas twist is best suited during the second trimester of pregnancy. It helps to strengthen the lower back and relieve stress in the area. The reason it is recommended is because it does not exert any pressure on the belly, therefore, putting no risk on the mother or unborn child. As shown in the image above, repeat the process from one side to the other. As you can see, there is no pressure being exerted on the stomach, which makes it safe during pregnancy.
It is well known as the easy pose, decent pose, or the pleasant pose, it is a pose similar to the cross-legged position. It is a comfortable sitting yoga pose that is ideal for pregnant women as it helps to calm them down and relax them hence lowering their blood pressure. It provides a state of tranquility. For years, the easy pose has been used as a form of meditation by pregnant women to create ease of mind.
Janu sirsasana can be described as the head to knee forward bend pose, it is a common yoga pose used all through the yoga systems to strengthen back pain during pregnancy. It is important until the second trimester, but only under an instructor’s supervision.
This position helps to regulate the body’s metabolism and high blood pressure, making it helpful during pregnancy. Repeat from one side to the other for a few seconds each. To relieve some of the tension of pregnancy during the third trimester, such as lower back pain, cramps, loose bladder, heartburn, and shortness of breath, a woman should practice pranayama, which is a breathing exercise in preparation for labor. This should be accompanied by yoga exercises that help to open up the hips and pelvic bones. Some of this yoga exercises include;
It is the bound angle pose that is important for opening the hips and pelvis in preparation for childbirth. It relieves physical discomfort on the lower back. Stay in this position for around one to three minutes.
This position is also known as the cow and the cat positions. It helps in lowering the baby and positioning it well in the uterus in preparation for the child’s birth. It also helps to tone your abs safely during pregnancy. Remember to breathe in and out as shown in the picture. Do it a couple of times.
It is called the seated wide-legged forward fold; this position is very helpful towards stretching the thighs and back and in the process opening the hips in preparation for childbirth in the last trimester. When a pregnant woman breaths while in this position, she relaxes her body. Pregnant women should use the restorative position as it is easier and less exhausting for them. Stay in this position for a couple of minutes, as long as you are comfortable.
There are many more positions that were not previously recommended for pregnant women in the past as they were deemed dangerous. However, with time and research, they have come to be accepted as they are seen to be more helpful than dangerous. These pregnancy yoga positions include:
- Upavistha konasana.
All of the above-mentioned yoga positions that have been used over and over for many years to help people in various situations. For pregnant women, yoga helps to reduce blood pressure, back pains and even opening up the pelvis for delivery where the baby is overdue. It is one of the safest methods to exercise for pregnant women. There are situations where the woman has been advised against strenuous activities hence putting exercise out of the question.
This can easily be replaced by yoga as it is not strenuous. It helps reduce anxiety especially if the woman is depressed during pregnancy, and even after, most yoga instructors have even had instances where the pregnant women who were long overdue or even normal delivery during the session just to show how effective it is.
Yoga gives a woman’s body and spirit the freedom to postulate the consciousness paradigm into a world of peace and tranquility.