Yoga: Tips and Exercises for Pregnancy

Yoga: Tips and Exercises for Pregnancy
by Sonia Sharma | March 6, 2013

Yoga is often viewed as a spiritual route to relaxation and peace of mind. This technique is famous for its stress relieving characteristics. This is what makes yoga great for pregnancy! Let’s delve into some tips and exercises related to yoga for pregnancy and find out how this beautiful journey can be made easier by adopting yoga as an everyday practice!

Yoga Tips and Exercises for Pregnancy

While yoga for pregnancy is great, there are some poses that you must particularly restrict yourself from performing during pregnancy. This section covers those yoga poses which are deemed injurious during pregnancy along with some exercises for pregnancy which can be highly beneficial!

The Yoga Don’ts!

Ditch the Backbends

During the first trimester it is okay for pregnant women to practice any exercise which suits them the best. However, as your pregnancy progresses and the belly starts to grow, your back may begin to get strained as well. Practicing backbends at this point may be detrimental as it can increase the risk of Diastasis Recti, which can be described as a condition when the rectus abdominis muscles begin to stretch out more than they should. Avoid poses such as the bridge, wheel, upward facing dog and dancer as these involve backbends and do not constitute as yoga for pregnancy poses.

Get your Squats Together

When it comes to exercises for pregnancy, squats are great as they can help open up the hips and facilitate the process of childbirth. However, during pregnancy there is always the risk of overstretching your hips. This risk results from the production of a hormone during pregnancy called Relaxin, which allows the hips to be looser than they normally are, making it easier to overstretch the hips if care is not taken.

Say no to Inverted Yoga Poses

When practicing yoga for pregnancy, it is essential that you avoid inverted yoga poses in their totality. There are three basic reasons why any exercise for pregnancy must exclude any sort of a headstand position.

  • If you fall out of the inversion, your baby could be at risk of a trauma
  • Falling out of the inversion will be easier during pregnancy due to a change in your center of gravity which in turn affects balance
  • Inversions may be taxing on your baby’s health as staying inverted for too long may change the direction of the baby in your womb which can potentially make labor difficult

Avoid Lying on your Stomach

Prenatal yoga almost never practices any poses which may involve women lying down on their stomachs. You can always modify some poses and invent your own yoga for pregnancy by staying on your knees and hands without letting the stomach touch the floor. You may also roll onto your side instead of lying down on your stomach to tweak up some exercises for pregnancy!

The Yoga Do’s!

Stand up Straight

Yoga postures which require standing up straight are great for making deliveries easier. Opt for yoga for pregnancy and practice poses with standing postures as these can help you strengthen your leg muscles, decrease leg cramps, increase energy and improve circulation of blood!

Breathe Easy and Relax!

There are quite a few yogic breathing techniques which are wonderful during pregnancy. The cooling breathing, Sitali, is excellent for pregnancy as during this time the body temperatures tend to run high and can use some necessary cool-downs.

The Twisted Pose

The Vakrasna or the twisted pose is one of the most effective poses when it comes to yoga for pregnancy. This pose can help you overcome the otherwise taxing and tedious procedures of labor and delivery by strengthening your spine, leg, hand and neck muscles while simultaneously gently massaging the abdominal organs.

  • Sit up straight with the legs stretched out in front of you
  • Inhale and lift your arms up, bringing them to your shoulder level with the palms facing the floor
  • Exhale and twist your body to your left by moving your hands and head simultaneously
  • Without bending your knees, swing your arms backwards as much as you comfortably can
  • Inhale and come back to initial position
  • Repeat pose on to the right side

The Chair Pose

Another pose included in yoga for pregnancy is the Chair Pose. This exercise for pregnancy is great for strengthening the pelvic and thigh muscles, making the process of pregnancy easier and also prepping women for delivery.

  • Stand up straight with the feet shoulder width apart
  • Keep the feet close to each other in a parallel fashion
  • Inhale and raise your arms up bringing them to a shoulder level, with the palms facing down while at the same time raising your heels off the ground
  • Exhale, bend down and assume a squat position sitting on your toes. If you are not comfortable sitting on your toes then you may sit with your feet flat on the ground
  • With your hands still spread out to a shoulder level, get up and stand back up on your toes
  • Exhale, bring your hands down and simultaneously place your heels on the floor once again

Remember to exercise care and consult with your physician before embarking on any diet or exercise routine. Most importantly, listen to your body. A little planning goes a long way towards a stress-free pregnancy!

About the Author - Sonia Sharma

I am presently functioning as a Yoga instructor for Fitness republic where I can continue feeding my yoga passion everyday in a different format through my writing and make people able to develop their personality at all levels u2013 physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. And yes I am always open to feedback and suggestions.

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