Top 6 Yoga Postures For Expecting Mums
Hello mom-to-be! As you begin your pregnancy journey and start making changes to your lifestyle, have you considered adding yoga to your routine? Researchers now recommend prenatal yoga! From mood swings to leg cramps, fatigue to breathing troubles, yoga addresses and resolves many problems.
Different poses and asanas will be suitable for you at different stages of your pregnancy. However, remember to consult your doctor if faced with any problems like weak uterus, as there are certain conditions when exercising could adversely affect your health.
Having said that, yoga is beneficial in several ways for pregnant women. Recent studies find that yoga during pregnancy helps to reduce prenatal anxiety and depression. Here are some yoga poses that you can perform during your pregnancy.
Sit on a cushion with your legs folded. Lean forward so you are sitting on the front of your sit bones. Left foot tucked in right thigh and right foot tucked in left thigh. Keep your spine aligned, hands on your knees, palms facing up. Try Prana mudra for releasing fatigue: tip of the thumb pressing into tip of ring and little fingers. Sit as tall as you truly are, focus on drawing big breaths into your body, as your baby needs all the fresh oxygen you can provide. Close your eyes gently, bring a soft smile to your face and enjoy spending this quality time with your baby and yourself.
Sit on your knees with a bolster under your hips. Feet should be placed as wide as your hips. The top of your feet should press into the ground. This pose is wonderful for digestion, and for your posture as it naturally lifts your spine.
This child’s pose calls for a foetal position. Except you will perform this sitting. So place your knees and shins on the floor. Your knees should be wide enough to give your belly and chest room to rest between your thighs. Stretch your arms ahead, nice and wide. Bend your elbows for further relaxation. Use a bolster or cushions to rest your arms and head. This posture is highly recommended throughout pregnancy just as the resting and energising pose between your surges during labour.
Also known as butterfly pose. Sit with your legs crossed, then slowly join the soles of your feet and widen the space near your inner thighs. Maintain about 2 feet distance between your feet and groin. It’s alright if your knees are slightly raised. You can place cushions under your knees for support, and to avoid injury. Regular practise of this pose will improve flexibility, and prepare your pelvis for childbirth. This pose is highly recommended. You can practise this pose for 10 to 15 minutes every day, until the end of your pregnancy, and during the first stage of labour. Try to sit tall and breathe freely. Try Apaan mudra here to improve digestion and relieve nausea. Tip of the thumb joins tips of middle and ring fingers with gentle pressure.
Balancing postures are important during pregnancy as your centre of gravity shifts every week with your changing belly weight. Start this tree pose by standing straight. Bend your right knee, use your right hand to place the right foot flat on the inside of your left thigh. Find your balance by gazing steadily at a point in front of you and keeping your left leg straight and firmly planted on the ground. Use support if you need help balancing at any point. Once you feel steady, join your palms in Namaste mudra. You can even raise your arms for an additional challenge. Remember to keep breathing as it can bring your body and mind together in moments of need, like during labour and delivery. Lower your leg after a few more breaths. Repeat the same with your left leg.
In this low-lying lunge, your back knee should touch the floor or rest on a cushion. Your hands, joined in namaste, should be raised up over the head. Keep elbows straight.
Points To Ponder
Discuss the pregnancy yoga poses with your doctor before you start exercising. Listen to your body. Do what feels comfortable. Pregnancy yoga exercises modify usual poses. Discuss those with your instructor. Don’t lie on your back. Don’t do head stands or hand stands. Don’t do extreme stretches. Be safe, and continue with your yoga for pregnancy.
The author is Neha Chandna, who is a practicing dietitian since the last 8 years.
The views, opinions and recommendations expressed in this article are solely those of the author and intended as an educational aid. Please consult your doctor for professional advice concerning specific health/medical matters.