Table of Contents
Pregnancy is one exciting and life-changing journey, and it is important that pregnant women find ways to practise self-care while they nurture their growing baby.
Yoga during pregnancy is an excellent way to stay healthy and connected to the body during pregnancy.
With its focus on breathing, stretching, and relaxation, yoga can help pregnant women enjoy the physical and mental benefits of exercise while also preparing them for labor and delivery.
In this article, we shall discuss the potential benefits of yoga during pregnancy in each trimester along with poses, as well as provide tips on how to practice safely.
Yoga during the 1st trimester
The first trimester of pregnancy is a critical period for the development of the fetus, and every woman wants to ensure that her growing baby is safe and healthy.
Practising yoga during pregnancy, especially the first trimester can help to promote a healthy pregnancy by providing physical, mental and spiritual benefits. Yoga can help to ease physical discomforts such as morning sickness and fatigue, while promoting relaxation, concentration and breath control.
Additionally, yoga can help to strengthen the bond between mother and baby while providing a deeper understanding of body and mind. This article will provide an overview of the benefits of practising yoga during the first trimester of pregnancy.
1. Kantha and Skandha Sanchalana (Gentle Neck and Shoulder Rolls):
Take deep, gentle breaths while gently rocking the head back and forth, right and left, and in circles that are both clockwise and anticlockwise.
In a similar manner, move the shoulder blades up, down, clockwise, and anticlockwise. 3–5 times each movement.
2. Full butterfly (Baddha Konasana):
Sit in the full butterfly position with the legs extended. Keep the heels as near to the body as possible while the knees are flexed and bring the soles of the feet together. Relax the inner thighs completely.
With both hands, hold the feet. Use the elbows as levers to press the legs downward while gently bouncing the knees up and down. Do not use full force and repeat the same for 20 to 30 times.
3. Cat/Cow (Marjaryasana):
Starting from a position of hands and knees, place the wrists below shoulders and the knees below the hips. Imagine the spine as a line that runs directly from the shoulders to the hips.
Consider drawing a line from the top of the head through the tailbone and out the other side. The neutral spine is in this posture.
Yoga during 2nd trimester
During the second trimester of pregnancy, yoga can provide many beneficial effects to both the mother and the developing baby. It can help with relaxation, flexibility, strengthening the muscles, and improving posture.
With its various poses and movements, yoga during pregnancy can also potentially help reduce stress and anxiety which are common during pregnancy. Additionally, yoga can help to improve sleep patterns and enhance overall well-being.
In this article, we will discuss the various benefits of yoga during the second trimester of pregnancy, and how to safely practice yoga during this time.
1. Modified child’s pose (Balasana):
In a yoga mat, start by sitting with your legs folded underneath, widen the knees and elongate the spine. Widen both your knees apart from each other a little bit and then move forward bringing your forehead to the pillows in front of you.
It is a great pose to reduce back pain during pregnancy and relaxes the body. Make sure that the belly isn’t compressed while doing the poses.
Stand straight and spread your legs slowly at a comfortable distance. Turn the right foot to the right and the left foot to the left as much as possible without applying too much pressure.
Start sitting down in a squat like position and make the thighs parallel to the floor and rest your hands on the thighs. Slowly lift the right hand up while the left hand is still supporting the thighs and vice versa.
Repeat the same for 2-3 counts and stand straight and come back to the original position slowly.
3. Crescent Moon (Añjaneyāsana):
Stand on a mat and bring your leg back by pressing the toes against the ground. Bend into the front knee, straighten the back leg, and sweep the fingers overhead. Go deeper into the front knee and come at a 90-degree angle. Come to the original position and repeat the same a few times.
Pregnancy yoga 3rd trimester
Yoga during the third trimester of pregnancy is a great way to stay fit and healthy during this time. It can help strengthen the muscles used during labor and delivery, improve the posture, and help reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga during pregnancy can help improve sleep quality and reduce the risks of complications in the baby..
1. Garland pose (Malasana):
The malasana is the best pose to stretch the ankles, thighs and hip joints. Keep both the legs a little apart from each other and turn both the toes pointing outwards.
Push the hip back slowly and go into a deeper squat as closer to the floor as you can and bring the hands to a namaste pose and push the elbows into the knees. Ensure the back is straight and stay in the pose for a maximum of 5 minutes.
2. Simple pose (Sukhasana):
It is a classic seated posture that promotes mental clarity while lengthening the spine and opening the hips. Sit on the edge of a cushion, a block, or a folded blanket, allowing the pelvis to sag forward.
The right leg is crossed over the left, lay the hands down in any comfortable posture and Close the eyes, then gradually open them. Repeat the same for a few times.
3. Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana):
Stand straight and spread your legs a little. Raise your arms slowly until they are above the head level. As you exhale, bend your arms and knees slowly and open the fingers and lower your hips.
Hold this position for a few minutes and breathe well. Straighten the legs while you exhale and repeat the same for a few times. This pose helps calm the mind and open up the hip.
When to avoid yoga during pregnancy
Although doing yoga during pregnancy is great for the baby and the mother, there are a few things that one must avoid.
If the doctor has advised you to refrain from doing it during pregnancy or any other exercise routine for that matter, make sure to listen to them.
- Say no to hot yoga. Hot yoga or hot tubs during pregnancy come with a lot of risks, like defects in the baby’s growth, premature labor, etc., So it is better to avoid them completely.
- Avoid workouts or asanas that require too much jumping, bouncing, or hopping or ones that put too much pressure on the body, especially the belly.
- Stop the yoga immediately if there is any pain or discomfort or bleeding , and call the doctor immediately.
Both mental and physical health are important during pregnancy, and yoga is a great way to improve them both. Apart from that, yoga during pregnancy has a lot of health benefits, like relieving mental stress and physical aches such as back pain, knee pain, etc.
but certain poses can be harmful for the fetus. So make sure to practice yoga under the supervision of a trained professional. If they experience any discomfort or pain, contact their doctor immediately.
1. Can yoga cause miscarriage?
No, yoga cannot potentially lead to miscarriage as long it is done under a trained professional.
2. Can yoga help with pregnancy nausea?
Yes, it does. Morning sickness during pregnancy and nausea are the most common issues faced by pregnant women and poses like Upavistha Konasana (Wide Angle Seated Pose) and Tadasana (Mountain Pose) can help relieve nausea to a great extent.
3. When should I start doing yoga?
As long as there is no complication in the pregnancy and the doctor approves of it, a pregnant woman can start doing yoga as soon as they want.
4. Is Yin Yoga OK for pregnancy?
It is not recommended to do Yin yoga during the later stages of pregnancy that is the third trimester. However, Yin yoga can be performed in the first 2 trimesters as long as the mothers and the baby’s health is good.
Chennai Women’s Clinic is now Jammi Scans