While pregnant, practicing Asanas is one of the most efficient ways to stay healthy and fit. It also can help to ease pregnancy.
Because of the extra weight that mother carries; neck, shoulder and back pain are quite common.
The leg muscles stiffen and swell. Thus, these asanas can help tone the body and keep it in shape. It can help to make carrying time, labor and recovery much easier.
Yes, you’re right. Many asanas are not recommended for pregnant women. But certain simple asanas can help in counteracting the adverse effects of carrying a baby.
These simple asana practices can last 10-20 minutes. It is advised for you to take rest in between each posture.These are the yoga poses for pregnant women.
Before you start practicing, keep these precautions in mind while you do any postures.
- The cervix should remain tight, and those with histories of miscarriages or cervical insufficiencies should take extra care when practicing ásanas.
- Do not perform any postures that chair and kneel on require lying on the stomach, that overly stretch pillow.
- Lift the right the abdominal muscles or that only twists from the rib cage up.
- Always bend from the hips (not the back).
- Keep the pelvis upright and the spine straight.
- After the fourth month, practice only sitting and lying-on-the-side postures.
- As with all practices, always listen to your body. Do not hold any postures that cannot be practiced comfortably.
1. Correct Posture
- Stand erect, feet slightly apart—parallel with each other and directly under the shoulders.
- Tighten the front thigh muscles to straighten the legs fully relaxed.
- Set the shoulders back and the chest out (shoulders should relax and hang). Arms and hands are relaxed.
- Extend the neck and look straight ahead.
- Lower the tailbone to the floor and push the hip bones forward and up.
- Relieves lower back strain, aligns the vertebrae, improves breathing.
2. Thigh Stretch
- Place the chair (with its back) against a wall. Face the chair and then kneel on a pillow. Lift your right knee, placing the right foot on the floor with the shin and thigh forming a perfect right angle; toes should be under the chair. The back should be straight.
- Touch the right knee to the front of the chair. Place fingers on the top front of the chair.
- Press the hands down and lift the chest to lengthen the spine; simultaneously push the tailbone down and lift the front hip bones up. The left knee should be slightly back.Feel a gentle stretch just in the center of the thigh muscles.
- Repeat with the legs in the reverse position.Then rest by sitting comfortably on the floor in Siddha Yoni Ásana (just cross the legs; do not lift the right leg up).
- Pelvic tilting stretches the spine, and the groin and thigh muscles.
3. Chest & Shoulder Stretch
- With the chair in the same position, sit on a mat or folded towel. One’s back faces the front of the chair. Legs are extended straight forward and slightly apart.
- Place the arms behind the back, resting them on the seat; interlace the fingers. (If it is difficult for you then put more blankets or pillows under the buttocks to raise the body higher, and hold the sides of the seat).
- Tighten the thighs; slowly inhale and press the back of the legs and buttocks to the floor.
- Slowly exhale, lifting the chest and rolling the shoulders back; breathe normally.
- Remove arms from the seat, release hands and sit comfortably.
- This pose stretches the chest and shoulder muscles and relieves a rounded back and shoulders.
4. Wall Squatting Pose
- Stand with the back against the wall. Separate the feet, bend the knees, and squat (while resting the back against the wall).
- Alternate— lean on a sturdy chair to achieve the squat.
- Spread the knees, turn the toes outward, and place the elbows on the knees; press palms together.
- Slowly inhale, pressing the knees apart with the elbows.
- Exhale while pressing your back against the wall to stretch the spine and move the tailbone down.
- Relax the lower back muscles. Hold this position for 1 to 3 minutes.
- Relax and sit on the floor. Lean the back against the wall and keep the feet straight out.
- Removes lower back pain; stretches the lower back, calf, and inner thigh muscles.
5. Bound Angle Pose
- Sit on a small pillow or folded blanket. Keep the back against the wall or away from the wall. Bend the knees to the side and bring the soles of the feet together in front, holding the ankles.
- Bring heels as close to the body as possible, and then place palms on the floor.
- Slowly inhale, gently lifting the spine.
- Exhale and relax.
- Place the palms on the inner thighs. Slowly inhale, and then slowly exhale and gently press thighs to the floor.
- If comfortable, gently lean forward from the hips and extend hands forward to the floor to straighten the spine and stretch the shoulders.
- Relax, sit up and extend both legs forward.
This pose creates flexible hips and stretches the inner thigh muscles.
6. Wall-Single Leg Stretch
- Sit on a rug or mat, with the back against the wall; extend the feet forward.
- Bend the right knee, placing the sole against the inner left thigh or knee.
- With palms on the ground, push the tailbone so that it touches the wall, and then straighten the left leg. Place a towel or belt around the ball of the left foot, and hold the strap ends with both hands.
- Slowly inhale, lift the chest, and press the entire back against the wall.
- Slowly exhale, gently pulling the strap to tighten the front thigh muscle and flex the foot. The spine should remain against the wall while the back of the left leg is being stretched.
- Repeat with the other leg.
It stretches the hamstring and calf muscles.
7. Wide Leg Spine Twist
- Sit on a rug or mat with legs spread and heels extended. Tighten the front thigh muscles; press the backs of the knees to the floor. Place the palms on the floor beside the hips.
- Slowly inhale, pressing down to lift and lengthen the spine.
- Gently twist or rotate to the right, placing the left hand in line with the navel and the right hand behind the right hip.
- Slowly exhale. Gently lift the chest and twist to the right.
- Bring both hands beside the hips, turn to face forward again and rest.
- Bring the right hand in line with the navel. (The hand is on the floor)
- Exhale and gently twist to the left.
- Repeat step 6, gently bring legs together and rest.
This pose usually stretches the spine and inner thigh muscles.
8. Hero’s Pose
- Kneel on a mat or blanket. Separate the feet and place hands on the floor for support. Gently lower the buttocks between the heels and sit on a folded blanket or small pillow. (Adjust the height for comfort; place a blanket on the ankles for comfort). The stretch should be in the thighs—not the knees.
- Squeeze the knees together, pressing on the floor with the fingertips; and stretch the spine upward.
- Place the palms on the knees, lifting and expanding the chest with each inhalation.
- Interlace fingers and lift the chest. Slowly inhale, and then slowly exhale-stretching the arms over the head, with palms facing the ceiling. Extend the arms up from the shoulder blades. Keep the spine straight and lift from the lower back.
- Lower arms to the sides and widen the knees. Sit on the heels, bend forward from the hips and rest the head on the floor or pillow (do not press the belly on the floor).Arms should be alongside the body.
- Release and extend the legs; sit with the legs extended and rest.
This pose may prevent varicose veins. It stretches the front of the thighs and the insteps. It relieves leg fatigue and indigestion.
9. Corpse Pose
Lie on back, arms at the side, palms up. Breathe normally and feel the mind and body relax.
The body adjusts to its new tone, strength, and less stressful position.
Always end all asana routines with the corpse pose (savasana).