Pregnancy is one of life’s greatest experiences. It is a natural process and nothing can go wrong with nature’s plan until and unless one meddles with its workings by poor diet, lifestyle and stress.
Yoga is far superior compared to any other form of exercise for a woman to go through pregnancy safely. A non-impact exercise that is soft in nature helps nourish the tissues of both baby and the mother. Yogasanas are a perfect way to start, as it is not too hard on your joints or the belly. One gets a combined effect of relaxation plus physical
exercise. Avoid strenuous yoga exercises in the first trimester of pregnancy and do not stretch beyond your capacity, as chances of a miscarriage cannot be ruled out during this period. For sustained benefits, practice regularly. This continuous practice can raise the level of awareness of one’s body and its needs influencing physical, physiological and psychological levels.
Some Asanas than can be performed safely which involve gentle spinal movements are –
Increases strength in the legs, relieves sciatica, improves concentration and self-awareness.
Stretches hips, groins, and spine, Opens chest and shoulders
Virabhadrasan (Warrior II)
Opens chest and lungs, builds stamina and strength, stretches hips, groin and shoulder
Adhomukhaśvānāsan (Downward Dog)
Calms the nervous system, improves digestion, relieves headache, insomnia, back pain and fatigue
Bitalasan (Cow) Marjariasan (Cat)
Stretches the spine back and abdominal muscles, opens up the thoracic cavity, stimulates the gastro intestinal tract and relieves lower back pain
Relieves tension in the chest back and shoulders and calms the mind
Very beneficial for pregnant women in easy and smooth delivery,
Improve flexibility in the groin and in the hip region and gives a good stretch for inner thighs and pelvic floor muscles
Sukhasan (Easy crossed legged)
Helps lengthening of spine, opens up the hips improves body posture
SuptaVakrasan (Spinal twist on your back)
Twists your spine, eases the stiffness experienced in the spine, opens up the stiff lower back and eases the pain and facilitates a soothing massage for the back.
Alleviates stress, rejuvenates the body and mind, decreases high blood pressure, improves brain function, takes one to deep meditative state where healing mechanisms of body are activated and immunity strengthened
Slow deep Ujjayi breathing, AnulomVilom, Seetali, Seetkari, Brahmari and Chanting.
Expels toxins from the body via enhanced effective breathing, regulates blood pressure, improves digestion increases immunity, improves autonomic functions, increases mental strength and soothes ruffled nerves bringing about a calming effect to both the body and the mind.
Eases stress and anxiety, helps sleep better, cuts emotional reactivity, helps build relationship, fosters a healthy body image.
Practice of Yoga can be of great help during the first trimester. The body is preparing itself to nurture another life. Hormonal changes are happening very rapidly. If you are new to yoga, start with simple poses that build your flexibility. Use props if required. Practice safely in a quiet and stress-free environment. The key is to stay relaxed. If you ever feel any discomfort, feel free to stop midway and rest. Relax at the end of a class and make sure you are aware of the manner in which you are breathing.