Giving birth to a life is indeed a miracle! However, the weeks and months of physical exhaustion due to lack of sleep, bodily and hormonal changes, constant mood swings, etc., make the moms-to-be physically and mentally tired.
Yoga is a nature’s gift to pregnant women and their wellbeing. One of the mystical wonders of the art of yoga is its uniqueness. Every time the practitioners step on a yoga mat they experience new sensations running through their body and positive thoughts unfolding. This charismatic discipline offers countless benefits to the individuals when explored, learned, and practiced thoroughly on a regular basis. Expectant mothers can very well perform gentle yoga exercises.
Prenatal yoga is a great way to work on the body in an indispensable manner and to prepare the body and mind for a healthy and smooth delivery. Prenatal yoga is a multifaceted approach for the moms-to-be that promotes stretching, focused breathing, and mental centeredness. The prenatal yoga postures address some of the most important areas and common issues of pregnancy and safely help in managing those.
Yoga postures target the pelvic muscles and strengthen them allowing the pregnant woman to carry their baby comfortably while aiding in a robust gestation. The pose releases tension in the lower back and legs. Yogic breathing exercises still the mind of a pregnant woman and increases the depth of their breath.
Here is a list of key prenatal yoga poses for the expecting mothers to indulge in:-
1. Fire Log Pose (Agnistambhasana):
- A relieving yoga posture that opens the back and releases tensions in the glutes and muscles surrounding it.
- Begin in a seated position with crossed legs and hands on the knees in Anjali mudra.
2. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Kapotasana):
- A hip opener pose that effectively melts the lower back tension.
- Come on your fours and extend the left leg behind. Bend the right knee and slide the right leg forward towards the left wrist. Join the hands together and rest the forehead on the ground.
3. Child Pose (Balasana):
- Give away all the body-mind pressure by delving into a child pose.
- Kneel on a yoga mat. Sit back on your heels and bow forward. Drape the torso over the thighs and rest the head on the floor.
4. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana):
- A strengthening yoga pose that makes legs, hips, lower back healthy and strong.
- Stand tall and place the right foot on the inner left thigh. Lengthen your spine and join hands in front of the heart chakra. Gaze in a forward direction.
Prenatal yoga poses offer numerous benefits to the expecting mothers. Look at the rewards of yoga in pregnancy:
1. Keeps Stress Under Check: One of the health benefits of yoga is its power to reduce stress levels. The hormonal changes within the body often make the expecting mothers feel emotionally drained, mentally exhausted, and physically tired. Stress is harmful to the development of the baby and the mother both. The performance of yoga postures and breathing exercises calms the nervous system, relaxes the body, and increases the supply of oxygen to the developing fetus enabling a healthier growth of the baby.
2. Eases Morning Sickness and Backache: The first trimester brings along morning sickness and nausea. And as the first trimester ends, morning sickness fades and a backache rises. For all the pregnancy-related problems, yoga is an all-in-one solution. The yoga postures alleviate pressure on the lower back, work on the abdominal muscles, and pranayama helps with nausea thus making the journey of pregnancy less painful and more comfortable.
3. Flexibility in Hips: Prenatal yoga is the best way to bring back the decreased flexibility and comfort to the various muscles of the hips. Yoga poses stretch the hip flexors and ligaments in the pelvis and legs appeasing the labor pain. It also relaxes and strengthens the hips to find balance.
4. Preparation For Labor: Pranayama practices are the core of yogic exercises and learning the art of deep breathing greatly benefits the pregnant women. The focus on Ujjayi breathing expands the lungs and diaphragm allowing for enhanced oxygen supply. Breathing helps the practitioners to get through the yoga poses, builds calmness, stamina, and prepare mothers for an anxiety-free childbirth.
5. Connection with the baby: Yoga is the best method of self-care, to stay in tune with one’s own body needs, and to connect with the growing life inside. The holistic practice of yoga helps mothers become more aware of their body and mind. This in return is beneficial for the spiritual bond.
Deeply connect with your baby, radically be present with your own Self and embrace motherhood in the most healthy manner with prenatal yoga.
Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India. He loves writing and reading the books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.