Congrats on your pregnancy first! Enjoy this most beautiful phase of your life. All 3 trimesters are very much important and some simple yoga poses can solace you. Irrespective of age, yoga comprises of customized exercises for each and every one. Yoga makes your muscles more strong and supple for normal vaginal delivery.
Apart from providing the required strength, stamina and focus, yoga has immense benefits for a mother-to-be. It helps in relieving your pains, stress, anxiety and thus induces good sleep. Yoga helps in improving the flexibility of your pelvic muscles and ensures the baby’s best birth position. Support your love life, by following these yoga poses that will contribute a lot on your big happy day. A woman’s ability to give a happy birth to a baby is directly related to her ability to let go of stress in her gripping muscles.
First Trimester Yoga:
Your body undergoes a huge transformation during the first trimester. It is building a mechanism to nurture another life which can make you fatigue, hence you need to take rest. The first 12 weeks of your pregnancy is phenomenal for you to connect yourself with your body.
There is no scientific proof that prenatal yoga is harmful in your first trimester, but on the safer side, I’m proving you the best asanas that are highly helpful in your first trimester. These asanas help you to have more focussed breathing and a clear mind. Pregnancy doesn’t mean sickness, so discover the potential in you with these asanas.
Avoid asanas that overstretch your abdominal muscles and uterus. Try avoiding inversions, backbends and closed twists.
This pose is also called Mountain Pose. This is the mother of all the standing yoga poses. This beginner level asana can be practiced at any time of the day.
Way To Do It:
1. Stand erect with your legs a bit apart. Your hands should hang alongside your body.
2. Stretch your arms, shoulders, and chest upwards, thus resting your body weight on your toes.
3. Make your thigh muscles firm by lifting your kneecaps ensuring to harden the lower part of your belly (don’t harden it much).
3. Inhale – Imagine a stream of white light passing through your ankles, inner thighs, groin, spine, neck, and head. Hold your body in this pose for about 5 to 10 seconds.
4. Exhale – Look upward slightly.
Feel your breath journey while performing this asana. Choose a focus point and concentrate on it to avoid any distractions.
Inhale – Breath journey: Upwards; Toes – Stomach – Head.
Exhale – Breath journey: Downwards; Head – Stomach – Feet.
This asana relieves all your body pains and refreshes your body. It keeps you energetic and enthusiastic.
Second Trimester Yoga:
This trimester is usually termed as the golden period. You will start gaining back your energy and your morning sickness, wooziness, nausea, and etc…, that you had in your first trimester will come to a stop in this 2nd trimester. Your baby bump starts showing up and you will get all the positive attention of being pregnant.
Yoga in this trimester increases the progesterone levels of pregnant women thus soothing your muscles and improving your digestion.
Avoid inversion poses in this trimester. Below are some of the safe poses for your second trimester.
1. The Side Leg Raise
This asana is also called as Vishnuasana/Anantasana. It is derived from the two Sanskrit words “Ananta”, “Asana” which means “The infinite one” and “Posture” respectively.
Way To Do:
1. Lie on your right and place your left leg on the top of your right.
2. Support your head using your right arm.
3. Place your left hand either on your hip or on your baby bump. Gradually raise your left leg upwards vertically as much as possible. Stay in this pose for 10 seconds.
4. Further, lower your left leg to its normal position and repeat this asana 5-6 times.
5. Repeat the same with the right leg by sleeping on the other side(left).
This asana relaxes your hamstrings. It gives a good stretch and flexibility to your inner thighs as well as your abdomen.
1. Keep the knee straight while performing this exercise.
2. Perform this asana in a slow and controlled fashion.
2. The Warrior Pose
This asana is also called as “Virabhadrasana”, the asana of the mythical warrior named ‘Virabhadra’.
Way To Do:
1. Start by standing and placing your feet 40 inches apart.
2. Turn your right foot completely outwards.
3. Inhale – Raise and place your hands to the shoulder level.
4. Exhale – Bend your right knee and extend your left leg.
5. Repeat the same with the other foot.
It strengthens the muscles in your back, ankles, knees, and shoulders. This exercise boosts your self-esteem and confidence.
If you have any injuries related to your hip, knees, back or your shoulders then avoid this pose.
If you have any balance difficulties then avoid this pose.
Third Trimester Yoga
With the 3rd trimester of your pregnancy nearing, there are several things wandering and wondering your mind. Mute them all with yoga and meditation. Your baby’s movement starts becoming more evident and strong. The extra weight you gain because of your protruding belly changes your balance in every posture. Below are some poses which require no balance.
1. Butterfly Pose:
This asana is also called as Badhakonasana or Cobbler pose. Badha means restrained, Kona means angle and Asana means pose. Since both the feet are tucked close and clasped tightly with our hands in a particular angle, this is named as Badhakonasana.
It is also known as cobbler pose because this pose resembles a cobbler at work.
Way To Do:
1. Sit on the floor with an erect spine spreading out your legs straight.
2. Bend your knees and slowly bring your feet towards the pelvis. Make sure that the souls of your feet are touching each other.
3. Inhale – Grab and hold your feet tightly with your hands ensuring your heels as much close to your genitals as possible.
4. Exhale – Press your thighs and knees towards the floor.
5. Flap both your legs similar to a butterfly that flaps its wings, further while stopping the flap, slow down and stop.
Note: Increase the flap speed of your legs gradually, it should never be abrupt. While doing this pose keep breathing normally. Also push your heels to your genitals gradually, always listen to your body.
This asana helps in relieving fatigue. With regular practice, this asana helps in a smooth delivery.
A person suffering from back pain, lower-back disorders should not perform this pose.
Sciatica patients should avoid this asana. If there are any medical conditions, perform this asana under strong supervision.
2. Garland Pose:
This is also called as Malasana. It is derived from the two words ‘Mala’ and ‘Asana’ which means ‘garland’ and ‘pose’ respectively. It releases your stress and improves your focus. This highly beneficial pose is a bit difficult for beginners. So they can start by sitting in this pose for 15 seconds and gradually increase it.
Way To Do:
1. Inhale – Stand in a mountain pose by spreading your feet a hip distance apart.
2. Exhale – Squat down by bending your knees deeply and sinking your hip low past the knees. Separate your thighs a bit wider than your torso. Lean your torso forward and gently push it (your torso) between your thighs.
3. Lengthen your front torso by pressing your elbows against your knees (inner knees).
4. Bring your palms together as in Anjali Mudra. Support the knees into the elbows by pressing your outer arms against your inner thighs.
5. Stay in this position for about 30 seconds, then relax to Uttanasana and then release the pose.
This pose stretches your ankles, groin, and back. This pose acts as a savior pose for pregnant women as it provides flexibility to both pelvic and hip muscles in times of stress.
This pose helps in strengthening your thighs, ankles. It makes your hips more mobile and opens up your pelvic muscles for an easier childbirth.
1. If your heels aren’t reaching the floor, rest them on a folded blanket. Make sure they touch either the blanket or the floor.
2. To protect your joints, keep your knees pointed in the same direction as your toes.
3. People with knee problems can avoid doing this pose.
4. Listen to your body. If this pose is painful, then don’t stay in this pose.
5. Warm up before any exercise. It is important before performing any asana.
3. Cat/cow pose:
This is a beginner pose and it targets your spine and abdomen. When you inhale, your pose would be similar to that of a cow and when you exhale, it would be similar to that of a cat. Hence the name Cat/cow pose.
Way To Do
- Get on your hands and knees.
- Exhale – Round your back by tucking your chin towards your chest.
- Inhale – Arch your back downwards and look up(towards the ceiling).
- Repeat this cat-cow posture for about 5 times.
This asana improves the blood circulation in the discs of your back. This simple asana is super effective for people with back pain. If you spend a lot of time sitting, then this pose is apt for you. This is highly apt even for pregnant women as it promotes a healthy spine.
1. Never strain your neck either when trying to gaze the sky or when dropping it. Be gradual with all the poses.
2. Make sure that your arms are straight so as to ensure that the movement is with your spine and not with your elbows.
Tips For All Your Trimesters:
1. Never perform any asana without consulting/taking the advice from your physician.
2. If you are doing any of the above asanas without any guidance, take utmost care while doing each and every asana.
3. Make sure that your protein intake is at least 60 grams a day.
4. Drink plenty of fluids and eat fruits a lot.
5. Since you would be using your body sugar’s faster, eat 6 small meals a day.
6. Try to lie on your left when you sleep to ensure maximum oxygen supply for the growing baby.