Becoming a future mother is certainly a life-changing event, but is never easy. When you’re pregnant, you experience a lot of discomfort and pain in your body. You are prone to face things like nausea, dizziness, back pain, fatigue, amongst many others. It’s normal and inevitable to encounter these changes in your body. However, that doesn’t mean you should just endure everything and do nothing. There are ways that you can do to reduce the pain and discomfort that you feel.
This is where yoga can help! It provides many benefits such as strengthening the body, toning the muscles, increasing your flexibility, and developing your mindfulness. Yoga makes it possible for pregnant women to engage in a workout without risking themselves. This is why there are such things as prenatal (before the birth) and post-natal (after the birth) yoga classes.
This article will guide you to the prenatal yoga poses for pregnant women. You can either join a yoga class where a yoga instructor can guide you or practice it at home with your spouse or someone who can assist you just to be safe. Doing these poses will help you have a smooth, strong, and healthy, pregnancy.
6 Yoga Poses For The First Trimester
During the first three months of your pregnancy, you will be experiencing a lot of body changes. This is when yoga practice becomes very crucial. You’ll be experiencing certain discomforts such as neck and back pain, nausea, dizziness, weight gain, and others. You need to practice prenatal yoga to strengthen your body and increase its endurance. Keep in mind that you can modify or adjust the poses accordingly to what makes you feel more comfortable.
Here are the following yoga poses and postures that you can do to make you feel comfortable and stronger during your first trimester of pregnancy:
1. Easy Pose
How to do it: This yoga pose is a sitting position where you have your legs crossed. It depends on you if you want it to be the right leg in front of the left or the other way around. Sit up straight and lengthen your neck. Relax your muscles by bringing your shoulders down and away from the ears.
Benefits: This pose opens your hips and gives you a feeling of peace and tranquility.
2. Cat-Cow Pose
How to do it: This is also called the “unicorn and rainbow pose”. You start by going on all fours on the yoga mat with your hands a shoulder-width apart and your knees a hip-width distant from each other. Breathe in deeply as you look up at the sky and engage your lower back. As you exhale, arc your back in the shape of a rainbow.
Benefits: The purpose of this position is to strengthen and increase the flexibility in your lower back and abdomen.
3. Bird Dog
How to do it: Go on all fours on the floor with your hands a shoulder-width apart and your knees a hip-width apart. Inhale as you raise your left arm with your thumb pointing towards the sky. At the same time, lift your right leg parallel to the height of your hip. Lengthen your spine as you extend your left arm away from the back of your foot and gently lift your abdomen for support. Keep your gaze straight ahead to lengthen your neck. Hold this pose for three to five breaths before doing the other side.
Benefits: This yoga pose, also known as the “pointer dog pose”, is great for training your core and practicing balance.
4. Downward-Facing Dog
How to do it: Again, start from an all-fours position. Breathe in and as you exhale, lift your hips to the sky and make sure that your arms and knees are soft even though they are straightened.
Benefits: This pose is a great stretch for the whole back of your body. It is also considered to be a gentle inversion because here your head is below your heart and your heart is below your hips. Being in this position allows you to establish a connection between mother earth and yourself.
5. Pigeon Pose
How to do it: You start by being in a low lunge position. Your right foot must be in front while your left leg is stretched out behind you. Slowly move your right foot towards the left side until your lower right leg is folded into a ninety-degree angle. Make sure that there is no weight on your stomach as you fold forward. Take your time executing this position. Hold this pose for several breaths before switching sides.
Benefits: This yoga pose is a hip-opener that strengthens the hips and increases their flexibility to help you as go into labor.
6. Garland Pose
How to do it: From the Tadasana pose, keep the distance between your feet a bit wider than a hip-width and turn your toes at a forty-five-degree angle. Put the palms of your hands together in front of your chest. Then, get into a squatting position until your hips are directly above the floor.
Benefits: This yoga pose helps you develop the range of motion of your hip joints. It also trains your ability to squat which is a common position being done by pregnant women as they give birth to their child.
6 Yoga Poses For The Second Trimester
Now that you have overcome the first three months of your pregnancy, it’s time to move on to the next one. The second trimester is often considered by many to be the “honeymoon phase” because nausea and fatigue that you experience are already over. Somehow, you are at a good period of your pregnancy. Yoga experts advise pregnant women to take advantage of this time to build and improve their strength.
1. Puppy Pose
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands on a wall in front of you. The placement of your hands must be a bit higher above your hips. Move your feet back until your upper body or torso is parallel to the floor. Engage the muscles in your thighs and your tailbone as you extend the top of your head forward towards the wall.
Benefits: This a safe and satisfying way to stretch your lower back, especially when carrying a baby in your belly can cause a lot of back pain.
2. Side Angle Pose
How to do it: This pose involves a lot of breathing techniques. Begin by breathing in and raising your left arm. Then, exhale and bend your body to the right, and gaze up at your left palm. Breathe out and put down your arm before repeating the same cycle on the opposite side.
Benefits: When you’re pregnant, you feel a lot of strain and soreness. Doing this yoga pose will help stretch your spine and the sides of your body, thus releasing the tension.
3. Goddess Pose
How to do it: Stand with your feet apart at a wide distance. Turn the toes of your feet outwards at a forty-five-degree angle. Take a deep breath as you bend your knees to a ninety-degree angle, but make sure that your knees are turned outward. Keep your spine straight and your gaze directed ahead. Breathe out deeply as you slowly press yourself up to go back to a standing position. Engage your thigh muscles and abdomen as you do this.
Benefits: This pose aims to strengthen your lower body as well as your core stabilizers such as hamstrings, inner thighs, abs, back, and others.
4. Seated Forward Bend
How to do it: Sit on the floor with your spine erect. Stretch out your legs in a wide arc and make sure the toes of your feet are flexed inward. To avoid putting pressure on your belly, you can adjust by spreading the legs a bit more. Let out a deep breath as you bend forward using your hips and reach out your arms to the front. Try to touch your toes or at least your knees if it’s too difficult for you. Afterward, exhale once more as you return to your original sitting position.
Benefits: This posture does not only stretch your lower back but also tones your shoulders and massages your abdominal organs.
5. Triangle Pose
How to do it: Stand with your feet apart from each other. Breathe in deep as you open up your arms and keep them at shoulder-level. As you exhale, bend on your right side as you extend your right hand towards your right foot. Hold the posture for a while before breathing in as you slowly go back to your original position. Repeat the same sequence on the other side.
Benefits: This posture is perfect for a pregnant woman because it improves blood circulation and relieves the aches and pain that you feel in your body especially in the legs and back.
6. Standing Upward Stretch
How to do it: Begin this posture by standing with your arms at your sides. Breathing in, reach your hands up to extend your arms overhead. Gently stretch and then exhale as you release. Follow this by extending your arms once more but only this time, stretch your right arm longer than the left. Exhale as you release the stretch and then do the same for using the left arm. Repeat this sequence alternately for about five rounds.
Benefits: During pregnancy, the body tends to be stiff and has a lot of tension. This is one of the yoga poses that help with removing the stiffness in your shoulders and upper back. The breathing techniques help improve the heart and blood circulation.
6 Yoga Poses For The Third Trimester
This is the part when you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy. You’re getting closer toward labor so it’s more important for you to exercise to prepare your body. You need to maintain your health in good condition so that it will reduce the possibility of you facing complications as you give birth to your baby.
1. Hip Circle
How to do it: Go on an all-fours position on the floor. Separate your hands and your knees from each other. Move your hips in a circular motion as you slightly bend your knees. Take your time circling your hips gently in one direction before pausing and switching sides.
Benefits: This exercise stretches your hips and the back while also engaging your core.
2. Standing Lateral Stretch
How to do it: Stand with your feet apart and extend your arms over your head. Intertwine your fingers as you turn your palms toward the sky. Lengthen your spine as you inhale. As you exhale, bend your body to the left but careful not to collapse the side of your body. Hold this for three to five breaths before returning to your original position and doing the same for the right side.
Benefits: This posture is a great way to stretch the sides of your body.
How to do it: Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides. Set your feet apart and your knees bent. Slowly lift your hips with the support of your spine. Enjoy this position for about three to five breaths before slowly and carefully lowering your buttocks down to the floor. You can try using a block or pillow to support your hips.
Benefits: By elevating your hips, you are temporarily reducing the pressure in your pelvic bowl.
4. Legs Up The Wall
How to do it: Put a bolster or a pillow against the wall. Rest your lower back on the prop as you lay down on the floor facing the wall. Place your feet on the wall by extending your legs. Rest in this position for six to eight breaths before rolling on your side and going back to a seated position.
Benefits: This helps with proper blood flow back to your heart and it also reduces the swelling in the feet and ankles (which is common when you’re having a baby).
5. Child’s Pose
How to do it: Pin your hands and knees onto the ground. Spread your knees wide apart. Bend forward using your hips as you extend your arms forward, with your forehead touching the floor. Rest your belly in between your thighs. (Please avoid this position if pubic symphysis is sore or open).
Benefits: It helps you focus on your breathing and allows you to relax. This is also a good position to be in when you’re having labor contractions.
Experiencing pregnancy means there’s a lot of stress involved. You need to engage in meditation to relax your body and to release all of the tension and negative energy. This will help you have better peace of mind especially if you’re anxious about giving birth.
Practice prenatal yoga for a safe pregnancy!
For more information on the benefits of yoga during pregnancy, you may visit our website or check out the yoga studio in Singapore.