The process of pregnancy is initiated when a fertilized egg implants in the uterine lining and begins to mature into a fetus. The fertilization of an egg from the ovary occurs after sexual intercourse between a male and female, thus marking the start of this biological process.
In the course of pregnancy, the female body produces estrogen and progesterone hormones that foster and promote the growth and development of the fetus. The gestation period is split into trimesters, with each lasting about three months, and as the trimesters progress, the fetus develops at an escalated pace.
Yoga is a low-impact form of exercise that has been shown to have numerous benefits for pregnant women. Here are some reasons why yoga is important during pregnancy :-
- Helps in managing stress
- Promotes physical health
- Improves sleep
- Prepares the body for child birth
- Bonding with baby
1. Happy baby pose (Ananda Balasana)
This asana/pose can helps in releasing tension from the lower back and hips, which this can also stretches the hamstrings and inner groin. This can prepares the body for labor and delivery.
How to do :-
- Start the pose by assuming the supine position or lie flat on your back on a comfortable surface.
- Gently bend your knees and draw the knees towards your chest.
- With your hands positioned on the inner side of your knees, reach out to grasp the outer edges of your feet.
- Slightly widen your knees beyond your torso and pull them in towards your armpits.
- Extend your feet and elevate your heels towards the ceiling with force.
- To alleviate lower back pain, try swaying softly from side to side or back and forth, massaging the affected area.
- Maintain the position and inhale and exhale deeply for 5 to 10 breaths.
- To come out of the pose, gently free your feet and gradually lower your legs back onto the mat.
2. Garland pose (Malasana)
This asana helps in strengthening the pelvic floor muscles which can prepare the body for delivery.
How to do :-
- Assume a standing posture with your feet positioned wider than the distance between your hips, while pointing your toes slightly outwards.
- Gently flex your knees and descend your hips towards the earth while maintaining an elongated spine and an elevated chest.
- To ease your hips, grasp your hands together in a prayer stance, and delicately apply pressure to your inner thighs with your elbows.
- Maintain the position for 5 to 10 lengthy breaths, experiencing a tensed sensation in your hips, groin, and inner thighs.
- To come in the standing position from the pose involves gradually releasing your hands and stretching your legs out.
3. Prenatal modified triangle pose (Trikonasana)
This asana helps in improving balancing and also relieving in back pain which can be beneficial for pregnant woman.
How to do :-
- Stand with your feet about three to four feet apart, with your heels aligned.
- Turn your left foot out 90 degrees and your right foot in about 45 degrees.
- Inhale and lift your arms to shoulder height, parallel to the floor.
- Exhale and reach your left arm forward, keeping it parallel to the floor.
- Lower your left arm down to your shin, ankle, or the floor (whichever is comfortable for you).
- Reach your right arm up toward the ceiling, keeping your shoulder blades on your back.
- Turn your head to look up at your right hand if comfortable.
- Hold for a few breaths, then inhale and come back up to standing.
- Repeat on the other side, turning your right foot out and left foot in.
4. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
This asana/pose helps in strengthening the hips, thighs and back muscles which can prepares the body for the delivery.
How to do :-
- Start the pose by standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Keeping your palms facing each other, inhale and raise your arms overhead.
- Exhale and bend your knees and lower your hips as if sitting on a chair.
- Keeping your knees aligned over your ankles, return your weight to your heels.
- Put your palms together in front of your chest and tighten your core muscles.
- Hold the pose for several deep breaths, then slowly stand upright.
- Repeat for several rounds, gradually increasing the time you hold the pose.
5. Butterfly pose (Baddha Konasana)
This asana/pose helps in opening the hips and pelvic area which can be helpful during pregnancy.
How to do :-
- Begin by sitting on the mat with your legs extended in front of you.
- Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to fall open to the sides.
- Bring your heels as close to your pelvis as you easily can, while keeping your feet firmly together.
- Place your arms on your ankles or shins, and inhale to extend your spine.
- Exhale and gently fold ahead from your hips, keeping your spine long and avoiding rounding your back or straining your neck.
- You can use your elbows to gently press your knees down towards the mat to deepen the stretch.
- Breathe deeply in and out through your nose, feeling the stretch in your hips and groin with every inhale and the release of anxiety with every exhale.
- Hold the pose for some breaths or as long as you like, and then slowly release back to an upright seated position.