In times of pregnancy, when women are battling mood swings at varying levels, fatigue and sickness, painful leg cramps and breathing problems; yoga exercises, techniques and postures ease all such conditions ensuring a period of relieved nine months followed by an easier labour and smooth delivery.
Former Miss Universe and Bollywood actress Lara Dutta who recently became a mother of a baby girl launched her prenatal yoga DVD titled ‘Heal with Lara’ under pre-natal yoga expert Tonia Clarke. Her initiative is just another example of stating the significance of pregnancy yoga that is developing as an important fitness trend among would-be mothers.
Women who are regulars would require minor modifications to their yoga routine during pregnancy months when the body is undergoing hormonal changes. The aim of pregnancy yoga is to help the mother bring the unborn into the world with minimum hassle and completely no health complications. Positions and exercises practiced across the three trimesters of pregnancy differ with every phase. It isn’t just about yoga; it is about doing it under expert supervision and favourable environment.
A pregnant woman must take into consideration her health history before beginning with the exercises. For those who are doing yoga for the first time and have not been following a regime otherwise should not rush into the same without prior medical consent. The first three months are the most crucial and chances of miscarriage are high; therefore utmost caution is paramount during this time.
With all clauses and health tips in mind, let us now move forward to the ‘asanas’ most recommended for would-be-mothers. Yoga postures mentioned below focus on strengthening the pelvic muscles that help enhance the womb space for the healthy growth of the foetus. Yoga teacher and nutritionist Abhilasha Kale believes that, “The benefits of asanas are many. By doing regular exercises, a lot of happy hormones are released called ‘endorphins’ that keep a mother energetic and positive sans the deterring and erratic mood swings coming in way.”
Here’s a list of the top exercises that Abhilasha suggests women to attempt during pregnancy months. She also guides us on doing them correctly
Improves body posture, relief in backache
Sit on the mat in sukhasna, padmasana or ardhapadmasana.
Sit straight and while you inhale, raise your arm and join your palms in ‘Namaste’ position. Keep your elbows straight. Hands are near to your ears. Hold the position for a few seconds and come back to normal position again.
-Repeat 2-3 times
Yastikasana (Stick pose)
Corrects posture, body gets stretched, relieves body tension
Lie down on your back. Straighten your legs. Keep your body in one line. Knees and feet are together. Feet point upward. Hands rest on the sides.
Inhale and raise your hands; rest them on the floor and stretch upward. Push your toes out simultaneously.
Exhale, raise your hands and come back into normal position.
Repeat 3-4 times with in between breaks.
Some important reminders/safety measures :
Mothers with condition of asthma can try the above mentioned asanas but shouldn’t hold or suspend breath during the practice of pranayams/asanas.
On the basis of pregnancy trimesters there are certain exercises that cannot be carried throughout all pregnancy months. Konasana (angle pose) for instance should not be continued post seven months of pregnancy. Once the mother feels uncomfortable doing an asana, it is advisable to stop immediately without further straining the muscles.
Avoid forward bending asanas (strong back bends, such as the boat pose), inverted poses and exercises that might put pressure on the abdomen. Asanas that require lying down on the weight of your stomach should be strictly avoided.