Pregnant women are encouraged to exercise during their pregnancy for better health and easier delivery. For pregnant women, yoga may be a good alternative to conventional exercising programs.
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Unlike strenuous exercising, yoga provides the muscle-toning, cardioprotective, flexibility-enhancing, and relaxing benefits without too much sweat. In case you were wondering what yoga poses are great for pregnant women, here is a list of 7 poses great for every day of your pregnancy.
1. Upward Salute
The upward salute is an ideal pose for relieving back pain, fatigue, and indigestion – all things commonly seen experienced during pregnancy. Start by standing straight with your arms extended in front of you. With an inhale, lift your arms above your head and let your palms touch.
Slowly lift your gaze towards your palms and hold this pose for 10 to 30 seconds. Bring your hands slowly down at an exhale. You may find this pose also helps with maintaining your balance in the later months of pregnancy when the gravity center tends to change, making women susceptible to falls.
2. Cat Pose
If you’ve read pregnancy week by week guides, you’re probably familiar with the toll pregnancy takes on a woman’s back. With yoga poses such as the cat pose, you can keep your back strong all through your pregnancy as it helps stretch your spine and neck. Get down on all fours placing your hands under your shoulders.
Now, simultaneously lift your tailbone and head up while breathing in. At an exhale, bring your tailbone and head down, lifting the center of your back upwards.
3. Modified Triangle Pose
This pose is said to engage every part of the body, from the core to the hips, legs, and shoulders. And although it might seem scary to do this one at first, the truth is that yoga rarely causes injuries. In fact, in a study of 25 pregnant women practicing 26 different yoga poses, no injuries or adverse effects were recorded.
Start with your feet apart, and hands extended parallel to the floor. Breathing out, bend to one side of the body and touch your knee with one hand and the other hand is facing the ceiling. Remain in this pose as long as you feel comfortable and repeat with another side.
4. Butterfly Pose
According to one study, only 17% of Norwegian women perform pelvic floor exercising during pregnancy. Women can greatly benefit from pelvic floor exercising during their pregnancy because pregnancy can weaken the pelvic floor muscles. The butterfly pose may be a good alternative to Kegels because it helps strengthen the inner thighs and groin.
It is even said that the pose helps for a smooth delivery. Sit with the soles of your feet pressed together and your heels pulled as close to your groin as possible. Keep a straight back and flap your knees up and down just like a butterfly flaps its wings.
5. Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
The Yoga Journal recommends this pose for pregnant women in the first trimester for easier delivery. However, make sure to respect your limits while practicing this pose as higher amounts of the hormone relaxin during pregnancy may make you prone to dislocations and fractures. You need to sit with your legs far apart and try to lean forward as much as possible. Hold the pose for as long as you feel comfortable.
6. Downward-Facing Dog
Pregnant women are discouraged from practicing challenging yoga poses, but the downward facing dog may be an exception to this. The pose is believed to be highly therapeutic, relieving pain and ridding the mind of stress.
Start with the cat pose and with an exhale lift your knees up and your back towards the ceiling. Keep your arms extended and your head closer to the floor. You will feel a stretch in your back, thighs, and calves.
7. Side-Lying Corpse Pose
Judith Hanson Lasater, a yoga teacher and author, says that an important thing every pregnant woman needs to learn is to rest deeply. One way you could do so is through the side-lying corpse pose which is ideal for pregnant women, preferably on the left side to avoid pressure on the vena cava vein. You can put pillows under your belly, knee, arm, and head for additional support.
Yoga is an ideal practice for pregnant women according to medical experts. The yoga poses listed here which are the central components of many schools of yoga help pregnant women build strength, flexibility, and it also has additional stress-reducing benefits pregnant women can appreciate.