Safe and Beneficial Yoga Postures during Pregnancy
Pregnant women seem to have an intuitive understanding about the essence of yoga, and yoga has proved to be highly beneficial during pregnancy and labor. However, the first trimester (or the first three months of pregnancy) is not a safe time to begin practice, so pregnant women should wait until the second trimester to begin a prenatal program.
Yoga Postures for Pregnant Women
The following yoga asanas are safe and can be done with ease during pregnancy. There are numerous modifications to the poses, thus making them safe, effective and easy. They will help a pregnant woman enjoy the benefits of yoga practice during this time.
The Palm Tree Pose (Tadasana)
Tadasana is a basic standing pose which proffers a wonderful and deep stretch to the entire body. It is a very good asana to begin the yoga session with. It tones the muscles and joints and limbers the whole body.
The technique comprises of the following steps,
- Stand erect, keeping the feet slightly apart.
- Clasp the fingers together. Then, turn the palms downwards so that they face the floor.
- Gradually and gently raise the arms high above the head. Feel the entire body being stretched. If comfortable, tip-toe and hold the posture for eight to ten seconds.
- Relax and bring the hands down.
- Three rounds of the Tadasana are recommended.
The Butterfly Pose (Titliasana)
The butterfly pose works powerfully on the adductor muscles of the inner thighs and effectively stretches them. It has a special focus on the perineal floor and the pelvis. Thus, these organs get toned and invigorated. Titliasana promises smooth and easy delivery.
The technique comprises of the following steps
- Sit cross-legged on to the floor.
- Fold the legs in such a way that the soles touch each other. Grasp the toes with the fingers and draw them close to the perineum (as much as possible, do not over-stretch).
- Gently flap the thighs (like the flapping of a butterfly’s wings). The movement should be gentle and fluid, not too rapid.
- Ten flaps make one round, and about three rounds are ideal.
- The breathing should be rhythmic and regular.
Specific Guidelines to be Followed while Practicing Yoga during Pregnancy
Before embarking on a yoga practice, it is always prudent to seek advice from the gynecologist. Get her opinion and understand if there are any specific symptoms or conditions to watch out for.
Never start a yoga practice during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. It is not safe.
Ensure that you follow these guidelines when practicing yoga:
- Let your postures be fluid and graceful; and not jerky. Do not hold a pose for a very long period of time.
- You must have breath awareness and remember to inhale and exhale properly whilst doing the asanas.
- When you perform the asana, make sufficient place for the belly. Never do asanas that raise your intra-abdominal pressure.
Yoga practice during pregnancy is a delightful and perfectly safe experience. It maintains optimum health and well being during pregnancy and eases out labor appreciably. However, always listen to what the body says, and stop if a pose is uncomfortable or distressing. Working with an experienced teacher is always recommended.