In recent times, yoga has gained overall popularity due to its mental as well as physical benefits. And, with this came the emphasis on its positive effects during pregnancy. It is known to relax the body muscles, open up the hips, and strengthen your legs, back, and abdomen. All of this can help you prepare well for the “big” day. Here, at MomJunction, we bring you some of those poses that are considered to be beneficial for expecting mothers:
1. Standing Mountain Position
One of the best warm-up positions, you can start your yoga with this. Stand with your feet apart, only as wide as your hips. The toes should be pointing straight and the knees are to be slightly bent. Roll your shoulders back but keep them relaxed. Then, close your eyes and take deep breaths.
2. Warrior Position
Stand with your feet apart, inhale, lift your arms to the height of shoulders, and keep those shoulders relaxed. As you are exhaling, turn the foot in the front to 90 degrees, and the foot at the back to 45 degrees. Breathe in and bend the front knee while looking over the hand. Do this for no more than 20 seconds and switch sides. This may help a bit in the opening of hips. But if it puts too much strain, skip this.
3. Bridge Position
This one is a classic pre-labor yoga position. Continue to do this as long as you are comfortable lying down on the back. Lie down on the back, place your feet apart (hip-width), and bring the heels closer to hips (slightly more than the usual). Keep your palms on the ground and continue to breathe throughout. When you begin exhalation, put slight pressure on your feet to lift the hips up a little bit. Hold this pose for no more than 20 seconds. This might help you strengthen your core area along with the opening of hips.
4. Cat Position
Kneel like a cat on all your four legs, placing them at a distance comfortable to you. Breathe in and lift the neck, head, and chest along with the tailbone. Then, exhale to roll the back up in a gentle manner. Repeat this a few times and remember to keep your breath controlled. This may prove to be beneficial for your spine and might provide relief to the lower back pain.
Let us now look at some of the poses you should avoid when you are expecting:
1. Positions Involving Twist
There are plenty of yoga exercises out there that involves the twisting of one’s body. Some require you to be seated while others need you to be in the plank position. This sort of exercise heavily focuses on the abdominal area and it is important to put as less stress as possible on that area. So, try to avoid this one.
2. Locust Position
Again, there are numerous exercises that may require you to lie down on your stomach and put intense pressure on the core area. Try and stay away from such positions as much as possible at the time of pregnancy. You can opt for other exercises to stay strong and fit.
3. Plow Position
Steer away from plow pose along with other positions similar to this. This can put way too much strain on the belly, which should be avoided at any cost during pregnancy.
4. Boat (Along With Other Crunch) Positions
Like aforementioned positions, this one also puts too much stress on the lower back and core area. There are other positions in yoga that can help strengthen the back and legs. But, say goodbye to anything that requires you to put so much pressure on the belly.
Since each individual has specific needs, you should always consult your doctor before starting with any new yoga positions. If you have any beneficial yoga pose in mind that we may have missed, let the fellow mommies know in the comments section below!