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Yoga During Pregnancy - What Should You Know?

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, Diploma in Endoscopy, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Pune  •  22years experience
Yoga During Pregnancy - What Should You Know?

The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuji’ that means union. Yoga is an ancient Indian practice of meditation that brings about harmony between the body and mind through various poses and breathing exercises.

These poses and exercises help to alleviate stress and induce relaxation. Practising yoga regularly ensures physical as well as mental well-being.

How is Yoga Helpful during Pregnancy?

Many people believe that any sort of physical activity or repeated movement during pregnancy, especially in the trimester, can harm the baby. However, that is not entirely true. Yoga does not involve rigorous or strenuous physical activity; the poses are easy to imitate and hold on to, which is why you can practice yoga even during pregnancy.

• The poses or asanas open up the pelvic area and thereby help to reduce stress around the cervix area. This helps the future mothers to stay in shape, stay flexible and prepare for labour pain and delivery.
• Pranayama teaches people how to clear the mind, breathe deeply and relax slowly. This makes breathing easy during labour as well as childbirth.
• Yoga aids in faster recovery after pregnancy for women.
• Practising yoga regularly reduces symptoms of inflamed ankles, leg cramps, constipation and morning sickness.

Recommended Poses during Pregnancy-

The following poses help expecting mothers deal with issues of lower back pain and the shifted centre of gravity-

• Marjariasana (Cat Stretch) - This pose helps to reduce body stiffness by stretching the shoulders and neck. The pose helps to keep the body supple. As mothers slowly progress towards the more advanced stages of pregnancy, they have to carry greater weight. It helps in better blood circulation, which is essential for the nourishment of the reproductive organs.

• Konasana (Standing sideways with both arms) - Stretches as well as tones abdominal organs legs and arms. It also helps stretch the spine.

• Veerbhadrasana (Warrior Pose) - This pose not only improves body balance but also increases stamina. It also tones the legs, arms and lowers back.

• Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) - It maintains mental as well physical balance. This asana is recommended particularly for expecting mothers since their centre of gravity has shifted. It stretches the hips and lowers stress and back pain.

• Badhakonasana (Butterfly Pose) - Increases flexibility of the groin and hip area and stretches the knees, thighs and relieves pain. It also reduces fatigue and makes delivery a smooth process when the time comes.

• Shavasana (Corpse Pose) - It relaxes the body. This asana also aids in the process of cell repair, which is essential for pregnant women.

• Yoga Nidra/Yogic Sleep - It lowers anxiety and tension by regulating blood pressure. It also aids in deep cell relaxation of the body.

Overall, yoga is extremely beneficial for the body and mind wellness of the mother as it helps to reduce stress, which resultantly ensures a healthier baby. Certain yoga poses help in overall blood circulation, which again ensures that the foetus gets oxygen. However, you should always be extra careful when you are expecting a baby, so it is recommended that you practice these asanas under expert supervision.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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