Fit pregnancy. This is what every pregnant woman wants to achieve. This is actually the reason why many exercise programs specifically designed for pregnancy are emerging, with prenatal yoga being the most commonly used. Because yoga is very resilient, one can tweak the sequence depending on the needs of the practitioner.
Pregnancy is not a disease, but it can be a bit discomforting as it awakens several pains in different parts of the body that you never knew existed. And with the added weight of your growing belly, it is quite difficult to find a comfortable position to settle into. The practice of prenatal yoga during the early stages of pregnancy until before you give birth will surely help ease such discomforts.
If you are too lazy or busy to go into a full prenatal yoga class, you may do the following recommended poses which will definitely help you during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and post-partum.
1. Triangle Pose
Low back pain is a common issue during pregnancy. This is more common to women who are sitting most of the time. A side stretch here and there will truly come in handy. This pose keeps the legs strong, stretches the sides, opens the hips, and extends the spine – all of which are helpful when it comes regaining your balance for both the upper and lower body.
2. Plank Pose
While pregnant, most of the muscles in the body relax due to the hormone relaxin. This hormone helps your body prepare for childbirth. However, you also need to build strong core to be able to carry the extra weight of your baby. Plank is a known core-strengthening yoga pose, and it also strengthens the arms, legs, and shoulders, which you will also be needing after delivery.
3. High/Low Lunge
Lunges strengthen the legs and improve balance. Low lunge helps open up the hips, which is useful during normal delivery. High lunge focus more on the thighs and the core. Both can help alleviate lower back pains.
4. Warrior 1 & 2
Warrior poses are strengthening and also helps with balance. Adding a soft backbend on Warrior 1 can also be beneficial for the shoulders, chest, and low back. Warrior 2 is good for stretching the hips and toning up the arms.
5. Cobbler/Butterfly Pose
Cobbler or butterfly pose is a classic prenatal yoga pose. This is a passive hip-opener which promotes relaxation on the spine. Just another great pose for you to keep doing while nearing the D-day.
6. Tree Pose
You may notice that you are getting clumsy while pregnant. It is normal because: 1. the extra weight that you are carrying is something new to you, 2. your center of gravity changes as a result of your growing belly, and 3. pregnancy hormones relax your muscles and joints. However, you can cope with such clumsiness all throughout your pregnancy by working on your balance and finding your center – and tree pose is just the right yoga pose to do just that. Plus it can help with hip-opening too!
7. Pigeon Pose
This is another hip-opener that also helps stretch the legs. While you are on your last trimester, doing more of hip-opening poses will prepare your body for the painful contractions and dilation of the cervix during labor.
8. Cow-Face Pose
Sore shoulders and stiff neck are just few of the issues that you may encounter during pregnancy. Doing regular shoulder stretches will help relieve these symptoms. Cow-face pose is a good option to work on those shoulders and arms.
9. Full Squat/Garland Pose
And when you complete your full-term and while waiting for that D-day, it is time to spend at least a minute or two every waking hour to sit on a full squat, also known as the garland pose. This helps the baby drop lower in the womb (lightening) and settle deep in the pelvis, getting ready to be born. Although there is no way to “force” the baby to drop, doing this pose may encourage the pull of gravity for lightening to happen.
Yoga does not only relieve most of the aches and pains that you experience while being pregnant, it can also help you during labor and delivery. The best thing about yoga is that you can do this anywhere, and you do not need a lot of space for your practice. It also doesn’t take too much time, as you can practice as quick as a quarter to half an hour.
More importantly, by doing prenatal yoga, you actively prepare your body and mind for that most awaited day. This can result to much bearable labor pains, making your body able to heal and recover quicker after giving birth.
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