Pregnancy is an intense time in a woman’s life. You are helping to bring a new life into the world and there are many changes that are happening to your body. Your body doesn’t feel like your own as you experience morning sickness, a growing uterus and the softening of joints and ligaments to ready your body for the growing baby and labor. You may be looking for a low impact exercise that you can do during your entire pregnancy. Yoga is highly recommended to pregnant women because of the gentle stretches and muscle toning that the poses provide. It is also a wonderful way to reduce stress and anxiety. Belly breaths (see yoga for beginners) used during your yoga practice will help with labor and calm your mind.
Here are a few things that you must keep in mind if you would like to begin yoga during your pregnancy:
- Not all poses work for pregnancy. Some poses such as twists and inverted poses are not recommended for pregnant women.
- Do not overstretch. Your pregnant body is releasing a hormone called relaxin, which causes your parts of your body to become more flexible and more prone to overstretching. Listen to your body and only stretch to a point where it is very comfortable.
- Bikram yoga or Hot yoga is not recommended for pregnant women as it raises your core temperature.
- Restorative poses such as Corpse Pose should be modified to lying on your side with cushions or a bolster.
- Make sure that you follow a prenatal routine through a prenatal yoga class, DVD or book.
- Listen to your body. Only you will know if you are able to do these poses or not.
During this trimester, morning sickness is common. Your body is beginning release relaxin and prolactin. So you may also be experiencing sore breasts. Some women do not experience any of the above! If you are feeling ill, just sit and breath or go into corpse pose. If you are well, I would suggest you begin hip opening poses and if you are feeling strong, moon salutation.
During this trimester, you may be feeling better as the morning sickness subsides, but your joints and ligaments are beginning to feel the effects of relaxin. Make sure that you do not overstretch your muscles. Remember to practise your belly breaths and begin to do seated poses for meditation.
Your body is beginning to feel the effects of carrying a growing babyand your pelvis is opening up to ready itself for labor. Joints are loosening and your feet and legs may be swollen. If this is the case, you may find relief in putting your legs up the wall. Do corpse pose on your side, do the cat and cow pose or, if you have been practising it, the squat to help you ready yourself for labor. Go into seated meditation poses and continue to practice your belly breaths.
Here are some pregnancy yoga poses that you may like to try:
Reclining Hero Pose
This pose helps open your hipsand stretches your psoas (hip flexors) and abs. It is excellent for menstrual pain and opening up your pelvis area. Use a bolster or cushions if you cannot lie on the floor.
Again excellent for opening up your hips and pelvis area. This pose is helpful in pregnancy as well. For pregnancy, lean back against a wall.
FIRST – THIRD TRIMESTER
This pose stretches your hip flexors and groin and stimulates your abs and back. Sink down only as far as you can go.
FIRST & SECOND TRIMESTER
Opens up your pelvis and groin area. This pose is great for your abs,ovaries, prostate gland, bladder, and kidneys. It is also another excellent pose for pregnancy. Only lower your knees as far as it is comfortable. Do not strain yourself in this pose.
FIRST TO THIRD TRIMESTER
This pose opens up your pelvisarea and helps reduce stress. It stimulates your abs, lungs,thyroid and aids your digestionuse a bolster or cushion to support you.
Cat Cow Pose
Start on your hands and knees with a straight back. Look forward and make sure your back is nice and straight. Then slowly push your chest and abdomen towards the floor look up towards the ceiling. *Do this as far as you’re comfortable.
Exhale and slowly make a “C” curve with your back. Think of your navel pulling itself into our spine.
FIRST TO THIRD TRIMESTER
Here are some yoga videos that you may be interested in:
Browse through other yoga poses: