Fitness / Life

Yoga & Pregnancy

A guest post by Jenny Jolly

During pregnancy, most women are afflicted with mood swings, fatigue, painful leg cramps, nausea, and problems while breathing. Doing Yoga at the advanced stages of pregnancy can ease all those unpleasant conditions followed by an easier labor and normal delivery.  Yoga isn’t just an exercise; it’s a spiritual route to happiness, relaxation and a healthy body.  The aim to do yoga during pregnancy is to help soon-to-be-moms is to deliver their child with minimum to no health complications. Women who are yoga regulars may need some modifications to their daily yoga routines during their pregnancy as the body is going a lot of physical and hormonal changes.

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Yoga positions and exercises will differ with every stage of the pregnancy, and it’s advised that expecting mothers do it under a supervision of an expert. They should also consult their doctors before doing yoga and under favorable environment, especially if they are doing it for the first time.  This is crucial as chances of a miscarriage at any stage of pregnancy can occur, so utmost caution should be paid.

Below are some yoga exercises women are advised to perform during the entire course of their pregnancy.

Konasana – “Angle Pose”
First, stand straight with your feet 24 inches apart and parallel to each other. Raise your right hand with your elbow straight.  Inhale and stretch upward, and bend towards your left. Now, exhale, put your hands down and return to your original position. Repeat the same exercise with the other side. This yoga move increases the flexibility of your waist and distributes fat evenly in the waist region.

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Vakrasana – “Half Spinal Twist Pose”
Sit upright with your feet stretched and inhale. Raise your arms at shoulder levels with your palms faced down. Now, Exhale and twist your torso from your waist towards the right side. Keep your hands on the same side. Stretch your arms at the back as much as you can. Don’t bend your knees.  Now, inhale again and return to your original position. Place your hands on shoulder level and parallel to each other. This yoga pose exercises your spine, hands, legs, neck and gently massages your abdominal organs.

Utkatasana – “Chair Pose”
Stand up straight with your feet 12 inches apart and parallel to each other.  Inhale for two seconds and raise your arms at shoulder levels with your palms faced down at the same time. Slowly exhale and remain seated on your toes in a squatting position. If you find it difficult, then stand normally on your feet.  With your hands in the same position,  keep inhaling, get up slowly and stand on your toes. Now, exhale and simultaneously lower your hands and heels. This yoga exercise strengthens your thigh and pelvic muscles.

Hast Panangustasana
Lie down in a linear position and straighten your legs.  Place your hands like a “T” with your palms facing down. Slide your right leg towards your right.  Try holding your toe with your right hand. Now, come back to original position. Repeat with the left leg. Practicing this yoga exercise makes pelvic and thigh muscles strong.

Bhadrasana – “Gracious Pose”
Be seated with legs yours fully stretched.  Sit straight, place your hands on your thighs or knees. Remain in this posture until you feel comfortable. Go back to the original position and repeat. This exercise helps in strengthening the inner muscles in the pelvic and thigh region.

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Yastikasana – “Stick Pose”
Lie down in a straight position and straighten your legs.  Join your knees and feet.  Point your feet upwards and place your hands on your sides. Keep breathing, raise your hands, stretch upward and rest them on the ground.  Push your toes outwards. Now, exhale and come back into normal position.  Repeat 3-4 times. This exercise corrects body posture, stretches your body, and eases body tension.

Parvatasana
Sit on your floor mat in a Sukhasna or Padmasana position.  Sit straight, inhale, raise your arms and make your palms like a “Namaste”. Keep your hands near to your ears, elbows straight, hold it for a few seconds and return to your original position. Repeat this twice or thrice. This exercise improves your body posture and mitigates back pain.  

Paryankasana
Lie down on your back and with your legs straight. Keep your knees together and fold your right leg in the knee at the side of your back. Keep breathing normally and remain in this position as long as you can. Return your former position repeat the same with your left leg. This exercise helps in strengthening the abdominal, pelvic and thigh muscles.

There you have it. These eight yoga exercises that will make your delivery a healthy and uncomplicated one. But before you begin your yoga routine, remember a few things. If you have asthma, don’t hold your breath for a long time. Some mothers feel nauseous, in that case, stop immediately and consult a doctor. Some yoga exercises like Konasana should be avoided during the last seven months of pregnancy.  Some yoga exercises require the body to be stretched backward, so if you feel pain or uncomfortable, then stop it.  Always maintain balance in doing these yoga exercises.

im-groupJenny Jolly has over five years of experience in the field of Health. She specializes in setting up Global health consultancy. She is an expert in the area of developing strategies for health. She provides thought leadership and pursues strategies for engagements with the senior executives on Innovation in health and Technology She presently works for when does morning sickness start as The Head of the health consultancy.

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