Pregnancy can be full of aches, pains, exhaustion, and restlessness, and each trimester can produce new physical, mental, and emotional challenges. While this all sounds pretty awful, yoga can be one way to relieve some of the typical disturbances of baby-growing. Not only can yoga help you during your pregnancy, but regular prenatal yoga can actually prepare your body for the work and strength required during labor and delivery. Below is a list of ways prenatal yoga can improve your time carrying and bringing your little bundle of joy into the world!
Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
– Improves sleep
– Helps maintain weight
– Loosens muscles
– Prepares your body for childbirth
– Improves your mood
– Increases energy
– Improves self-esteem
– Lowers risk of postpartum depression
– Lowers back pain
– Strengthens connection with baby
– Improves stamina
Poses to try
Some yoga poses can be very difficult for pregnant women, especially those women that are further along in their pregnancy; however, these simple poses should be effective and possible for mothers in every stage.
Chair pose (Utkatasana) –
This pose is really going to work your glutes and hips, which are both very important muscle groups for pushing during the final stage of labor. The lower portion of the pose involves lowering your hips and bottom as if you are going to sit in a chair, but you will stop before your knees become parallel with your hips. Once you have reached that position, raise your arms into the air; you will want your arms next to your ears, but your shoulders should remain relaxed. Clasp your hands together and hold this position while you continue to take deep breaths. Repeat at least 5 times.
Cat and Cow Pose (Marjaryasana and Bitilasana)-
This pose is done on your hands and knees. Your hands should be flat on the ground and the soles of your feet should be facing up. Your back will be flat. Keep your knees aligned with your hips and keep your hands aligned with your shoulders. The first step will be to inhale for 5-10 seconds while dropping your tailbone so that your stomach is sagging closer to the ground (like a cow’s utters—hence, the name of this pose). When you begin to exhale, you will curl your back up like a scared cat does before it attacks. Breathe out for 5-10 seconds and then repeat. Regular practice of this pose can help to lessen lower back pain.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
As with the previous two poses, this pose will look exactly as it is titled: like you are a tree. This pose begins in a standing position, with your arms at your sides and your feet next to each other. You’ll need to then bring your left ankle up to your inner thigh; it may help if you hold onto something and then guide your ankle into place. Bring your arms up to your chest and push your hands together as if saying a prayer. Hold and repeat on the other side. You will notice that this will work your core balance skills and also strengthen your calves and ankles.
For more specific guidance on easing pregnancy pains and symptoms, feel free to contact our office or ask during your next visit.