Prenatal yoga is very beneficial for both the mother and the baby. It helps and prepares to-be mother’s body for labour pain. You can start prenatal yoga as soon as you find out that you are pregnant. Let’s see, what the benefits of prenatal yoga are?
Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
There are many reasons why you might want to participate in yoga during your pregnancy. For starters, yoga is the perfect way to stretch out all your muscles and ligaments in preparation for the big day.
Although your body is already stretched out, the toll that pregnancy can take on your body can be difficult to settle into. With prenatal yoga, you get the opportunity to give your body additional time to adjust to all the changes that are happening to it.
If you have had a previous birth that resulted in a cesarean section, then you may be considering a VBAC or vaginal birth after cesarean for your next pregnancy. If you were aiming for a vaginal birth after cesarean section, then prenatal yoga can help you achieve your goals.
By allowing your pelvic floor to stretch during the different prenatal yoga stretches, you are able to help get everything in your body nice and loose. When the time comes to go into labor, the muscles will not be stretching for the first time if you have helped encourage them to do so during prenatal yoga.
In addition to being an overall benefit for your pregnancy and helping to meet your pregnancy goals, prenatal yoga can serve as a benefit for your life in general. Here are some of the top things you can look forward to with prenatal yoga.
- Decreases the level of stress
- Makes you & your baby healthy
- Helps in back pain, which is natural during pregnancy
- Helps in aching muscles
- Makes your body stronger
- Boosts confidence
- Makes your body flexible
- Helps you to sleep better
- Reduces anxiety
- Helps in relieving back pain
- Helps you feel better in headaches and nausea
Prenatal Yoga Poses
1. Vakrasna (Twisted pose)
This posture will gently massage your abdominal organs along with your hands, neck, spine, and legs.
Step 1- Sit slowly and in a relaxed situation.
Step 2- Inhale and keep your legs straight.
Step 3- Slowly slide your right leg and put it beside your left leg by crossing it over.
Step 4- Raise your right knee and hold it with your left hand.
Step 5- Breathe out and slowly twist. Move your upper body and your right hand in the same direction.
Step 6- Breathe in and slowly come in the sitting and relaxing position.
2. Utkatasana (Chair pose)
It helps to strengthen your thigh muscles and pelvic.
Step 1- Stand erect.
Step 2-Breathe in.
Step 3- Bend your knees.
Step 4- Bend and bring your upper body forward.
Step 5- Exhale and raise your hands forming 45° angle. Elbows should be straight.
Step 6- Look straight and stay in this position for 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 7- Come in the comfortable position by standing normally.
3. Konasana (Angle pose)
This posture will help to burn the extra fat from the waist and provide flexibility.
Step 1- Sit in a relaxed position.
Step 2- Breathe in and slowly slide your legs.
Step 3- Exhale and try to join your feet together.
Step 4- Inhale and hold your joined feet with your palms.
Step 5- Exhale and come in a comfortable posture.
4. Paryankasana (Ham’s pose with one leg)
This posture helps in strengthening the thigh muscles, pelvic, and abdomen.
Step 1- Sit down comfortably while bending your knees backwards.
Step 2- Put your hands backward too.
Step 3- Keep the palms on the ground, without bending your elbows.
Step 4- Inhale and exhale normally.
Step 5- Bend your body little backwards. Your butt and your sole shouldn’t be in contact with each other. Stay in this position for as long as you can.
Step 6- Come in a relaxed and comfortable sitting position.
5. Hasta Panangustasana (Extended hand to big tow pose)
This posture also helps in providing strength to your thigh muscles and pelvic.
Step 1- Lie down supine.
Step 2- Keep your body straight.
Step 3- Stretch your arms in such a way that your body forms a “T” shape.
Step 4- Stretch your right leg outwards on the right side.
Step 5- Try to hold your right toe with your right hand. Keep breathing normally.
Step 6- Stay in this position for 3-4 minutes.
Step 7- Come back in a straight position. Try this on the other leg.
6. Parvatasana (Mountain pose)
This pose will decrease your back pain and help to improve your body posture.
Step 1- Sit down cross-legged and breathe normally.
Step 2- Now, inhale and keep your backbone straight.
Step 3- Raise your hands upwards.
Step 4- Allow your palms to come in contact with each other. Both your elbows should be straight.
Step 5- Stay in this position for a couple of minutes.
Step 6- Come in the normal sitting position. Repeat this yoga pose thrice.
7. Bhadrasana (Butterfly Pose)
This yoga pose will help to provide strength to your legs.
Step 1- Sit while keeping your spinal cord straight.
Step 2- Stretch your legs as shown in the picture.
Step 3- Join your feet together.
Step 4- Put your hands on your toes. Keep in this position for 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 5- Straight your legs and sit comfortably.
8. Virasana (Hero Pose)
It is a very easy to do pose for reducing pain and swelling from legs.
Step 1- Kneel down. If you are unable to sit without support, then use pillows.
Step 2– Inhale and keep your back bone straight.
Step 3– Put your hands upwards.
Step 4– Join your fingers together.
Step 5- Exhale, and then, inhale. Stay in this position for 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 6- Keep your hands down gently and sit in a comfortable and relaxed position.
9. Pelvic Tilt or Cat-Cow Pose
This yoga pose assists in decreasing your back pain. It also helps your baby to move in a good position.
Step 1- Breathe in and kneel down.
Step 2- If you feel uncomfortable place a folded blanket or pillow for support. Keep your spinal cord straight.
Step 3- Exhale, come in a crawling position and place your palms on the floor.
Step 4- Keep your face downwards. Stay in this position for 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 5- Come in a comfortable position and relax.
10. Yastikasana (Stick pose)
This pose helps to relieve body tension and corrects the posture of your body.
Step 1- Inhale and lie down supine.
Step 2- Keep your legs straight.
Step 3- Exhale and keep your feet pointing upwards.
Step 4- Breathe in and slide your hands upwards. Your elbows and knuckles should touch the floor.
Step 5- Exhale and come in the normal position. Repeat this pose twice or thrice afterwards.
11. Balasana (Child Pose)
If your tummy is upset, then child pose is very good for you. It also relieves you from stress and gives you a relaxing sleep.
Step 1- Inhale and kneel down. Both your legs should be apart.
Step 2- Put your palms on the ground.
Step 3- Bend your body forward. Breathe normally.
Step 4- From palms to elbows, your hands should be on the ground. You can also use pillows and blankets for support.
Step 5- Come in a comfortable and relaxing position after 5 minutes. Make sure not to stretch your neck.
12. Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)
This posture helps to strengthen the abdomen and lower back. This pose allows you to stretch your shoulders deeply. Balance yourself first by using pillows or blankets for support.
Step 1- Stand erect.
Step 2- Breathe in and slide your right leg forward. Now, bend the knee of your right leg.
Step 3- Bend your left leg backwards and sit by taking a support of your left leg’s knee. If you want, you can place a folded blanket or pillow under your left knee and between your legs.
Step 4- Exhale and raise both your hands upwards and keep your hands open. Your fingers should not touch each other.
Step 5- Stay in this position for 15 seconds.
Step 6- Come in the original posture and repeat it with the other leg.
13. Utkatakonasana (Goddess Pose)
This posture will provide you stamina and strength.
Step 1- Stand straight.
Step 2- Inhale and widen your legs. Both your legs should be apart but in the same line.
Step 3- Breathe out and bend your knees.
Step 4- Raise both of your hands upwards. Both your forearms should be in one line. Palms should face the sky. Form a 90° angle with the right hand, bending your elbow. Repeat this with the left hand.
Step 5- Hold this position for 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 6- Come in your original posture.
14. Virabhadrasana I(Warrior Pose I)
This pose helps to maintain your balance. It also helps to stretch your abdomen, back, shoulders and thighs.
Step 1- Inhale and stand, keeping your spinal cord straight.
Step 2- Exhale and slide your right leg forward.
Step 3- Inhale and slide your left leg backwards.
Step 4- Bend your right knee. Your right leg should form a perfect 90° angle.
Step 5- Inhale and put your palms on your waist or raise your hands upwards, whichever you like.
Step 6- Stay in this position for 60 seconds.
Step 7- Come to your original posture and repeat this using your other leg.
15. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II)
This posture helps in stretching your thighs and provides strength to your abdomen muscles. It will reduce your back pain by stretching your back and shoulders.
Step 1- Inhale and stand erect.
Step 2- Bend your right knee forward.
Step 3- Slide your left leg backwards. Your left knee shouldn’t be bent.
Step 4- Breathe normally and raise your hands upwards.
Step 5- Both your palms and shoulder should be in one line.
Step 6- Hold this pose for 15 to 20 seconds.
Step 7- Return to the original position and repeat this posture with your left leg.
16. Shavasana (Corpse Pose)
Shavasana is a very relaxing pose.
Step 1- Lie supine comfortably. Keep your breathing normal.
Step 2- Put your elbows on the floor. Allow your palms to face upwards. If you are 20 weeks pregnant then lie on the side. Use the pillow to support your body.
Step 3- Allow your body to relax.
Things You Need to Know
- Take the help of props, if you experience difficulty in doing any pose.
- Pay special attention to your breath.
- Don’t stay in a particular posture for so long if you feel uncomfortable.
When to Start Prenatal Yoga
Not that you know all the benefits of prenatal yoga and the different ways to incorporate it into your life, you might be wondering when the best time to start is. If you are in your first trimester of pregnancy, you are likely tired, exhausted, and just getting used to pregnancy. And because this is the time frame where morning sickness will hit you the hardest, it makes it a little tricky to start your prenatal yoga sessions early on.
When you enter your second trimester, this is when you will likely get a little more energy and get back to your routine. During this time. When your belly is still growing and expanding, you are more likely to enjoy and benefit from prenatal yoga.
Additionally, starting in your second trimester is also the safest as your changing body can adjust to all the different poses you will be doing.
If you are going to start prenatal yoga during the last trimester of your pregnancy then it is best that you start early on. Introducing yoga to your routine when you are near the end of your pregnancy not only can be difficult, but it can be uncomfortable too. Generally speaking, the earlier you start prenatal yoga in your pregnancy the better.