The Benefits of Pregnancy Yoga and Meditation for Expectant Mothers

Pregnancy can be a stressful time for expectant mothers. With all the physical, hormonal, and emotional changes happening, expectant mothers must find ways to relax and care for themselves during this time. Pregnancy yoga and meditation allow expectant mothers to connect with their bodies, minds, and babies in a safe and calming way. This blog post will explore the benefits of pregnancy yoga and meditation for expectant mothers.

Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

You might want to participate in yoga during your pregnancy for many reasons. 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 pregnancy can take on your body can be challenging to settle into. With prenatal yoga, you can give your body additional time to adjust to all the changes happening to it.

If you have had a previous birth that resulted in a cesarean section, you may be considering a VBAC or vaginal birth after a cesarean for your subsequent pregnancy. If you aim for a vaginal birth after a cesarean section, prenatal yoga can help you achieve your goals. 

Allowing your pelvic floor to stretch during the different prenatal yoga stretches can help get everything in your body nice and loose. When the time comes to go into labour, 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 benefit your life in general. Here are some top things you can look forward to with prenatal yoga.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety Levels

Pregnancy yoga and meditation help reduce stress and anxiety levels in expectant mothers. Studies have shown that regular yoga practice can reduce cortisol levels in the body, decreasing stress levels. Additionally, meditation has been shown to help calm the mind, reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. By regularly practising prenatal yoga and meditation, expectant mothers can reduce stress and anxiety and improve their emotional well-being.

Increases Flexibility and Strength

Prenatal yoga is a gentle and safe way for expectant mothers to increase their flexibility and strength. Yoga poses are modified to accommodate the changes in a pregnant woman’s body, making it safe and accessible for all trimesters. Practising prenatal yoga can also help prepare the body for labour and delivery by strengthening the core, legs, and pelvic floor muscles. Additionally, prenatal yoga can help improve posture, balance, and circulation.

Promotes Healthy Sleep

Sleep disturbances are common during pregnancy, but regular prenatal yoga and meditation can promote better sleep. Deep breathing and relaxation techniques in meditation can help calm the mind and promote restful sleep. Prenatal yoga can also benefit sleep by reducing physical discomfort and tension in the body.

Connects with the Baby

Pregnancy yoga and meditation offer expectant mothers the opportunity to connect with their babies uniquely. Through prenatal yoga poses, expectant mothers can accommodate and connect with their growing babies while promoting circulation and movement. Practising meditation daily can also help mothers to be in tune with their babies, promoting a strong bond even before the little one is born.

Preparation for Labor and Delivery

Prenatal yoga and meditation can help expectant mothers prepare for labour and delivery. By increasing strength, flexibility, and endurance, prenatal yoga can improve labour outcomes and even reduce the need for medical intervention. Praising meditation techniques can also reduce the stress, anxiety, and fear associated with labour and delivery, creating a more positive and empowering birthing experience.

Prenatal Yoga Poses

1. Vakrasna (Twisted pose)

This posture gently massages your abdominal organs, hands, neck, spine, and legs. Do not overstretch and stay where you feel it just comfortable.

  • Sit slowly and in a relaxed situation.
  • Inhale and keep your legs straight.
  • Slowly slide your right leg and put it beside your left leg by crossing it over.
  • Raise your right knee and hold it with your left hand.
  • Breath out and slowly twist. Move your upper body and your right hand in the same direction.
  • Breath in and slowly come into the sitting and relaxing position.
Prenatal Yoga
2. Utkatasana (Chair pose)

It helps to strengthen your thigh muscles and pelvic.

  • Stand straight.
  • Breathe in.
  • Bend your knees.
  • Bend and bring your upper body forward.
  • Exhale and raise your hands, forming a 45° angle. Elbows should be straight.
  • Look straight and stay in this position for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Come in a comfortable position by standing usually.
Prenatal Yoga
3. Konasana (Angle pose)

This posture will help to burn the extra fat from the waist and provide flexibility.

  • Sit in a relaxed position.
  • Breathe in and slowly slide your legs.
  • Exhale and try to join your feet together.
  • Inhale and hold your joined feet with your palms.
  • Exhale and come in a comfortable posture.
Prenatal Yoga

4. Paryankasana (Ham’s pose with one leg)

This posture helps strengthen the thigh muscles, pelvis, and abdomen.

  • Sit down comfortably while bending your knees backwards.
  • Put your hands backwards too.
  • Keep your palms on the ground without bending your elbows.
  • Inhale and exhale normally.
  • Bend your body a little backward. Your butt and your sole shouldn’t be in contact with each other. Stay in this position for as long as you can.
  • Come in a relaxed and comfortable sitting position.
Prenatal Yoga

5. Hasta Panangustasana (Extended hand to big tow pose)

This posture also helps in providing strength to your thigh muscles and pelvic.

  • Lie down supine.
  • Keep your body straight.
  • Stretch your arms so that your body forms a “T” shape.
  • Stretch your right leg outwards on the right side.
  • Try to hold your right toe with your right hand. Keep breathing normally.
  • Stay in this position for 3-4 minutes.
  • Come back in a straight position. Try this on the other leg.
Prenatal Yoga
6. Parvatasana (Mountain pose)

This pose will decrease your back pain and help to improve your body posture.

  • Sit down cross-legged and breathe normally.
  • Now, inhale and keep your backbone straight.
  • Raise your hands upwards.
  • Allow your palms to come in contact with each other. Both your elbows should be straight.
  • Stay in this position for a couple of minutes.
  • Come in the normal sitting position. Repeat this yoga pose thrice.
Prenatal Yoga
7. Bhadrasana (Butterfly Pose)

This yoga pose will help to provide strength to your legs.

  • Sit while keeping your spinal cord straight.
  • Stretch your legs, as shown in the picture.
  • Join your feet together.
  • Put your hands on your toes. Keep in this position for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Straight your legs and sit comfortably.
Prenatal Yoga
8. Virasana (Hero Pose)

It is a very easy-to-do pose for reducing leg pain and swelling.

  • Kneel. If you are unable to sit without support, then use pillows.
  • Inhale and keep your backbone straight.
  • Put your hands upwards.
  • Join your fingers together.
  • Exhale, and then inhale. Stay in this position for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Keep your hands down gently and sit comfortably and relaxed.
Prenatal Yoga
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.

  • Breathe in and kneel.
  • Place a folded blanket or pillow for support if you feel uncomfortable. Keep your spinal cord straight.
  • Exhale, come in a crawling position and place your palms on the floor.
  • Keep your face downwards. Stay in this position for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Come in a comfortable position and relax.
Prenatal Yoga

10. Yastikasana (Stick pose)

This pose helps to relieve body tension and corrects the posture of your body.

  • Inhale and lie down supine.
  • Keep your legs straight.
  • Exhale and keep your feet pointing upwards.
  • Breathe in and slide your hands upwards. Your elbows and knuckles should touch the floor.
  • Exhale and come in the normal position. Repeat this pose twice or thrice afterwards.
Prenatal Yoga
11. Balasana (Child Pose)

If your tummy is upset, the child pose is perfect for you. It also relieves you from stress and gives you a relaxing sleep.

  • Inhale and kneel. Both your legs should be apart.
  • Put your palms on the ground.
  • Bend your body forward. Breathe normally.
  • Your hands should be on the ground from palms to elbows. You can also use pillows and blankets for support.
  • Come in a comfortable and relaxing position after 5 minutes. Make sure not to stretch your neck.
Prenatal Yoga
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.

  • Stand straight.
  • Breathe in and slide your right leg forward. Now, bend the knee of your right leg.
  • Bend your left leg backwards and sit by supporting your left leg’s knee. You can place a folded blanket or pillow under your left knee and between your legs.
  • Exhale and raise both your hands upwards and keep your hands open. Your fingers should not touch each other.
  • Stay in this position for 15 seconds.
  • Come in the original posture and repeat it with the other leg.
Prenatal Yoga
13. Utkatakonasana (Goddess Pose)

This posture will provide you with stamina and strength.

  • Stand straight.
  • Inhale and widen your legs. Both your legs should be apart but in the same line.
  • Breathe out and bend your knees.
  • 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.
  • Hold this position for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Come in your original posture.
Prenatal Yoga
14. Virabhadrasana I(Warrior Pose I)

This pose helps to maintain your balance. It also helps to stretch your abdomen, back, shoulders and thighs.

  • Inhale and stand, keeping your spinal cord straight.
  • Exhale and slide your right leg forward.
  • At the second inhale and slide your left leg backwards.
  • Bend your right knee. Your right leg should form a perfect 90° angle.
  • Inhale and put your palms on your waist or raise your hands upwards, whichever you like.
  • Stay in this position for 60 seconds.
  • Come to your original posture and repeat this using your other leg.
Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal Yoga
15. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II)

This posture helps stretch your thighs and strengthens your abdomen muscles. It will reduce your back pain by stretching your back and shoulders.

  • Inhale and stand erect.
  • Bend your right knee forward.
  • Slide your left leg backwards. Your left knee shouldn’t be bent.
  • Breathe normally and raise your hands upwards.
  • Both your palms and shoulder should be in one line.
  • Hold this pose for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Return to the original position and repeat this posture with your left leg.
Prenatal Yoga
16. Shavasana (Corpse Pose)

Shavasana is a very relaxing pose.

  • Lie supine comfortably. Keep your breathing regular.
  • 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.
  • Allow your body to relax.
Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal Yoga

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 long if you feel uncomfortable.

When to Start Prenatal Yoga

Not knowing all the benefits of prenatal yoga and the different ways to incorporate it into your life, you might wonder 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, 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.

Also, starting in your second trimester is 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 to 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.

Wrapping up

Pregnancy yoga and meditation offer a wide range of benefits to expectant mothers. From reducing stress and anxiety levels to improving flexibility and strength, prenatal yoga and meditation can help promote physical and emotional well-being throughout pregnancy. Additionally, prenatal yoga and meditation can help mothers connect with their babies while preparing for labour and delivery. Practising prenatal yoga and meditation can help expectant mothers feel confident, relaxed, and empowered during this exciting time.