Being a mother is one of the best feelings in the world, without a doubt! The mother’s body, however, does come under a lot of physical strain. The pregnancy weight puts pressure on the spine, legs, and hips which can result in swelling and pain.
To ease these symptoms, you can turn to yoga which is known to bring about physical and mental well-being through gentle body movements. What’s more, it will also help you feel connected to the baby.
Yoga serves a dual purpose – firstly, it keeps you active and secondly, it soothes the discomfort that you experience during pregnancy.
Yoga encourages stretching, mental-centring, and focused breathing. There are multiple studies that recommend prenatal yoga given that it has multiple health benefits for pregnant women and their babies.
According to yoga expert Grand Master Akshar, asanas, pranayama and meditation exercises make for effective yogic techniques. They can reduce anxiety, helping women stay calm during pregnancy and labour.
Begin by standing in Samasthithi. Start by lifting your right leg off the floor and balance your body weight on your left leg, placing your right foot on your inner thigh. Place it as close to your pelvis as possible. Balance your body and join your palms in Pranam Mudra at your heart chakra. Focus your gaze forward. Repeat the same with the alternate leg.
Begin by assuming Dandasana. Fold your legs and bring the soles of your feet together. Pull your heels closer to your pelvis. Gently push your knees down. Breathe out to empty air from your stomach and hold the posture for 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat 2 to 3 sets.
Keep your feet wide apart and toes pointing at an outward angle. Sit into a deep, low squat. The back should be kept straight. Lift your arms up, bringing them parallel to your shoulders. Bend them at the elbow and open your palms up to the sky.
Kneel down on the mat and sit on your heels, spreading your knees apart at a comfortable distance. Inhale and raise the arms above the head. Exhale and bend your upper body forward, placing your palms on the floor. The pelvis should rest on the heels. Ensure that your back is not hunched. Feel free to place a blanket under your knees or under your buttocks for support.
Stand upright with your feet together. Draw in your abdomen while relaxing your shoulders and back. Take 5 to 8 breaths while actively engaging your leg muscles. Try to distribute the body weight between both the feet equally.
You can customize your practice by using props such as cushions, yoga blocks, blankets, straps, etc. Feel free to place a pillow under your knees whenever needed, or you can even perform some of these asanas on a bed or a cushioned surface.
“These yoga poses make use of some very effective breathing techniques. These are simple, yet effective poses that can be done during pregnancy. In addition, these yoga poses are restorative and ease any aches that you may be experiencing,” said Grand Master Akshar.
To help ease the process of childbirth, you need to practice flexibility. This will not only relieve your body of any pain but also prepare you for labour. Asanas, pranayama, and meditation are all techniques of yoga that have a healing effect on your mind and body.
Grand Master Akshar did have a word of caution to offer. He said, “Everyone’s body is different. So, while yoga can be considered gentle and therapeutic, there are certain things to keep in mind. There are certain poses that could be dangerous for you and your baby. Seek the opinion of an expert to find out what poses you should avoid in order to reduce the risk of any discomfort and complications.”
He concluded, “Some general rules include avoiding any high-impact workout such as jumping, running, etc. This is because cardio-based movements may make you more nauseous and put a strain on your joints.”
So, mommies-to-be, practice these calming yoga asanas to ease any discomfort!