Yoga for pregnant women (Prenatal Yoga): tips and exercises

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yoga for pregnant women

Yoga classes during pregnancy are becoming more and more popular, and this is not accidental: the centuries-old practice of working with the body best allows you to maintain good health and prepare the body for childbirth. For those who do not have the opportunity to go to yoga classes, now there is a book detailing not only the postures for each trimester and proper breathing but also how yoga can be applied during childbirth .

Doing yoga in the first trimester may not be easy if you feel tired and uncomfortable. Now it is good to do poses that help to relax and rejuvenate. Get in the habit of doing several poses every day, and you will have an incentive to move more, and in the coming months, you will be happy to expect these activities.

Yoga classes during pregnancy will make the future mother feel better:

  • get rid of drowsiness, weakness, fatigue;
  • will adjust the work of the nervous system;
  • provide the body with oxygen;
  • improve blood circulation between mother and child;
  • prepare the back muscles for the upcoming loads;
  • prevent constipation, protect against the appearance of varicose veins.

Yoga prepares the body of the future mother for childbirth:

  • asanas will strengthen the muscles of the back, abdomen, pelvis and the whole body;
  • the elasticity of muscles and ligaments, especially the pelvic, will increase, this condition will facilitate the flow of labor;
  • work of the endocrine system will be adjusted, as a result of which the necessary level of hormones will be maintained in the body;
  • immunity will increase;
  • during classes, reserves of subcutaneous fat go away and metabolism improves;
  • Future mom’s lungs work more efficiently, providing a good supply of blood with oxygen and improving blood circulation throughout the body;
  • breathing practices will help reduce pain during labor, increase or, if necessary, delay the attempts;
  • yoga teaches how to relax properly, which is very important for a successful childbirth;
  • it helps develop a positive attitude and get rid of anxiety;
  • gives you the ability to control and better understand your own body and emotions, this skill is useful in a stressful and unusual situation of childbirth;
  • increases concentration and improves memory.

Safety engineering

  1. Doing yoga, as well as any other exercise, you need to regularly. Short-term and non-periodic loads during pregnancy are undesirable, they will be stressful for the body, which can lead to unpleasant consequences. Those who practiced yoga before pregnancy did not abandon the usual set of exercises.
  2. If at the beginning of pregnancy you are worried about fatigue, drowsiness, toxicosis, it is better to begin classes in special groups for expectant mothers. Usually, by the beginning of the second trimester, all these troubles go away, especially as yoga techniques help to cope with some of these problems.
  3. Those women who are concerned about severe toxicosis, changes in blood pressure, hypertonia of the uterus or vaginal bleeding should be stopped and the decision to continue training should be taken along with an experienced yoga instructor for pregnant women.
  4. If you did not practice yoga before pregnancy, you should begin training in specialized groups. You can start at any time: an experienced instructor adapts the load to your condition.
  5. Your attitude to yoga is very important. If you come to the group with the motivation “I have to, because it is so necessary and so correct,” do not expect any surprising results. If we go to fitness training to lose weight and put our body in order, the practice of yoga involves investing not so much physical strength as energy and emotional. So do yoga with pleasure and positive attitude.
  6. Take care: do not overload. You need a reasonable approach to the implementation of power asanas, do not overdo it. It is useful to strengthen the muscles of the legs, back, chest, and the load on the muscles of the press should be excluded.
  7. Avoid shocks, jumps, sudden changes in body position throughout pregnancy. Learn to get up and lie down smoothly.
  8. Try to eliminate the pressure on the stomach. Therefore, all exercises involving deep stranding are immediately excluded from the complex, and by the beginning of the second trimester, all asanas that are performed lying on the stomach.
  9. In the third trimester, try not to lie down on your back, in this position large vessels are compressed, which impairs circulation, therefore, for example, Shavasana is better to perform on the right side.
  10. You can not do on a full stomach and bladder. There is a need for 1-1.5 hours before class. In extreme cases, you can eat something light (for example, a banana or yogurt) 20-30 minutes before training.

These are the general rules. Of course, the longer you practice yoga and the more experience you have in this area, the less you need to change your usual routine and style of practice during pregnancy.

Victoria Ajigirey, Yoga Instructor for Pregnant Women

A set of exercises that is recommended for expectant mothers

Utkatasana

Yoga for pregnant women

Bend and spread your knees wide, balancing on bent toes, keep heels not too far apart, palms join together in front of the chest. If it is difficult at first to keep balance, you can hold on to furniture, or lean on someone.

Pose strengthens the legs and improves blood circulation in the pelvic region.

Malasana

Yoga for pregnant women

Put your feet at a distance of half a meter from each other, transfer your body weight on your heels and slowly squat. Keep your back straight. Place your palms together in front of your chest and slightly spread your knees with your elbows. Hold this position for about 30 seconds. Watch that heels rest against the floor. Breathe calmly, relaxing the pelvic area.

Performing this asana improves the elasticity and mobility of the ligaments of the hips and pelvis. It is recommended to perform it during labor in order to help the child take a position that is right for birth.

Get on all fours and set your knees as wide as possible. Put your feet together. Leaning your palms on the floor, bend your back slightly, look forward.

After 10 seconds, lower your elbows to the floor and try to relax as much as possible. Let your inner thigh muscles stretch, and you focus your attention on breathing. Direct exhalation to the area of greatest stress. Hold the asana for 30 seconds.

Katuspadasana – cat pose

Yoga for pregnant women

On your knees, place your hands on the floor so that they are right under your shoulders, and your knees are under your hips. Inhale, raise your head and tailbone by craning the lower back.

On the exhale, pick up the tailbone by yourself, at the same time arching and freeing the back. While inhaling, try to feel a smooth movement from the base of the back to the crown. Exhaling, pull the navel to the spine, straighten the shoulder blades, focus on the sensation of lengthening of the back. Repeat the exercise several times.

This asana improves the elasticity of the muscles of the back, helps to reduce the load of the uterus on the spine.

Dandasana

Yoga for pregnant women

Pull the legs forward. Connect the hips, ankles and big toes. The last pull to the ceiling. Place your palms on the floor on the sides of the thighs, pointing fingers toward the legs. When inhaling, raise the spine.

Keep your elbows straight, your chest – raised, your head and neck straight and look straight ahead. Stay in this position for 10 seconds.

In the later stages of pregnancy, the legs can be slightly spread. This asana stretches the muscles of the legs, massages the abdominal organs and strengthens the muscles of the waist. It tones the kidneys, and teaches to sit straight with a straight spine.

Baddha konasana

Yoga for pregnant women

Asana is performed in a sitting position, the back is straight, the abdomen is raised. Pull your feet together as close to you as possible. Squeeze their outer surface to the floor, clasp your feet with your palms and try to achieve the sensation of opening the perineum.

Pull up the spine, stretching the inner thighs from the sacrum to the knee, very carefully lowering the knees as close as possible to the floor.

Take your time and do not despair if your asana is far from perfect. Over time, your knees will drop to the floor. To do this, try to breed them only due to the strength of the muscles of the legs. In this case, you will avoid unsafe sprains.

When fixing the asana, breathe deep breathing , directing a warm exhalation to the problem areas. When you have mastered this position, you can proceed to the second stage, dropping your elbows on the floor for 15-20 seconds.

The long practice of this asana greatly facilitates childbirth, and also strengthens the muscles of the uterus, improves the condition of the bladder, eliminates menstrual disorders, relieves cramps and spasms during menstruation, reduces back pain, improves kidney function.

Upavishta konasana – obtuse angle posture

Yoga for pregnant women

Sitting on the floor, put your hands behind your back and spread your legs as much as possible. Straighten your back and move your arms forward. Do not overstretch or overstretch the muscles. Hold the asana for 15-20 seconds (with time, the fixation phase can be increased up to 1-2 minutes).

Asana gently and gradually stretches the pelvic region, the inner surface of the legs, strengthens the spine, and has a good effect on the hormonal balance of the body.

Shavasana – posture of complete peace

Yoga for pregnant women

This is one of the most important asanas of yoga and one of the most difficult, despite its apparent simplicity.

Lie on your back, stretch your legs, put your hands along your body, palms up. Take a deep breath and strain all the muscles in your body. Exhale Without relaxing, take a few full breaths. Close your eyes and relax.

Mentally track the condition of your muscles in the following sequence: legs – from the tips of the fingers to the hips, hands – from the tips of the fingers to the shoulder joints, torso – from the bottom up to the neck.

Then follow the muscles of the neck to the head, successively relaxing the areas of the neck, crown and ear area. Next, relax your cheeks, lips, tongue, nose, forehead, eyes.

When performing an asana, first breathe deeply, slowly and rhythmically, then breathing should become natural. The main difficulty in doing Shavasana is to relax the mind. All thoughts, all internal dialogues should completely disappear from your head. But even if you manage to relax at least the body, you will still feel the beneficial effect of this asana. With the onset of 5-6 months of pregnancy, it is worth changing the position of Shavasana and lying on its side.

The practice of Shavasana will relieve your body of any tension and help prepare it for the stresses during the birth. This posture will quickly bring you into balance. In general, it relieves physical and mental fatigue, calms the nervous system, helps to get rid of anxiety. Also Savasana helps to establish lactation for nursing mothers.

 

Yoga: at home

Yoga can and should be practiced at home, regardless of whether you go to specialized classes to the teacher or not. If you are in the gym, try take time to repea the exercises daily. This should not be a full hour and a half hour lesson, however, the various elements of the practice, be it warm-up, pranayama, chanting mantra or short bundles of asanas, be positively included in your life regularly.

If you don’t have yoga classes for pregnant women nearby, you cannot attend them, you don’t want to spend energy and time on the way to the gym, a great option would be to videotape a fortifying yoga complex, suitable for any period, including for a delicate period at the beginning of pregnancy.

You can take advantage of the unique opportunity to practice at home regularly in a comfortable atmosphere in real time. Do not be afraid that the teacher is not there. Following the advice and explanations of a specialist, respect for your own feelings and a soft, unsharp practice – all this will become the basis of success and development in practice for mother and baby.

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