YOGA – FOR PREGNANCY WOMEN
YOGA DURING PREGNANCY
This is the period when your body and mind are engaged in the creation of a new life. It can be a unique and valuable experience. Yoga can help you to have an easier, healthier pregnancy and delivery.Practice slowly and gently and the postures and breathing exercises will:
- Relax and strengthen your body.
- Help you adjust to many of the temporary physical changes.
- Help you to make the most of your breath.
- Always consult your physician or yoga teacher before starting the programme to find out the set of suitable yoga postures and yoga regime that suits to your body.
General Tips Before You Start
- Avoid postures with excessive pressure on the abdomen.
- Keep the abdomen well extended.
- Do more of deep breathing and shorter meditations.
- Listen to your body and practice accordingly.
- Breathing techniques in Yoga provide more oxygen to the body, which is much needed during pregnancy.
- The foetus gains the benefit of the blood full of oxygen which flows through the body immediately after Yoga.
- Relaxed mind and lack of stress are the after effects of practicing Yoga. Moreover this calmness is passed to your baby. You and baby are more aligned physically as well as mentally.
- Back and pelvic muscles are at stake during pregnancy and after. Regular yoga practice helps keep those toned and healthy.
- The gentle toning and stretching prepares your body to take care of the baby before pregnancy as well as after delivering it.
KONASANA I (Angle Pose)
How to do Konasana I (Angle Pose)
- Stand straight with feet about hip width distance apart and arms alongside the body.
- Breathe in and raise the left arm up so that the fingers point towards the ceiling.
- Breathe out and bend to the right, first from the spine, and then move your pelvis to the left and bend alittle more. Keep your left arm pointing up.
- Turn your head to look up at the left palm. Straightenthe elbows.
- Breathing in, straighten your body back up.
- Breathing out, bring the left arm down.
- Repeat with the right arm.
Benefits of Konasana I (Angle Pose)
- It helps stretch the sides of the body and the spine.
- Helps in toning of arms, legs, and abdominal organs.
- Helpful in relieving back pain.
- Increases the flexibility of the spine.
- Helps those who are suffering from constipation.
- Helpful for people suffering from sciatica.
Contraindications of the Konasana (Angle Pose)
People suffering from severe back ache or spondylitis should avoid this pose.
KONASANA II (Angle Pose)
How to do Konasana II
- Stand with feet about 2-feet apart. Balance weight equally on feet.
- Breathing in, raise your arms overhead and join the palms together, interlacing the fingers to form a steeple position. Keep the arms touching the ears.
- Breathing out, bend to the right. Focus on straightening the elbows, pressing feet firmly into the ground and moving the pelvis to the left.
- Hold. Feel the stretch on the side, relax in this posture. Inhale, exhale deep gentle breaths·
- Breathing in, return to standing position.
- Breathing out, bring the arms down.
- Repeat bending to the other side.
Benefits of Konasana II·
- Stretches the sides of the body and the spine.
- Tones the arms, legs, and abdominal organs.
Contraindications of the Konasana II
People suffering from severe back ache or spondylitis should avoid this pose.
MARJARIASANA (Cat Stretch)
How to do Marjariasana
- Come onto your fours. Form a table such that your back forms the table top and your hands and feet form the legs of the table.
- Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor, with the hands directly under the shoulders and flat on the ground; your knees are hip-width apart.
- Look straight ahead.
- As you inhale, raise your chin and tilt your head back, push your navel downwards and raise your tailbone. Compress your buttocks. Do you feel a slight tingle here?
- Hold the Cat pose and take long, deep breaths.
- Follow this by a countermovement: As you exhale, drop your chin to your chest and arch your back up as much as you can; relax the buttocks.
- Hold this pose for a few seconds before you return to the initial table-like stage.
- Continue five or six rounds before you come out of this yoga posture.
- Tip from the Bogaa Yoga expert: When you do the movement slowly and gracefully, its effect is more powerful and meditative.
Benefits of Marjariasana·
- Brings flexibility to the spine·
- Strengthens wrists and shoulders·
- Massages the digestive organs and improves digestion·
- Tones the abdomen·
- Improves digestion·
- Relaxes the mind·
- Improves blood circulation
Contraindication of the Marjariasana
Consult your doctor if you have back or neck-related problems and practice Cat Stretch (Marjariasana) under the guidance of an Bogaa Yoga teacher.
VEERABHADRASANA (Warrior Pose)
How to do Veerabhadrasana
- Veerabhadrasana or Virabhadrasana is one of the most graceful yoga postures and it adds beauty and grace to one’s yoga practice.
- Stand straight with your legs wide apart by a distance ofat least 3-4 feet.
- Turn your right foot out by 90 degrees and left foot in byabout 15 degrees.
- Checkpoint: Is the heel of the right foot aligned to thecenter of the left foot?
- Lift both arms sideways to shoulder height with yourpalms facing upwards.
- Checkpoint: Are your arms parallel to the ground?
- Breathing out, bend your right knee.
- Checkpoint: Are your right knee and right ankle forminga straight line? Ensure that your knee does not overshoot the ankle.
- Turn your head and look to your right.
- As you settle down in the yoga posture stretch your arms further.
- Make a gentle effort to push your pelvis down. Hold the yoga posture with the determination of a warrior. Smile like a happy smiling warrior. Keep breathing as you go down.
- Breathing in, come up.
- Breathing out, bring your hands down from the sides.
- Repeat the yoga posture for the left side (turn your left foot out by 90 degrees and turn the right foot in by about 15 degrees).
Benefits of the Virabhadrasana
- Strengthens and tones the arms, legs and lower back.
- Improves balance in the body, helps increase stamina.
- Beneficial for those with sedentary or deskbound jobs.
- Extremely beneficial in case of frozen shoulders.
- Releases stress in the shoulders very effectively in a short span of time.
- Brings auspiciousness, courage, grace and peace.
Contraindications of the Veerabhadrasana
- Practice Warrior Pose (Veerabhadrasana) only after consulting your doctor if you have experienced spinal disorders recently or just recovered from a chronic illness.
- High blood pressure patients should avoid this posture.
- Veerabhadrasana especially benefits pregnant ladies in their second and third trimester provided they have been practicing yoga regularly. Practice Virabhadrasana while standing close to a wall so you can support yourself if required. How ever do consult your doctor before doing this yoga posture.
- Avoid this posture if you are suffering or had recently suffered from diarrhea.
- If you have knee pain or arthritis, use some support at the knee to hold this yoga posture.
TRIKONASANA (Triangle Pose)
How to do the Trikonasana
- Stand straight. Separate your feet comfortably wide apart (about 3 1/2 to 4 feet).
- Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in by 15 degrees.
- Now align the center of your right heel with the center of your arch of left foot.
- Ensure that your feet are pressing the ground and the weight of your body is equally balanced on both the feet.
- Inhale deeply and as you exhale, bend your body to the right, downward from the hips, keeping the waist straight, allowing your left hand to come up in the air while your right hand comes down towards floor. Keep both arms in straight line.
- Rest your right hand on your shin, ankle, or the floor outside your right foot, whatever is possible without distorting the sides of the waist. Stretch your left arm toward the ceiling, in line with the tops of your shoulders. Keep your head in a neutral position or turn it to the left, eyes gazing softly at the left palm.
- Ascertain that your body is bent sideways and not backward or forward. Pelvis and chest are wide open.
- Stretch maximum and be steady. Keep taking in long deep breaths. With each exhalation, relax the body more and more. Just be with the body and the breath.
- As you inhale, come up, bring your arms down to your sides, and straighten your feet.
- Repeat the same on the other side.
Benefits of the Trikonasana·
- Strengthens the legs, knees, ankles, arms and chest.
- Stretches and opens the hips, groins, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine.
- Increases mental and physical equilibrium.
- Helps improve digestion.
- Reduces anxiety, stress, back pain and sciatica.
Contraindications of the Trikonasana
Avoid doing this pose if you are suffering from migraine, diarrhea, low or high blood pressure, or neck and back injuries. Those with high blood pressure may do this pose but without raising their hand overhead, as this may further raise the blood pressure.
BADHAKONASANA (Butterfly Pose)
How to do Badhakonasana
- Sit with your spine erect and legs spread straight out.
- Now bend your knees and bring your feet towards the pelvis. The soles of your feet should touch each other.
- Grab your feet tightly with your hands. You may place the hands underneath the feet for support.
- Make an effort to bring the heels as close to the genitals as possible.
- Take a deep breath in. Breathing out, press the thighs and knees downward towards the floor. Make a gentle effort to keep pressing them downward.
- Now start flapping both the legs up and down like the wings of a butterfly. Start slow and gradually increase the speed. Keep breathing normally throughout.
- Fly higher and higher, as fast as you comfortably can. Slow down and then stop. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, bend forward, keeping the chin up and spine erect.
- Press your elbows on the thighs or on the knees, pushing the knees and thighs closer to the floor.
- Feel the stretch in the inner thighs and take long, deep breaths, relaxing the muscles more and more.
- Take a deep breath in and bring the torso up.
- As you exhale, gently release the posture. Straighten the legs out in front of you and relax.
Benefits of the Badhakonasana
- A good stretch for the inner thighs, groins and knees, improving flexibility in the groin and hip region.
- Helps in intestine and bowel movement.
- Removes fatigue from long hours of standing and walking.
- Offers relief from menstrual discomfort and menopause symptoms.
- Helps in smooth delivery if practiced regularly until late pregnancy.
Contraindications of the Badhakonasana
If you are suffering from groin or knee injury, make sure you keep a blanket under the outer thighs for support. Do not perform this pose without blanket support. Also, sciatica patients should either completely avoid the pose or sit on a cushion to raise the hips. If you have any lower-back disorders, do the posture only while keeping the spine erect. Avoid rounding up the spine by bending forward.
SAVASANA (Corpse Pose)
How to do the Savasana
- Lie flat on your back, preferably without any props or cushions. Use small pillow below your neck if absolutely required. Close your eyes.
- Keep your legs comfortable apart and let your feet and knees relax completely, toes facing to the sides.
- Place your arms alongside, yet a little spread apart from your body. Leave your palms open, facing upward.
- Taking your attention to different body parts one by one, slowly relax your entire body.
- Begin with bringing your awareness to the right foot, move on to the right knee (as you complete one leg, move your attention on to the other leg), and so on, and slowly move upwards to your head, relaxing each part of the body.
- Keep breathing slowly, gently, deeply and allow your breath to relax you more and more. The incoming breath energizes the body while the outgoing breath brings relaxation. Drop all sense of hurry or urgency or any need to attend to anything else. Just be with the body and the breath. Surrender the whole body to the floor and let go. Make sure you don’t fall asleep.
- After some time, about 10-20minutes when you feel fully relaxed, keeping your eyes closed, slowly roll onto your right side. Lie in that position for a minute or so. Then, taking the support of your right hand, gently sit up into a seated pose such as Sukhasana (Easy Pose).
- Keep your eyes closed and take a few deep breaths in and out as you gradually become aware of your environment and the body. When you feel complete, slowly and gently open your eyes.
Benefits of the Savasana
- This posture brings a deep, meditative state of rest, which may help in the repair of tissues and cells, and in releasing stress. It also gives time for the yoga workout to sink in at a deeper level.
- This posture leaves you in a state of rejuvenation. It is the perfect way to end a yoga session, particularly if it has been a fast-paced one.
- It helps reduce blood pressure, anxiety, and insomnia.
- This is an excellent way to ground the body and reduce the Vata dosha (imbalance of the air element) in the body.
Contraindications of the Savasana
None (unless your doctor has advised you, for some medical reason, to avoid lying on your back).