Pregnancy is a miraculous journey, but it's not without its challenges. As the body undergoes profound changes to accommodate the growing life within, it's not uncommon for expectant mothers to experience various aches and pains.
So, we asked Devyani Puri, a yoga teacher who specialises in pre-natal yoga, how expectant mothers can use simple yoga asanas to make their pregnancy as comfortable as possible, and she was kind enough to share her thoughts.
Prenatal yoga offers a holistic and gentle approach to alleviate discomfort and promote overall well-being during this transformative period. There are numerous benefits of prenatal yoga when practiced safely under expert guidance. Read on for some great tips & easy asanas every expectant mother must do to stay fit through childbirth.
Understanding the Aches and Pains of Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings about a plethora of physical changes that can lead to discomfort. Common complaints include back pain, pelvic pain, swollen ankles, and tension in the shoulders and neck. As the baby grows, the centre of gravity shifts, causing additional strain on the back and supporting muscles. Hormonal changes also play a role, softening ligaments and joints, which can lead to instability and pain in various parts of the body.
These gentle asanas are perfect expectant mothers to practice as they prepare for childbirth.
Effective Asanas to ease the aches and pains of pregnancy
- Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana): This gentle flow between arching the back (Cow) and rounding the spine (Cat) helps to alleviate back pain, increase flexibility in the spine, and improve posture
- Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana): This pose provides a hip and groin stretch, relieves lower back discomfort, opens the inner thighs, reduces stress, engages the core gently
- Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana): Pigeon Pose is excellent for opening up the hips and relieving tension in the glutes and lower back.
- Modified Triangle Pose (Trikonasana): Trikonasana helps to stretch and strengthen the legs, improve balance, and alleviate back and hip pain.
- Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II): This pose targets the hips, thighs, and shoulders, providing strength and stability while also stretching the groin and opening the chest.
- Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana): Supported Bridge Pose helps relieve back pain and opens the chest and hips while supporting the lower back.
- Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana): This calming forward bend gently stretches the hamstrings, lower back, and shoulders, offering relief from tension and tightness.
- Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana): Butterfly Pose is great for opening the hips and inner thighs, which can be especially beneficial during pregnancy.
- Modified Camel Pose (Ustrasana): The modified version of Camel Pose offers a gentle backbend that helps alleviate back pain and improves flexibility in the spine.
- Shoulder Rolls and Neck Stretches: Simple movements like shoulder rolls and neck stretches can help release tension in the upper body, which is commonly experienced during pregnancy due to changes in posture.
- Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana): Standing Forward Bend provides a gentle stretch to the hamstrings and lower back, promoting relaxation and reducing stress.
- Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani): This restorative pose improves circulation in the legs and reduces swelling in the feet and ankles.
Prenatal yoga emerges as a gentle, safe, and effective method to alleviate aches and pains while promoting a healthy mind-body connection during pregnancy. By incorporating various asanas into your daily routine, you can target specific areas of discomfort and find comfort amidst the chaos of pregnancy.
Remember, each pregnancy is unique, so consult with a healthcare professional or a certified yoga teacher and enjoy the journey to motherhood with the support of prenatal yoga.
Ah, monsoon! The smell of wet mud, grey skies and misty air. The kind of weather that makes you want to stay in bed all day.
As beautiful as the monsoons make everything, they play havoc on our fitness routines. Morning runs are replaced by snoozed alarms, yoga classes are skipped for simmering cups of chai, and gym sessions are traded for binge sessions in bed.
But have you ever wondered why you turn into a sloth the moment the rains set in?
Don’t blame yourself for being lazy, there’s science at play!