It is very important to stay active when pregnant.
I know you are feeling perpetually tired and would love to spend the remainder of the pregnancy in bed or curled up on the sofa.
But far from helping you feel more relaxed and rested, a sedentary lifestyle during pregnancy can be problematic. It worsens aches in various parts of your body, makes it harder to sleep well and just makes you feel more horrible.
It can also increase the risk of complications during delivery.
Doctors highly recommend physical activity for pregnant women. You should find safe low-impact workouts that you can do comfortably. One of the best ones is yoga.
The best thing about yoga during pregnancy is that it targets both your body and your mind. It not only improves your fitness and physical health, it also helps you relax, which is especially important if you are feeling a bit anxious about the baby.
Here are some great yoga postures that will keep your body fit, make your pregnancy more comfortable and help your body get ready for the stress of delivery.
Note: Not all these poses are ideal for every stage of pregnancy. Only try a pose if it is safe and comfortable.
1. Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)
Ideal for: The earlier stages of pregnancy when the belly is still small.
Benefits: This pose is great for stretching the shoulders, arches, calves, and hamstrings. It also builds strength in your arms and legs, reduces back pain and improves digestion.
How to do it:
Get on the floor on all fours with your knees directly below your hips and your forearms lying parallel to the floor (elbows should be directly below the shoulders).
Brings your palms together and begin to press your forearms against the floor. Slowly lift your knees. At the same time, you should also be lifting your back and hips.
Your legs should end up at a straight angle as should your upper body, both of them forming a perfect V. But you can bend your legs a bit if straightening them hurts.
Your head should be in line with your back, positioned between your arms.
2. Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)
Ideal for: The early stages of pregnancy when you have greater flexibility to twist your body.
Benefits: This is the best pose for improving flexibility especially in the hips, shoulders, and arms. It’s also great for stretching the legs and groin and strengthening your arms and legs.
How to do it:
Note: You may want to start with some basic stretching poses before tackling this one.
Get down on your right knee and leave your left leg standing in front of it in a 90-degree angle. Slowly lean towards your left leg as you twist your body towards the left.
Continue lifting your upper body and twisting leftwards until the bent right knee gets off the ground and the entire leg is slanting at an angle. You can have the right foot flat on the ground or lift it up on its tiptoes.
Put your right hand on the ground, palm flat down, on the outer side of your left leg. Lift your right hand straight up or stretch it forwards at an angle so that it aligns with the rest of the body.
Hold this position for 3-5 breaths and then untangle. Repeat but this time change legs.
3. Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)
Ideal for: Any stage of pregnancy.
Benefits: This pose is great for relieving belly pressure on your back and pelvis. It can help with back pain. It also stretches the back and arms.
How to do it:
It’s very simple.
Get on your hands and knees, making sure your arms are directly below your shoulders and your knees are directly below your hips.
Bend your head slightly such that your eyes are directed towards the floor.
Slowly exhale as you lift your back and tailbone upwards to form a cat-like pose. Then inhale as you go back to the neutral position.
4. Warrior Pose (Veerbhadrasana)
Ideal for: Any stage of pregnancy
Benefits: It strengthens the lower back, arms, and legs. It also opens up the hips, which is important for easier delivery.
How to do it:
Start with the basic Tadasana pose – back ramrod straight, arms straight down on your sides and feet close together with big toes touching.
Widen your feet by 3-4 feet. Rotate your right foot outwards by about 90 degrees and turn your left foot inwards by about 15 degrees.
There should be a straight line from the heel of your right foot to the center of your left foot. Lift both arms until they are parallel to the ground.
Slowly bend your right knee and turn your face to the right. Make sure your knee doesn’t bend beyond your ankle.
Hold that position for a few breaths, go back to a neutral position and then change legs and repeat the pose.
5. Butterfly Pose (Badhakonasana)
Ideal for: All stages of pregnancy.
Benefits: This pose focuses a lot on your pelvis, hip and thigh area. It opens it up, which makes labor and delivery easier. Mentally, it’s a very relaxing pose. You can do it before bed to sleep better or when you are feeling a bit anxious or stressed.
How to do it:
Sit down on the floor with legs straight out and your back straight up. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet towards each other.
Press your soles firmly together and pull them inwards towards your pelvis as much as you can. Place your hands at the tips of your joined toes.
Try to push your knees as close to the floor as possible. The gently lift them up again and push them back down. Repeat this several times as you inhale and exhale.
About The Author:
Trish, which is her pen name, is a New Orleans native who works in the insurance industry. She is married and enjoys reviewing and testing out new mattresses in a quest for the best night’s sleep. She is honest and upfront without being pushy or sales driven. Read More.