Yoga for Pregnancy
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Although pregnancy can be a stressful time - mentally, physically and emotionally, don't lose hope just yet! Going into labour is a natural female body function and if you let yoga relieve the stress, the process of childbirth will be a lot easier. Hansaji Yogendra, yoga instructor and director of the Yoga Institute, Mumbai, says, “Yoga and meditation is beneficial for the spiritual and physical growth of your unborn child. However, before you start practising yoga or take up any exercise regime during pregnancy consult your doctor. Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead, here’s how you can proceed.
Yoga can be practiced from the 4th month of pregnancy till the 9th month.
Yastikasana: Simple stretching of all the muscles
Step One: Lie down on your back with your legs extended.
Step Two: Inhale as you extend your arms upwards.
Step Three: Stretch you body such that you pull your body upwards with your arms and downwards with your feet.
Step Four: Hold for 6 seconds, exhale and slowly release.
Supta vhadrasana: Improves flexibility
Step One: Lie down on your back.
Step Two: Spread your legs wider.
Step Three: Now bend your knees to bring your feet together in such a way that your feet form a namaste.
Step Four: Hold for 6 seconds and release.
This pose increases flexibility of the pelvic region, making child birth easier. It also stretches the lower back, thus preventing back-aches.
Ustrasana or the camel pose
Step One: Go down on your knees.
Step Two: Now slowly bend back as you try to reach your ankles.
Step Three: Hold this position up to 6 counts.
Step Four: Now slowly come back to original position.
If you are a beginner, do not try to hold your ankles. Instead, just place you hands on your hips and bend backwards. This pose will strengthen your back and prevent back pain. The Utrasana or the Camel Pose will also raise your energy levels, as blood rushes to your head.
Besides these asanas, Hansaji Yogendra also suggests these breathing exercises to make your pregnancy easier:
Long exhalation or rechak: “Simply take your breath in and let it out slowly,” Hansaji says. Diaphragm breathing: In this kind of breathing make sure your abdomen goes out as you breathe in and is pulled in as you exhale. Try these yoga asanas for a happy, healthy and stress-free pregnancy. What’s more – maybe yoga will become a habit for you and enrich your life even long after your baby grows up!