This shloka means that posture should be steady and comfortable.
But in raja yoga, asana is referred to as the posture that is suitable for the meditation. When one can maintain a comfortable posture or asana for a long time in meditation then the mind and the body can be controlled and this will keep them free from chittavritis or fluctuations of the mind.
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that has contributed to the holistic living of individuals in a natural way. It is a spiritual route for the relaxed mind and body. During pregnancy, women are battling with mood swings at varying levels, sickness, fatigue, cramps in lower limbs, and breathing problems.
Women who face these problems regularly would require minor modifications in their daily routine during the nine months of pregnancy because it is the phase when the body undergoes various hormonal changes. The aim of doing yoga during pregnancy helps the pregnant women to bring the unborn into the world with minimum hassle and without any complication. Asanas practiced across the three trimesters of pregnancy differ with every phase. Do yoga under expert supervision and under a favorable environment.
How to Practice Yoga During Pregnancy?
A yoga instructor can guide expecting mothers better than a YouTube video. An instructor can help to chalk out a yoga plan that is good for the physical state as well as for pregnancy.
Some basic rules that should be followed by pregnant women when practicing yoga:
- Avoid the asanas that require inverted postures like handstands, headstands, etc.
- Always keep in mind that when you are practicing yoga during pregnancy, stop it immediately if you feel any discomfort. Your posture only depends upon size of the bump.
Is it Safe to Practice Yoga during Pregnancy?
Practicing yoga is not about twisting and turning the body. When it is done correctly, it can be beneficial. During pregnancy, the most effective benefit of practicing yoga is that it helps you to breathe deeply and makes you feel relax. It calms the mind and the body. Most women practice prenatal yoga only for normal delivery in pregnancy.
How Yoga is Helpful during Pregnancy?
Yoga provides holistic health benefits for pregnant women:
- Yoga keeps the body in a relaxed state and relieves tension around the cervix by opening up the pelvic region.
- It also trains the pregnant women to breathe deeply and helps to face the demands of childbirth and labor.
- It also alleviates the symptoms such as swollen ankles, cramping in lower limbs, constipation, morning sickness, etc. and also recover the faster post-delivery.
For women who are doing yoga for the very first time and have not been following a regime should not rush into the same without prior medical consent. The first three months of pregnancy are the most crucial as there are chances of miscarriage, therefore, caution should be taken.
Here is a list of all the asanas that are suggested to the pregnant women to attempt during pregnancy months.
- Angle Pose (Konasana):
Stand in an erect position with a gap of 24 inches in between the feet. Pregnant women can do this asana with the wall’s support.
- Raise your right hand and keep the elbow straight. Give a slight upward stretch and when you inhale, bend towards the left.
- Then exhale and come back to your position and put the hand down. Repeat the same posture with another side.
- Mountain pose (Parvatasana):
Pravatasana improves the body’s posture and provides relief in backache.
- Sit in a straight posture and during inhalation, raise the arms and join both the palms in “Namaste position”. Keep the elbow straight.
- Hold this position for a few seconds and then come back to the normal position.
- Repeat this asana for 2 to 3 times.
- Chair pose (Utkatasana):
Utkatasana provides strength to the thigh and pelvic muscles. Stand in an erect posture with feet 12 inches apart. Feet should be parallel to each other.
- Inhale for 2 to 3 seconds and raise the heels and arms to the shoulder level with palms facing downward simultaneously.
- Exhale slowly and sit in a squat position. If it feels uncomfortable while standing on the toes, then stand normally keep the feet flat on the ground.
- Ham’s pose with one leg (Paryankasana):
This asana or pose provides strength to the abdominal, pelvic and thigh muscles.
- Lie down straight on the back and the legs should be straight.
- Keep the knees together and then fold the right leg onto the posterior side. Breathe normally and hold this position as long as you feel comfortable and then repeat it on the other side.
- Repeat this with the left leg also.
- Butterfly pose (Bhadrasana):
- This asana provides strength to the inner thighs and pelvic region.
- Sit on the mat and keep your legs fully stretched and in contact with the mat and form Namaste with the feet.
- Sit in an erect posture without leaning forward. Place the hands on the thighs or knees. Hold it till the time you feel comfortable.
- Repeat this asana again.
Twisted pose (Vakrasana):
- Sit in an erect posture with feet stretched in front. Inhale and raise the arms at the shoulder level with palms facing downwards.
- Exhale and twist the body from the waist towards the right and with moving hands and head to the same side simultaneously. Don’t bend the knees.
- After that inhale and come back to the original position. Repeat it on the other side.
- Repeat this asana again.
Some Safety Measures
- Pregnant women with asthma can try these asanas but should not hold breathe during the practice of asanas.
- Certain asanas cannot be carried throughout all months. Konasana (angle pose) should not be continued after the seventh month of pregnancy. Once you feel uncomfortable, stop it immediately without further straining the muscles.
- Avoid the forward bending asanas and exercises because they might put pressure on the abdomen. Asanas that put pressure on the stomach should be avoided.
- If the mother feels nausea or pain during any of the asana then she should stop it immediately and consult the doctor.
Yoga Poses that Should be Avoided During Pregnancy:
- Charakarasana (Wheel Pose)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
- Naukasana (Boat Pose)