Yoga, derived from the Hindi word ‘Yuji’, is one activity that connects the mind and soul of a person’s body. This ancient practice has been going on for thousands of years.
The ancient yoga practice includes various exercises, poses, and meditations to relax the human mind and make it stress-free. It has been said that a person who follows this ancient practice can get mental and physical health benefits, though these claims are yet to be proven by the scientific world. Yoga happens to be one of the best exercises for pregnant women, and it is safe and effective. Therefore, yoga exercise has many benefits for the mother and the baby.
What is prenatal yoga?
Prenatal is a type of yoga that is specifically designed for women who are pregnant. The true purpose behind yoga is to maintain the balance of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of life. Yoga for pregnant women is essential and beneficial as yoga exercises can prepare them for childbirth.
The benefits of yoga are not only limited to the time of pregnancy. Engaging in yoga exercises can help maintain a person’s psychological and physical health as well. However, if you do not have any experience with yoga before pregnancy, it is best to consult with your doctor before engaging in any yoga exercise.
Best Prenatal Yoga Poses
Yoga is one of the safest exercises out there for pregnant women. Some of the best prenatal yoga poses are –
- The Goddess Pose – You can complete a wide-legged squat with or without the use of a wall for balance. This goddess pose strengthens the legs and pelvic floor while also encouraging hip opening, which are essential aspects of the delivery process.
- Unicorn or Rainbow Pose – Unicorn or Rainbow posture (cow or cat) is a series of movements that lengthen the spine and let your belly hang, which can help relieve stress. It can also assist in getting the baby into the best position for delivery. In addition, if you’re having trouble with “back labor,” these stances can help.
- The Balanced Table Pose – Stretch your right leg behind you and reach your left arm forward while on all fours, hold for 3-5 breaths, and then alternate. Maintaining balance in a balanced table pose necessitates core strength. It’s a fantastic way to develop those abdominal muscles, which will come in handy during birth! If you do it regularly, you can get relief from round ligament discomfort.
- Downward Facing Dog Pose – The Downward-Facing Dog stretch stretches the whole back of the body from head to toe. As the head is below the heart and the heart is below the hips, Down Dog has also been termed an inversion pose. Inversions assist in the delivery of oxygenated blood to the brain.
- Garland Pose – The Garland stance improves the capacity to squat, which is a common position during labor and delivery. The position also helps to increase hip joint range of motion.
- Warrior’s Dance Pose – As you reach through a full range of motion in the upper body, Warrior’s Dance Pose helps to warm the entire body and create power in the lower body. In the yoga position sequence, the core stabilizers of the back and abs are also engaged.
- Side Rock Pose – The muscles of the pelvic floor are engaged in this yoga pose.
- Seated Leg Forward Fold – Seated Leg Forward Pose is a soothing pose that gives a deep stretch for the inner thighs and a mild stretch for the lower back.
Benefits of Yoga for Pregnant Women
During pregnancy, the mother and child need to get a minimum of 30 minutes of movement daily. They are not required to go for heavy workouts, just simple movements. Prenatal yoga is the perfect exercise as it is not extensive and fairly easy to do for pregnant women. Many benefits of prenatal yoga are –
- Reduction of Stress – Yoga includes the combination of relaxed breathing and safe movements; this can reduce stress and prevent the symptoms of depression and anxiety, which many pregnant women go through at times. The slow breathing movement in a yoga exercise blocks cortisol which has a link to depression when present in high amounts.
- Overall Labour Experience – Staying positive is one of the most important things when going into labor. Starting yoga at any stage of your pregnancy can help you maintain positivity and a good mood. Additionally, the yoga exercise of breathing and meditation can reduce anxiety and pain caused in labor. If you are confident in your labor, you might go through less pain.
- Blood Circulation – Yoga exercise forces the body for stretching and other kinds of movements. This benefits the body as the circulation or flow of blood to the heart is improved. An improved blood flow to the heart means blood with more oxygen-rich content is also reaching the baby. This keeps the mother and baby healthy at the same time.
- Social Support – There are many classes for prenatal yoga going around for pregnant women. These classes help many women connect who are all going through the time of pregnancy. They all stand as a support system for each other. Being able to share your experiences and stories related to the process of labor and pregnancy can help other pregnant women and give them feeling support, which is crucial when going into labor.
Having movements and exercise is critical during pregnancy, but it is important to not overburden yourself with these exercises as they can be harmful to the baby. Yoga exercise is one of the best ways for pregnant women to engage in exercises that are easy to do and beneficial to them and the baby. However, there are few dangerous yoga exercises for pregnant women, and it is best to consult a doctor before engaging in any prenatal yoga exercise.