Though yoga is known to be excellent for pregnancy, there are certain things that women should keep in mind about prenatal yoga poses that are suitable for the different parts of the pregnancy. We look at the yoga poses that are suitable for each of the three trimesters as well as the yoga asanas to be avoided in pregnancy.
Prenatal yoga poses for the first trimester
The Pigeon pose – It requires you to sit bringing one knee forward with the heel tucked near the inner thigh and the other leg stretched out behind with the hands supporting the body. The pose will help stretch the thighs, groin and back.
Baddha Konasana (or the cobbler pose) – It requires you to sit with your legs apart and then pulling the feet in towards the inner thighs in a way that the soles of the feet come together to face and touch each other.
The Triangle pose – This pose requires you to stand with your feet wide apart. You then reach down with one hand to tough the ankle on that side, and the other arm reaches upward towards the ceiling with both arms extended in either direction to form a straight vertical line.
The Half Moon pose – It can follow the triangle pose since both of these prenatal yoga poses go well together. From the triangle pose, the right arm is lowered to the right ankle, raise the left leg up to create a straight line with the torso in a way that only the right leg and the right hand touch the ground.
Viparita Karani – (Viparita means opposite and this is the legs up the wall pose). During the day, walking, sitting for long periods and being sedentary will cause the fluids to pool in the lower part of the body.
This is one of the useful prenatal yoga poses that will help reduce swelling and discomfort in the ankles.
To reduce the pain and swelling of tired feet, simply lie down on the ground or any place next to a wall with the arms spread out. Now put the feet and legs up along the wall to help relax the feet and drain the fluid from them.
Prenatal yoga poses for the second and third trimesters
All of the poses that are described above for the first trimester can be continued into the second trimester and you can add certain other poses to improve back or abdominal pain. These pregnancy related aches and pains typically start to manifest in the second trimester and the poses that can be performed on all fours such as the cow pose and the cat pose can be very beneficial.
In the third trimester as well the stretches and other yoga poses described above can be continued, in particular the poses that are performed on all fours will help to get the baby into the proper position for birthing.
Prenatal yoga poses to avoid and other precautions
You should avoid poses that require you to lie on your back or perform deep twists particularly in the second half of the pregnancy. Also avoid breathing exercises that require you to exhale forcefully or to hold your breath. Jumping or high impact exercise should also be avoided.