Why Prenatal Exercise is necessary during pregnancy ?
The most special and auspicious moment for any woman is to know that she is about to be a mother. The feeling that she will give birth to a baby fills her up with joy, excitement and euphoria.
Expecting mother should take more care of herself as whatever she does will directly affect the baby inside her womb. Sometimes, she can feel the movement of baby inside her. So this develops bonding between them, even before she has given birth.
She should be brave and strong enough to control her emotions like anger, depression, anxiety etc. but often it is difficult to do so, as with pregnancy she has to deal with lot of hormonal changes inside her body. She might also suffer from lot of physical problems like morning sickness, back pain, weight gain, blood pressure and there are so many. This raises questions and doubts in her mind as to what she should do to overcome such body issues.
So, here we will discuss about prenatal exercise which are basically yoga asana (posture) that will help soon to be moms out there to a great extent in such sensitive and critical stage.
Caution Before Practicing Prenatal Exercise.
During pregnancy discuss with your doctor or other health care provider before attempting yoga, pranayam or other prenatal exercise. Also, makes sure not to perform pregnancy yoga on the sleepery floor, instead do it on the carpet or yoga mat.
Pregnancy Yoga Benefits.
- Yoga brings harmony in between your mind and body.
- It increases energy level.
- It brings down joint pain, back pain, makes posture fit, strengthens back, thigh and butt muscles which is very necessary during pregnancy.
- Helps release out toxins.
- Helps secrete endorphins.
- Makes you look charming and attractive.
- It increases blood circulation and enhances lung capacity.
- It relieves stress and helps in mood fluctuation.
- It lowers down risk of heart disease.
- Helps in maintaining weight and provides your previous figure easily and early.
1. Hastuttanasana – Raised Arms Pose.
- Stand straight and slightly spread your legs.
- Interlock your fingers and while slowly inhaling raise your arms over the head.
- Turn your palms raising them up.
- Now bend back, hold your breath and stretch (do not try to bend much). Feel the posture.
- Exhaling, come to the normal position.
Perform this Asana (posture) 5 times.
Benefits : This asana strengthens thigh muscles and makes it flexible. It lowers down back pain and increases lung capacity.
Caution : Please makes sure not to bend much as you might fall. In case of severe back pain, kindly consult your doctor or therapist before attempting this asana.
2. Triyaktadasana – Swaying Palm Tree Pose.
- Stand erect. Keep your legs one foot apart.
- Place both hands on your waist.
- Inhaling, bend on right side from the waist.
- Hold your breath and feel the stretch.
- Exhaling, come back to the center.
- Now, perform this asana towards left side.
Perform bending both sideways for 5 times.
Benefits : These side bend stretches help create more space in particularly between your rib bones, so that you can get more breath into your body for both you and your baby.
It lowers down fats from chest and waist. Helps maintain body balance and reduces stress and hypertension.
Caution : Triyaktadasana should not be performed by expecting mothers who are suffering from hernia, severe backache or headache. Those who are suffering from chronic diseases should also not attempt this asana.
3. Padasana – Foot Pose.
- Stand straight and keep your legs slightly apart.
- Interlock your fingers.
- Turn your palms outward and raise your arms up to shoulders with your arms stretched out in front of you.
- While inhaling, slightly lean forward from your waist. But make sure not to bend much.
- Hold the breath and feel the posture.
- Exhaling, come back to the center.
Repeat this asana 5 times.
Benefits : Padasana stretches your arm muscles, increases lung capacity. It improves blood circulation and provides relief in back pain.
Caution : Please do not bend much. Consult your doctor if suffering from severe spine and abdominal pain.
4. Titliasana – Butterfly Pose.
- Sit comfortably on the floor with your feet out.
- Bring the soles and toe of your feet to touch. Hold your ankles.
- Slowly move your knees-up and down like butterfly wings.
- Do this for a couple of minutes and then relax.
- Now keep your palms on your knees. Start pressing your knees down till you feel the stretch.
- Slowly come to the normal position and get relaxed.
Perform this asana for 5 minutes.
Benefits : Helps to loosen leg muscles. It eases pain during normal delivery. It is helpful during menstruation and should also be performed during menopause.
Caution : It is advisable to sit on a comfortable cushion while performing this asana.
5. Shavasana – Corpse Pose.
It is one of the easiest yoga pose which requires concentration and relaxation. This asana should be performed after you have completed all the above postures.
- To perform Shavasana lie down on your back on the floor.
- Keep your legs one foot apart.
- Open your both hands with palms facing upwards.
- Your hands should be at some distance away from your thighs.
- Close your eyes and let your whole body get relaxed.
- Now take slow deep breaths for up to five minutes.
- After you feel stress free slowly open your eyes and sit in Sukhasana (cross-legged position).
You may also keep your legs on the chair while lying on your back.
Shavasana is an excellent yoga posture which refreshes your mind and the entire body. It too helps in blood circulation. It also controls blood pressure and hypertension.
What is Pranayam ?
Pranayam is a breathing technique which provides adequate oxygen supply to your body, releases out toxins, keeps your mind calm, helps in blood circulation and hormonal production.
Pranayam should always be practiced sitting in a cross-legged position, you may sit on a cushion if you feel uncomfortable to support your back. It is always performed empty stomach.
Before attempting pranayam it is recommended to pregnant women that they consult their gynaecologist and obstetrician first.
1. Sheetali Pranayam – Cooling Breath.
Sheetali Pranayam acts like natural air-conditioner. It is highly effective during hot weather, excessive sweating, high blood pressure and stress.
- To practice this pranayam sit in a cross-legged position. To support your back you may use a cushion to sit.
- Roll your tongue to push it out of your mouth and inhale. Keep it in between your teeth.
- Deep breathe in from your tongue.
- Close your mouth and keep your chin down. Do not hold your breath for long.
- Lift up your chin and exhale through your nose
Perform 10-15 times daily.
Benefits : It will make you stress free, lowers down body temperature, provides relief from stomach pain and detoxifies your body.
Caution : This pranayam should not be attempted during cold weather. If you are suffering from cough and cold avoid practicing it.
2. Sheetkari Pranayam – Hissing (sound) cooling breath.
The benefits of Sheetkari Pranayam is similar to that of Sheetali Pranayam, the basic difference is in the way of breathing. Those who are unable to roll out their tongue may perform Sheetkari Pranayam.
In Sheetali we breathe in through folding our tongue whereas in Sheetkari we inhale through teeth.
- Sit in a cross-legged position, use cushion if you wish.
- Join your teeth and open your lips.
- Inhale through your teeth (making ‘hiss’ sound). Close your mouth and put your chin down.
- Lift your chin up and exhale through your nose.
Do this Pranayam for 10-15 times.
Sheetali and Sheetkari are two such pranayams in which you have to inhale from your mouth.
Benefits : Like Sheetali, this pranayam too cools down your body temperature, helps in digestion, effective during high blood pressure, stress etc.
Caution : As told earlier do not attempt it if you are suffering from low blood pressure, cold and cough. Avoid practicing it during cold weather. Kindly consult your doctor and therapist as well.
3. Chandrabhed Pranayam – Left Nostril Inhaling.
This pranayam cools down your body. In this pranayam left nostril is used for breathing in whereas right nostril is used for breathing out.
- Sit comfortably on the floor or use a cushion.
- Cover your right nostril with your right thumb.
- Inhale through your left nostril.
- Now cover your left nostril with right ring finger and exhale through your right nostril.
Do this 10-15 times.
Benefits : This pranayam helps to normalize your body temperature during excessive hot weather. It also provides relief from stress and anxiety. During high blood pressure, practicing this pranayam provides instant relief.
Caution : Do not attempt it during winters. Cold and cough patients are advised not to attempt it. Even low blood pressure patients should avoid it.
The information given above is true to the best of my knowledge.
Any feedback, suggestions and comments are highly welcome. Kindly ask your doubts and questions, I shall surely assist you in the best possible manner.