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As you already know, maintaining an active lifestyle brings a lot of benefits when you are pregnant. In this article, we will talk about yoga positions that can help you go through pregnancy as smoothly as possible.
Being pregnant is exciting and enjoyable, but, at the same time, comes with a lot of challenges. You go through the entire list of physical and emotional changes, and it can hardly be said that pregnancy is s all rainbows and sunshine.
The best way to soothe symptoms of pregnancy is to continue working out regularly. If you weren’t active before getting pregnant, now is the time to become. There are plenty of exercises that you can do, from jogging to weightlifting if everything is okay and your doctor clears you.
We, however, recommend that you try yoga because it is a total body workout with numerous benefits. We will discuss today some of the ways how prenatal yoga impacts your body and positions that you can do regardless of your current shape.
Here is a quick note before we go on. Sometimes it can be tough to find the motivation to work out whether you are pregnant or not. We noticed that we feel more inspired when we have cool workout gear like best workout shirts.
Prenatal yoga includes postures and breathing exercises that are created for pregnant women. It is a beautiful and, most importantly, low-intensity way to strengthen the body and gain more of much-needed flexibility. Besides improving physical shape, yoga proved to be extremely useful in terms of developing proper breathing and relaxation techniques. It means that when doing yoga regularly, you aren’t just helping your body but your mind as well.
There are plenty of fantastic yoga postures that you can do when you are pregnant. At the gym – expert.com, we checked out some and decided to suggest you to these that we liked the most.
CAT – COW POSE
Officially it is called Marjaryasana – Bitilasana, and it is a combination of two postures otherwise known as asana. The name comes from Sanskrit – marjari means cat, bitila means cow, and as we said, asana is a pose. Translated to English, it means cat-cow posture. It is one of the basic exercises in many schools of yoga. Its purpose is to relieve shoulder and back pain, release tension in the belly and open the hips. Doing it is pretty straightforward.
- Assume hands and knees tabletop position.
- Start from cow posture – lower your belly, raise the butt, and lift your head. Inhale. Hold for a few seconds and exhale.
- As you are switching to cat pose, raise your back upwards, draw in the belly and lower your head so that you look at the stomach.
Utkata Konasana or the goddess pose is also known as fiery angle pose is supposed to tone and stretch the core muscles, strengthen quadriceps and inner thigh muscles, and increase the circulation. It also increases the overall energy level.
It is a relatively simple pose and as such ideal even for those who never did yoga before. The purpose of it is to stretch and ease the lower back pain. Come down on your hands and knees and wide as the mat under you. Sit with your hips being on the heels and stretch your arms forward. Exhale as you are lowering your belly between the knees. Hold for a few seconds and repeat.
FIRE LOG POSE
This pose that is also known as ankle to knee pose is one of the best hip openers in yoga classes. Take a seated position. Then place the left leg on the bottom and the right on the top. Your right ankle should be over your left knee and shinbones parallel to each other. Try to keep the spine as straight as possible as you are doing the exercise.
Yoga squats or Malasana are excellent for strengthening the abdominal wall. With your spine straight and feet flat, go down and back with your hips. Your hands should be in front of your heart and prayer position while you exhale and inhale deeply.
DOWNWARD DOG AT THE WALL
When you are pregnant, you can feel muscle tension all over your body. It is a posture specifically designed to target neck muscles and shoulder muscles. It does also open the sacral region and soothes the pain in the lower back. The Sanskrit name is Sasrahara, and it represents a lotus flower with 1000 petals.
LEGS UP THE WALL
Surely you’ve thought a few times by now that it would be wonderful to find a way to do something about those swollen ankles. It exercise is relatively simple – your butt has to be as close to the wall as possible and legs up. If you experience pain or any kind of discomfort, move a few inches away from the wall.
Each of the postures we listed here is fairly simple to do and yet will be wonderfully beneficial for you during and after pregnancy. In general, yoga is one of the best forms of exercises one can do because it works on simultaneously improving your physical and mental condition. Have you already done yoga? Have you tried doing prenatal yoga exercises? If not you should! Here is another post that shares my favorite yoga mat and some other fun exercises with your little ones.
About the Author
Lavera lives in Portland and works in the healthcare industry. She discovered and fell in love with yoga as a student volunteering in India and Nepal. When she isn’t working or practicing yoga, she likes to watch adventure movies and share her yoga tips via Gym-Expert. She is planning on opening a women-only yoga studio.