5 yoga poses during pregnancy for your mind and body

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If you are an expectant mother, practising yoga can be a good way to prepare yourself pyhysically and mentally for childbirth. Keep these 5 poses in mind!

Over the years, we have all become more aware of the benefits of maintaining a yoga practice through each and every stage of life. No wonder, performing this exercise even during pregnancy is gaining popularity. 

A consistent practice has several benefits that can help with both mental and physical aspects. When one is in touch with their mind and body, they can build awareness, along with strength, stability and flexibility.

Here are some asanas that are recommended during pregnancy:

1. Baddha konasana/Bound angle pose

Baddha konasana works on all the right areas like the inner thighs, hips and the pelvic region. It boosts circulation and can be done outside of a yoga practice as well.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Sit with the soles of your feet together. Bring the heels as close to your groin as possible.
  • Hold the feet with both hands. Every time you exhale, come forward with a long spine.
  • Feel the hips open up and knees going towards the floor.
  • Keep a blanket or blocks under the knees to take support. You can also use a blanket or a cushion to sit on.
  • Hold this for 5-8 deep breaths.

2. Balasana (Child’s pose)

Child’s pose is a super relaxing yoga asana that can be done anytime. It helps decompress the spine and stretch the shoulders as well.

Child’s pose. Image courtesy: Sonakshi Dhamija

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Come to all fours. Keep the knees wide and feet together.
  • Extending the arms forward, sit your hip down on your heels.
  • Breathe deeply, while keeping the arms extending forward. Alternatively, you can also bend the elbows and rest your head on your hands.
  • Stay here for 8-10 breaths or as long you want.

3. Upavistha konasana/ Wide-angle seated forward bend

Upavistha konasana helps with opening up the hamstrings, hips, pelvic region and the back. This yoga asana does not just help with flexibility, but also works on keeping the legs and back active for stability and strength. 

Wide-angle seated forward bend pose. Image courtesy: Sonakshi Dhamija

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Sit with legs open on either side. Keep your legs active by either pointing or flexing the toes.
  • Inhale and hold the sides of the feet. If not, just keep your hands on the mat in front of you. 
  • Exhale and bend forward with a long spine, keeping the chin up reaching towards the floor.
  • Once you have reached your maximum, stay there for 5-8 breaths.
  • You can also sit on the edge of a cushion or a folded blanket.

4. Malasana

Malasana is a deep squat, which works on opening up the hips and pelvis, while providing relief to the legs, as you squat down.

Malasana. Image courtesy: Sonakshi Dhamija

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Stand with feet a bit wider than the hips and squat down.
  • Keep the palms together in prayer position in front of the chest.
  • Make sure the chest is lifted and breathe deeply.
  • Push the knees open with the elbows.
  • If the heels don’t touch the floor, roll a towel or your yoga mat and keep the heels on a height.
  • Stay for 8-10 deep breaths.

5. Virabhadrasana II/Warrior II

Virabhadrasana is an excellent pose for anyone looking to develop strength and open the hips. It’s also a great pose to work on stability.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Stand with your feet wide apart. Turn your right foot out, and keep the left foot straight.
  • Bend the right knee. Make sure the knee is right on top of the ankle facing the toes.
  • Spread the arms in the line of the knees. Gaze at the right fingertips.
  • Stay here for 5-8 breaths.
  • Repeat on the left side.

The last word

Practising yoga during pregnancy can help you build a lot more awareness in the body as well as in the mind. With so many physical changes during the whole process, it’s important one takes care of these aspects while being active and preparing for childbirth. 

Always remember you are your own best guide. Listen to your body and take it one day at a time. It’s best to have a teacher who can guide you through the practice keeping in mind all the changes your body is going through. 

Lastly, take it easy and avoid pushing yourself too hard. 

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