Yoga During Pregnancy
Here are some asanas that you should do when pregnant, for a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.
Butterfly Pose or Titali Asana
This asana opens up your hips and inner thighs, and removes tension from the inner thigh area. In addition, it stretches your knees and groin area. It is one of the most beneficial pregnancy poses and if done consistenly right from the first trimester, it will almost certainly ease childbirth to a great extent.
Sit on a mat with your legs stretched out in front. Holding your ankles, pull both legs as close inwards as you can, so your heels touch your pelic area. Gradually, push your knees down outwards. You can push your knees down using your elbows if you like, because you will still be clasping your ankles with your plams. Ideally, your knees should touch the mat, but you will not be able to do this unless you have enough practice. Bounce your knees up and down around 15 to 20 times, pushing them as far down as possible, as is comfortable.
You can prepare for this asana one leg at a time, working on loosening inner thigh muslces first. Stretch your right leg straight out, and bend the other leg so the ankle of the left leg is on the right leg's thigh. Hold the ankle with one arm, and with the other arm push the knee of the left leg down, until it touches the mat. Then, lift it up and push it down again. Be slow and gentle, and do not strain or you may tear a ligament. Repeat this up-down movement 15 to 20 times for each leg.
Squats or Utthanasan
Keep your feet around three feet apart, with both heels facing inwards and toes facing outwards. Interlock your fingers, and let your hands hang down in front of you. Gradually squat, lowering your buttocks.
Keep your feet flat on the floor. Do not raise the heels. Stay down for a few seconds, and stand up again. Repeat around 15 to 20 times. 28-year-old Madhuri did 50 such squats every single day during her first pregnancy, with the result that she had just a 3 hour labour and an incredibly easy delivery.
This is similar to the position adopted by housecleaners when they sweep the floor, which is why sweeping floors is actually excellent exercise.
Cat Stretch Pose or Marjari Aasana
Start this aasan with the Vajrasana pose, where you sit with your buttocks on your heels. Raise your buttocks off your heels and bend forward, leaning on your palms. You are now on all fours. Move your feet slightly to the sides, so they are around a foot or shoulder width apart.
Now that you are on all fours, inhale, raising your head and pushing down the arch of your back. Your back is now concave. Then, inhale, and roll your head down between your arms, pushing your back upwards.
After exhaling, contract your stomach by pulling the navel up towards the spine. Pull in your buttocks as well.
This is one round. Repeat this six times. This aasan strengthens your neck, shoulders and spine, which is why it is also very good for the posture. In addition, it tones up the entire reproductive system, and is very beneficial for women before, during and after pregnancy.
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