Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. This is when a mommy to-be is flooded with many thoughts and emotions. The time in her life when she feels enormous joy, but she is also riddled with apprehensions. Meanwhile, her body is also going through many changes that affect your mood at the drop of a hat; you might just get upset and anxious for no reason and that’s all right.
You fight many self-doubting thoughts: Will I be a good mother? Am I eating right? Am I doing everything to keep my baby healthy? So for all the first-time mommies, let me give you the same advise my mom gave me: Relax and trust your instinct when it comes to you and your baby. And to help you deal with the anxiety and nervousness that come with being pregnant, daily exercise is key. Physical activity helps you calm those nerves, yoga is very beneficial for your baby and it is yet of the best health tips for pregnant ladies. So, here are some yoga asanas for pregnant women that help you glide through each trimester.
Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, roughly approximating specific developmental stages of the baby. The first 12 weeks of pregnancy form the first trimester. It is the time when your baby is still an embryo and the body is working overtime to keep it safe in the womb.
How does yoga help?
Yoga is a great way to deal with the discomfort that comes with pregnancy and while light exercises and asanas are recommended, do consult a doctor before doing any form of workout.
Before you begin any exercise, keep the following things in mind.
Choose a place which has fresh and well-circulated air, preferably a garden, a terrace, or a workout place in your house. If you want, place some flower pots in the room to boost your mood and energy levels. You will require a yoga mat, a bottle of water, a hand or face towel. Play some soothing music in the background if you like. Spread the mat on the floor and sit in a comfortable position. Take five to 10 long breaths to relax yourself. Stretch your hands and legs to loosen the muscles. Remember to warm up before attempting any exercise.
First Trimester: Cross-legged Chest Lift
In your first trimester, this pose will help improve digestion and also relieve any strain on the spine caused by prolonged sitting.
HOW TO DO IT: Sit comfortably on the floor and cross your legs. Reach back with both your hands and support yourself on your fingertips, keeping your fingers slightly bent. Inhale and press down gently on your hands to lift up your chest. Look up diagonally and breathe for four breath cycles, then relax. Repeat two more times.
Second Trimester: Kati Chakrasana
This is also called the waist-rotating pose. The benefits of this pose include toning of the waist, back and hips. It also induces a feeling of lightness and relieves both physical and mental stress.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet about half-a-metre apart and your arms by your side. Inhale while raising your arms to shoulder level. As you exhale, turn your body to the left. Bring your right hand to the left shoulder and wrap the left arm around the back. Look over the left shoulder. Hold your breath for two seconds, inhale and return to the starting position. Keep your feet firmly on the ground while turning sideways. Repeat on the other side. Turn smoothly without any jerks. Repeat five to 10 times. Do remember to stretch only till the point you feel comfortable.
This pose strengthens, stretches, and helps in keeping your balance, that can inspire confidence and power. It strengthens legs, arms, shoulders and back muscles while stretching the calves.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand straight and as you exhale and place your feet wide apart while making sure you can balance well. Turn your right foot outward and left inward to adjust posture. Raise your arms parallel to the floor, palms facing down. As you inhale and turn your head to the right, bend your right knee and stretch till you feel comfortable. Exhale and come back. Relax and repeat on the other side.
Celebrated yoga expert Payal Gidwani Tiwari talks about how to take care of yourself before, during and after your pregnancy in her book, Own The Bump. You can buy it on Amazon here.