Yoga, an Indian traditional form of collective disciplines, formulated more than 5000 years ago, remains the ultimate resort for the well-being of human mind and body till date. Yoga for pregnancy has gained immeasurable importance over the recent years citing the inclination of women towards health and the life being nurtured within them. Here are 12 asanas that are simple and effective. You need not have apprehensions or fear in trying them as they come with no/minimal stretch and strain.
1. Chakki-Chalanasana (Mill Churning Pose)
Sit with your legs stretched and far apart from each other while keeping your spine erect. Stretch and hold your palms together at shoulder length. Act like you are churning a mill in a circular motion, clockwise, moving only the upper part of your body. Exhale while you come forward and exhale while you go back.
- Strengthens spine, arm muscles and pelvis.
- Regulates menstrual cycle.
- Helps lowering blood pressure.
Become four legged, bend on your knees equally apart and rest your hands with your palms, face looking forward. Inhale while you tilt your face slowly upwards. Bring up your spine forming an inverted-U without moving your knees. You will look like a shrieking cat!
- Strengthens hipbone, shoulders, and arms.
- Revitalizes the uterus.
3. Utkatasana(Chair Pose)
Stand with your legs comfortably apart. Stretch out your arms without bending elbows. Now sit in an imaginary chair. You can begin with a slight bend in your knees and go down further until you reach a little above your toes. Keep smiling all the way!
- Brings balance to body and mind.
- Strengthens torso, thighs, spine
4. Tadasana (Palm Tree Pose)
Stand with your legs comfortably apart. Raise your hands above and bring your palms together, turning them upwards. Close your eyes and stand on your heels stretching your entire body. Rest your body weight on your toes. Breathe steadily and hold the pose without extensive strain.
- Stretches and strengthens abdomen.
- Cleanses intestines.
5. Kandharasan (Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose)
Lie down on the floor with your feet on the ground, both elbows bent. You need to keep your knees, thighs and feet together throughout the exercise. Join your palms and place them behind your head. Breathe out, bring your lower body-knees, thighs and foot to the ground to your left, without separating them. Simultaneously turn your head in the opposite direction to the one in which your legs are placed down. Give your body an even twitch affecting your spine. Repeat the same in the right direction with your head turning to left this time, to complete one cycle.
- Prevents constipation.
- Improves digestion
- Strengthens spinal muscles
6. Kati Chakrasan (Waist Rotating Pose)
Stand with your legs comfortable apart with hands by your sides. Raise your left palm and hold your right shoulder with it and bring your right hand down to your left hip with your palm facing outward, breathe out while doing the turn slowly. Inhale while returning to original position. Repeat in the other direction. This asana could be done for about 5-10 minutes with minimal strain.
- Boosts spine, hip strength.
- Provides mental calm.
7. Hasta Utthanasan (Hand Raising Pose)
Stand with legs together and hands crossed in front of you. Breathe in, raise your arms (in the same crossed position) above your head and slightly tilt your head upwards. Exhale while spreading your arms to your sides at shoulder length. Breathe in, cross them again above your head. Breathe out while you bring your crossed hands down.
- Increases oxygen supply to brain.
- Improves blood circulation.
8. Utthanasan (Squat and Rise Pose)
Stand with your comfortably apart, your feet facing outward. Bring your palms into a lock in front of your body and hang them loose. Slowly bend your knees and come to a squat position. Steadily come back to original position.
- Strengthens lower abdomen, uterus, spine and thighs.
- Gives flexibility to lower body.
9. Vajrasan (Thunderbolt Pose)
Kneel down on the floor; keep your toes together, touching each other. Sit on your toes with your palm placed on your thighs.
- Very effective for curing stomach related problems – acidity, gastric trouble.
- Gives immediate relief to indigestion and clears intestines.
10. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)
Sit down and stretch your legs. Bring your right and left foot together facing each other. Hold them with your hands and slowly bring both your foot towards your body. Flap like a butterfly slowly and steadily.
- Flushes out toxins.
- Stimulates blood flow in the abdominal region and the whole of lower body.
11. Nadi Shuddhi:
Sit in a cross-legged posture with your spine comfortably erect. Place your left hand on your lap, palm facing upwards. Close your eyes and bring right hand to your nose. You will use only your right hand throughout the exercise to maintain a breathing balance.
Use your thumb and ring finger to open and close the nostrils; the index finger and middle finger are kept folded. Slowly breathe in through your left nostril while closing your right nostril with the thumb finger.
Exhale slowly through the same nostril. Now, close your left nostril with your ring finger and breathe in through your right nostril. Exhale through the same nostril. Keep your eyes closed all through the asana and do not make any noise while breathing. Do it as slowly as possible. Repeat for a minimum of 4 minutes.
- Cleanses the nervous system.
- Brings balance to mind and body, stabilises emotions.
12. Ardha Thithali Asana (Half Butterfly Pose)
Sit with your legs stretched out before you. Bend your right leg by bringing it towards your body, holding right foot with your left hand and right knee with your right hand. Let the sole of your right foot touch your waist. Now flap your folded leg up and down with the help of your right hand (holding your right knee), like one wing flap of a butterfly.
- Helps with positioning and aligning at ease with all other asanas.
It is important that all asanas are performed in a well-ventilated environment. It is also recommended that you wear loose, soft, preferably cotton clothing that allows your organs to breathe and relax, so that you reap the fullest of results.
There are various clothing brands that specialise in Yoga wear in the Australian yoga clothing market offering you a broad and interesting range tha t include body wear and yoga mats made of organic cotton, recycled materials and vegan wear! Practice Yoga for women with the help of a trainer and have a safe and easy pregnancy.