TRM Yoga of the Week: Best Asanana for Prenatal and Postnatal Care by Sneha Desai

Prepare your body for the process of childbirth with this curated routine of stretches and poses designed for expecting mothers by Sneha Desai.
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The safest and healthiest doctor-approved fitness regime during pregnancy is practicing yoga asanas. They help adapt the body to the changes caused during childbirth and are a wonderful way to remain active during pregnancy. Being both gentle and low impact, Prenatal yoga offers physical as well as mental benefits. This routine includes asanas that are safe to do while pregnant. It on gentle stretching and strengthening while improving balance and mental clarity.  

The benefits of Prenatal yoga include –  

Better Blood Pressure 

During pregnancy, focusing on breathing exercises and moderate stretching lowers the heart rate and blood pressure more than any other form of exercising. It is the best form of prenatal care when combined with the right diet, a healthy routine and of course your doctor’s advice. 

Lower Risk of Preterm Labour and Other Complications  

By reducing stress levels, the threat of miscarriages and preterm births are minimised. Pregnant women who do yoga – focusing on breathing, posture work and meditation, have a lower preterm labour rate. It also eliminates hypertension and the anxiety associated with childbirth.  

Better Mood  

Integrating yoga asanas with meditation, relaxation and breathing decreases depression and hormone related mood swings in moms-to-be. It helps you stay calm and also gives you the ability to focus on your breath during childbirth. 

Weight Management   

Keeping active during your pregnancy term ensures you maintain optimum weight makes mobility and functionality easier towards the end of your term. Prenatal yoga practice helps you get into the habit which can be maintained lifelong for its multiple benefits including weight management.  

Easier Labour and Delivery Process   

Practicing breathing exercises beforehand can come in handy in calming you down when you find yourself in the delivery room. The stretching and strengthening can make the muscles stronger when the time comes to giving birth and assists in the after-birth recovery process. The pain associated with giving birth reduces and you feel more comfortable before and after having your baby.  

Some prenatal friendly asanas include –  

Standing Side Stretch  

This is a basic standing pose that stretches out the sides, obliques and opens the muscles surrounding the spine and rib cage. It promotes better posture, stability, and core stability.  

Prenatal Asana
Standing Side Stretch
Raise Hands and Legs  

This pose is done by going up on your toes and raising your arms over your head. Holding the pose, breathe for a few seconds, before bringing them back down to your sides. It opens the lungs, chest, shoulders, and arms. It is always better to focus on opening the upper body before moving lower.  

prenatal yoga
Raise Hands and Legs
Pelvic Opening  

This Asana should not be done during the second trimester. It involves a wide legged squat which loosens the thighs and reduces the load on the back and spine. It improves range of motion, flexibility, and circulation to create and energetic release of tension.  

prenatal yoga
Pelvic Opening
Sideways Bending 

 The Sideway bend is conducted by standing with your legs apart and extending your arm over your head and bending sideways one at a time. It stretches the sides of the body and the spine while toning the limbs and massaging abdominal organs.  

Prenatal Yoga
Sideways Bending
Bending Forward  

This easy asana is done by standing with your legs slightly wider than your hip stance and bending forward to get your blood circulating. It releases tension in the glutes, hamstring and back. It is great for mild depression caused by hormonal fluctuations and relives stress and anxiety. The pose is followed by bending backward to complete the stretch. 

Prenatal Yoga
Bending Forward
Opening Up the Back  

Using a pregnancy bolster and sitting on it with your legs as wide as they go, stretch out to touch your foot or as far as you can reach. By focusing on your breathing, it calms the mind and opens up the spine and leg muscles while improving flexibility.  

Prenatal Asana
Opening Up the Back
Malasana  

Sitting in a squat, stretch out the spine by keeping your back straight and push your knees out with your elbows. It improves balance, concentration, and focus. It increases circulation and blood flow to the pelvis which helps during the process of childbirth.  

Prenatal yoga
Malasana
Butterfly Pose 

This yoga pose is done by lying on the floor, supporting yourself with a bolster with your legs wide while touching your feet together. It builds a connection with the baby and promotes a flow of positive energy from your body to the baby. It releases lower back pain and strengthens the spine and core muscles.  

Prenatal Yoga
Butterfly Pose

Exercising while you’re pregnant can be scary and stressful. Keeping this in mind Sneha Desai has curated a guided video to support you through this process from the comfort of your home. Focusing specifically on safety and demonstrating cautious ways of helping your body up from a horizontal position or guiding you as to the best way to get up while seated, ensures that this yoga routine is completely risk free. Head over to the Thinkright.me app to watch the whole session. 

Read more: 9 Foods to Include in Your Diet During Pregnancy

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