Answered by | Mimi Partha Sarathy, Founder & Senior Yoga Teacher
Practicing yoga while pregnant is now a new trend. In fact, it has been regarded in India as a healthy and beneficial practice for woman during pregnancy for a very long time. T. Krishnamacharya advocated the practice of traditional Yogic practices only during pregnancy. Yoga helps to strengthen, refine and stabilize the body, breath and mind.
Yoga including asanas, pranayama and meditation and a healthy lifestyle , which has a positive impact on the child’s future health, as well as mother’s.
In traditional yoga , yoga for pregnant women, yoga during pregnancy is not grouped together for yoga practice . This is very important since as each trimester is different for each pregnant woman and brings about different levels of hormones and energy during pregnancy . Based on the individual needs of the pregnant woman, a special and unique practice or course in planned. Pregnancy is definitely not the time to challenge one’s physical capabilities.
The first trimester is the most delicate point in the pregnancy for the foetus and one should be very cautious. Inversions and abdominal contraction, and asymmetrical yoga poses or postures should be completely avoided. One should take it extremely easy on the body in the first trimester.
From the second trimester onwards, there is a lot more that the body can handle as the tiredness, morning sickness, and headaches start settling. Yoga helps to stay strong and flexible and focus on a healthy life style. Forward bends and deep twist yoga poses should never be done all through the pregnancy. After four months, postures requiring lying should be avoided.
Third semester yoga helps with easing back pain and reducing the fatigue. Towards the end of the pregnancy one needs to go by the signals one’s body is giving. Focus would be on practice of simple and gentle pranayama and dhyana in the third trimester.
All through the pregnancy, one should listen to one’s body and never over extend.
Pranayama including Ujjayi and Chandra Bhedna is very beneficial. Holding of breath should be avoided.
Every body and every pregnancy is different. Anti natal yoga is safe only when done with a qualified, experienced teacher who will bring in the required modifications based on the needs of the individual pregnant woman. And it should be done with the complete approval of the doctor.
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Last updated on June 24, 2019