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Yoga for Heavily Pregnant Woman


By Besties HealthPublished 20 days ago 6 min read

Pregnancy is one of the most auspicious and life-changing moments in one’s life. During this time, it is important that the mother’s health is maintained throughout the pregnancy. The majority of the time, because mothers continue their work up to the second trimester, they are able to maintain a routine and stay physically active in some form. The third trimester brings with it words of caution, nervousness, and maternal leave. This can bring anxiety for the expecting parents and sometimes lead to a lack of schedule, activity, and complete bed rest. While in certain complicated cases the doctors may recommend it, for other expecting mothers, here are some tips that yoga recommends.

Yoga helps in all aspects of pregnancy – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The asanas help strengthen the muscles and reduce muscle tension, and pranayama helps regulate breath. Together, they align the mind and the body and relax it to a much better state, allowing the body to take charge of labor. By allowing the pelvic bones and ligaments to open and move apart from each other, yoga poses help optimize the baby’s position. Every body and every pregnancy is different, so listen to your body and do not overstrain. Exercise yoga in an airy room and stay hydrated.

For all pregnant ladies, yoga practice should be done under the supervision of a certified yoga instructor, especially if you are not a regular yoga practitioner. During the term of the pregnancy, certain asanas are to be avoided, such as those involving twisting in complicated angles, jumping, lying on the stomach, etc. If you cannot do these, then what asanas are best for pregnant women?

Yogendra Sukhasana: Known as the Easy or Pleasant Pose, this posture helps steady the body and the mind and promotes balancing one’s thoughts or emotions. It stretches and improves the flexibility of the lower extremities, such as the thighs, calves, ankles, and hips. It increases mindfulness, body and breath awareness, improves focus and concentration, and reduces nervous agitation.

Sequence of steps:

● Sit on the floor on a mat, legs fully stretched out, without taking any support.

● Keep the mind relaxed and passively aware.

● Now bend one leg, and place the heel under the opposite thigh.

● Then fold the other leg, placing the heel under the opposite thigh and sit in this cross-legged fashion, keeping the ankles crossed.

● Place the hands on the respective thighs, palms facing downwards.

● Keep the body straight, spine erect, abdomen in normal contour, and head poised.

● Close the eyes and passively observe the breath.

● Maintain this posture for a few minutes.

Yogendra Bhadrasana: Known as the Throne Pose, this posture has been mentioned in the scriptures as the destroyer of diseases. Whether practiced sitting or supine, this posture provides a complete stretch to the thigh muscles, releases stiffness in the hip joint, strengthens the lower abdomen, improves the flexibility of the legs, and strengthens the pelvis and groin muscles. It circulates blood in the lower body and aids labor.

Sequence of steps:

● Sit on the mat with your legs fully stretched forward, feet together, toes pointing upwards, and hands beside the body, palms resting on the mat.

● Keep the neck straight, chest thrown well forward, the abdomen in normal contour, and the chin drawn in. Focus eyes on one point straight ahead.

● Inhaling, draw both legs close to the body, keeping the legs in contact with the floor, with the knees bent outward and the soles of the feet together.

● Bring the feet with the toes pointing outward, close to the generative organ, the heels towards the perineum very closely.

● Maintain this position for 1-2 minutes, as per individual comfort, breath normal – slow and rhythmic.

Yogendra Supt Vakrasana: Known as the Spinal Twist Pose, this provides an easy half twist in a supine position. It relaxes and strengthens the muscles of the back and exercises the abdominal muscles. It increases concentration and coordination and makes you alert and attentive.

Sequence of steps:

● Lay supine on the mat, legs stretched forward, and hands by the sides.

● Keep back and shoulders firmly rested on the mat.

● Stretch the arms out, perpendicular to the body.

● Now fold the legs at the knee and draw the ankles. Keep the feet and knees apart perpendicular to the floor and breathe normally.

● Gently let the legs fall together to the right, allowing the knees to rest on the floor, left knee resting on the floor near the right ankle.

● Simultaneously, turn the neck to the left and gaze at the left thumb. Then come back to the center, and repeat the same on the opposite side.

Yogendra Pranayama 1 – Equal Breathing: This pranayama increases awareness about breathing and the inter-relationship between mental states and breathing. It has a sedative effect on the nervous system and promotes inner harmony, mindfulness, and quietude.

Sequence of steps:

● Sit in Sukhasana, spine erect, shoulders relaxed, and hands by the side, eyes closed.

● Inhale slowly and continuously in a relaxed manner, to a count that is comfortable.

● As soon as the inhalation is complete, start exhaling slowly, keeping the same count as inhalation.

● Concentrate on the gentle uninterrupted flow of breath, while being aware of all the respiratory muscles, beginning with the diaphragm, intercostals, and clavicular.

● Practice as per individual capacity and comfort, count not to exceed 3 seconds; 5 rounds/session.

Yogendra Pranayama 4 – Diaphragmatic Breathing: This pranayama improves breathing, lung’s vital capacity, and tidal volume. It activates digestive organs and reduces visceral fat. It provides a sedative effect on the nervous system that relaxes the entire body and mind.

Sequence of steps:

● Lie supine and pull the knees close to the hips.

● Keep the feet hip-distance apart, knees close to each other.

● Place the hand on the abdomen and keep the eyes closed.

● Inhale gently, moving the abdomen upwards. As soon as the inhalation is complete, exhale out smoothly for the same counts as inhalation, being aware of the abdomen sinking in.

● Practice as per individual capacity and comfort, count not to exceed 3 seconds, 10 rounds/session.

Yogendra Pranayama 9 - Anulom Vilom: This pranayama is also known as the Alternate Nostril Breathing and is practiced to regulate the natural way of breathing which restores balance within both the body and mind. It increases oxygenation in the lungs, providing a sedative effect on the nervous system and helping relax physically as well as mentally.

Sequence of steps:

● Do a few rounds of normal breathing. Then hold your right hand in Pranav Mudra (thumb on right nostril, little and ring finger on the left nostril and bend the index and middle finger).

● After exhalation, close both nostrils and suspend breath.

● Now, releasing the thumb, inhale smoothly from the right nostril.

● Close both the nostrils and retain the breath for double the inhalation.

● Releasing the left nostril, exhale smoothly, time equal to inhalation.

● Immediately, inhale from the left nostril.

● Close both the nostrils and retain the breath for double the inhalation.

● Releasing the thumb, exhale smoothly from the right nostril.

● Close both the nostrils and suspend breath.

● Now repeat the same from the other side, beginning with inhaling from the left side.

Yogendra Pranayama - Bhramari: This pranayama is also known as the Bee Breath, as the resounding echo made by a humming bee is replicated in this practice. This sound in the head region promotes a sense of unity, concentration, and quiets the mind, inducing a meditative state.

Sequence of steps:

● Sit in any meditative posture or erect on a chair with backrest.

● Keep the body above the waist straight, the spine erect, and the eyes closed.

● Keep the mouth closed throughout the practice.

● After a deep inhalation, start exhalation, making a humming sound, smoothly and continuously in a controlled manner.

● The sound need not be loud but must create vibrations.

● Practice 5 rounds/session, with a pause in between rounds.

For pregnant ladies, yoga also encourages meditation. Meditation helps attain peace and tranquility, increases positivity, and calms the mind. This reduces anxiety, improves mood, and promotes overall well-being, happiness, and self-love. Simply sit in Sukhasana . Back straight, chin parallel to the ground, facial muscles relaxed. Focus on your breath and let it flow naturally. Just observe your breath. Continue for 5-10 minutes. Then slowly, rub your palms, cup your eyes, and then slowly open your eyes.

Along with the above-mentioned techniques, pregnant women should take sufficient rest and nutrition as directed by their doctors. Small meals throughout the day and short strolls are recommended.

These techniques are some of the best yoga for pregnant women and help prepare the mom-to-be for a healthy labor.


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