Yoga is every person’s cup of tea. From a young kid to an elderly person, yoga suits all, regardless of their fitness level and needs.

It is also one of the safest physical practice for pregnant women. Yoga asanas help would-be mothers boost their strength and endurance.

Pre and post-natal yoga instructor from Sakthi School of Yoga, Mahaletchumy Subramaniam, believes pregnant women can achieve mental, psychical and hormonal balances through yoga.

“However, pregnant women are advised to start yoga during their 13th week onwards. This is because most mothers generally feel better after a series of severe to moderate morning sickness during the first trimester.

“After the 13th week, during their second trimester, pregnant women will gain energy and feel slightly balanced, internally and externally. Taking consideration of their hormonal, psychical and chemical state, the second trimester is the most ideal phase to begin pregnancy yoga,” said Mahaletchumy, better known as Maha, to Astro Ulagam.

Practicing yoga helps ease pregnancy symptoms such as constipation, back pain, bloating, swelling and fatigue. Staying active during pregnancy also helps to increase energy, mood and to sleep well.

Maha further added that lack of psychical activities will only cause complications such as weight gain, diabetes, water retention, swollen leg, and other pregnancy related health issue.

Stretching the back and front body

Yoga postures for pregnant women are generally designed to stretch, not strain. If mothers feel discomfort they are advised to stop the pose immediately and get some rest.

“Instructors will train mothers to stretch the entire body, postures involve forward and back bending and also hip opening.

Customized asanas for pregnant mothers will help them to go through a blissful and well prepared childbirth,” Maha said.

Yoga stretching for pregnant women are mainly focused on the front and back part of the body to avoid back and hip pain during the third trimester and after childbirth.

Earth salutation for pregnant women

Earth Salutation (Pritivi Namaskar) which is sequenced as a lovely, gentler alternative to the Sun Salutations will also help pregnant mother to brings peace both in the body and mind, boost energy and help to stay calm and grounded. Earth Salutation activates the Moola Chakra, an energy point which is located in the pelvic plexus at the base of your spine, she added.

Beside asanas, pregnancy yoga classes also emphasize relaxation or guided meditation. This is to help them to wind down and feel refreshed.

Modified breathing

“Modified breathing techniques that suit every stage of pregnancy are also practiced to improve blood circulation, which is good for the mother and growing baby.

“Breathing also boosts the flow of oxygen that is supplied to the body and the baby, besides helping to remove waste effectively,” said Maha.

According to Maha, yoga session for pregnant women are also a support system to educate about childbirth, post labour care, breast feeding guidance and many more.

What prenatal yoga can do:

• Improve sleep, better rest.
• Reduce stress and anxiety
• Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
• Decrease lower back pain, nausea, headaches and shortness of breath
• Meet and bond with other pregnant women and prepare for the stress of being a new parent.

Pictures: Sakthi School of Yoga