Dr. Yasmin Imdad, Senior Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Kinder Women’s Hospital and Fertility Centre, Bengaluru, clears your doubts.
Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that has contributed to our holistic well-being in the most natural and reliable way since ages. It is a spiritual path that helps us achieve a calm mind and a strong body, especially during pregnancy. In recent times, despite several myths surrounding the risks of miscarriage due to exercising, yoga has been gaining positive traction amongst pregnant women.
The advantages of practicing yoga during pregnancy are many. Listed below are a few of them:
- Yoga helps to keep the body flexible throughout pregnancy. It opens up the pelvic area, thus relieving tension around the cervix. This helps expectant moms prepare for labor and delivery.
- Yoga and pranayama can teach you to breathe deeply and relax deliberately which, in turn, helps you deal with the stress of labor and birthing.
- Pregnancy yoga can provide relief from pregnancy-induced symptoms such as back pain, morning sickness, severe leg cramps, swollen ankles and constipation.
- Yoga asanas assist pregnant women recuperate faster after giving birth.
- The pregnancy complications are also most likely to reduce.
Some of the types of yoga asanas that pregnant women may practice are:
Marjariasana – Stretches the neck and shoulders, alleviating stiffness.
Konasana – Keeps the spine flexible, and helps in alleviating constipation, which is a common symptom during pregnancy.
Veerbhadrasana – Improves bodily balance and tones the arms, legs and lower back; it also increases stamina.
Trikonasana – Helps in maintaining physical and mental balance. It also helps in reducing back pain and stress.
Badhakonasana – Alleviates fatigue. Improves flexibility in the hip and groin region. It also helps in stretching the thighs and knees, relieving pain.
It is important to understand that pregnant women should not do strenuous yoga. They need to get medical advice prior to practicing yoga, which must be done under supervision. Usually, it is advised that pregnant women do yoga 3 to 4 times a week for at least 20 to 30 minutes per day, which is bound to improve the physical and psychological well-being of pregnant women.
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