With the many changes that pregnancy brings to women's bodies, it sometimes becomes difficult to cope if you have gotten used to following a daily routine. For example, fitness workouts may now have to be toned down because you can't move as fast or do the same strenuous activities you used to do. Luckily, there are types of yoga that you can do to still remain physically fit throughout your pregnancy. In fact, there are prenatal yoga poses to specifically address the needs of women in their first, second, or third trimester.
Child's Pose (Balasana)
One common complaint among pregnant women is lower back pain caused by the additional weight in their tummies. The Balasana or Child's Pose addresses this by stretching not only the back muscles but also helping open up your hips (which will greatly help later on to make childbirth a bit easier). For the prenatal version of this pose, make sure your knees and legs are separated wide enough to make room for your belly as you bend forward and stretch your arms out in front of you.
Cat-Cow Pose (Marjarasana-Bidalasana)
The Cat-Cow Pose also works to relieve lower back pain, but also to work and loosen the hips around the muscles and exercise the arms and knees and prevent the muscles from atrophy. The prenatal version of this pose is no different from the regular version, except you may want to wear yoga pants that have belly support, and exercise more caution when 'dropping' your belly.
Cobbler's Pose (Baddha Konasana)
The thighs and hips are among the areas that often get neglected in terms of exercise when women approach their third trimester. The Cobbler's Pose is a simple move to stretch the thigh muscles and those around the hips. It helps improve stability and relieve pain in the pubic bone area. When you do this pose, sit with your back straight and slowly bring the soles of your feet towards your groin. You may want to do it one leg at a time to avoid strain and discomfort.
Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Inversions and back bends do wonders in relieving back pain. The Supported Bridge Pose is ideal for pregnant women because it not only stretches the back, it also exercises and strengthens the arm and leg muscles, and loosen the hip muscles. You do this pose by first lying on your back with your knees bent and then using your leg muscles to lift your back and buttocks off the mat. Another benefit of this pose is it improves spinal alignment and promotes proper posture.
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This pose stretches the hamstrings and the back muscles, and can easily be done by women even in their third trimester. However, you may need someone to spot or assist you just in case your hands slip, etc. Apart from Downward Dog, standing poses like the Warrior and Side Angle Stretch are also recommended poses because they do not cause strain in the stomach area.
It's important for women to still remain physically active during pregnancy to prevent muscle atrophy and make their bodies better capable in coping with the physical and hormonal changes of pregnancy. Just always remember to practice extra caution when doing prenatal yoga poses to ensure you and your baby remain safe and healthy.