In this post I share with you tips of how to support your back and hips while your belly grows bigger and bigger every week.
Many women start to practice yoga for the first time while they are pregnant. Because this is the time when body needs more attention and care: weight gain puts extra pressure on the spine, nerves, discs and blood vessels; the center of gravity shifts and postural alignment is compromised causing stress to the lower back, pelvis, hips. Besides, the hormone “relaxin” softens ligaments of the body what can cause instability, muscular strain and pain.
Yoga is a really great tool to support and improve not only your body alignment, but also emotional and mental balance! However, today we will focus on physical and therapeutic benefits of yoga. I have prepared for you some easy, but very efficient poses, which will help you to ease the most common problems while you are pregnant. Please note that before you start to practice, it should be approved by your doctor and further, by your own feelings. At home or in class – It has to be pleasant and relaxing, no pain allowed.
Now, lets have a look at the problems and the asana to solve it. We will start with lower back pain.
This is the problem number one, common even for yoga mums! The reason it comes is that your belly is growing and pulling your lower back to arch more and more. Disks between your lumbar vertebras become compressed and it can be very uncomfortable. It is possible to relive the pain and improve your posture by strengthening psoas muscles that responsible for keeping your lumbar spine on its best place.
1. Tadasana, or “Mountain pose”
Stand straight and find your tail bone tucked in, so that the arch of your lower back is minimum. Open your shoulders and imagine your back long and tall! See if you can lengthen it even more from the root of your spine to the crown of your head. Draw your tailbone in and your head up, towards the sky. Take 5 rounds of calm and deep breaths. How does it feel? What has changed in your body? Catch every sensation, stay attentive to you body for a few more moments, observing your your lower back.
2. Utkatasana, or “Chair pose” at the wall.
Find a wall (or a tree), lean against it and slightly bend your knees. Find your entire spine in contact with the wall, take your shoulder blades closer to each other, opening your heart center. Keep your lumbar spine at the wall – observe the sensations in your body. Stay in the pose for 5 rounds of breath.
3. Arda Ado Mukha Svanasana, or Half Down facing dog.
Take a chair, or something that you feel comfortable to lean on. Put your hands on a top of a chair, step away to have some space between you and the chair (tree or a wall…). Step your feet apart from each other, to have some space between your thighs, straight your shoulders and legs and bend forward slowly! Do not drop your back, try to keep your spine without arching. Lengthen it, sending energy from your tailbone to the crown of your head, from your head even more foreword. Breathe steady and slowly for 5 rounds.
The most common problem number two is aching hips! It does not matter if your hips sore from the luck of movement or, the opposite, after long walks – it all requires gentle stretching of muscles around your thighs, hips and pelvis. Before we go to asanas, I’d highly recommend you to stop wearing any kind of pants and trousers, tight leggings – all what would prevent your natural hip swaying when you walk.
I know, for some women it hard to do, but it’s the best way to keep healthy blood circulation around uterus and entire pelvis, which is so important for your and your baby’s well-being!! Only this might be enough to free your hips from ache. To improve even more lets try this asanas:
4. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, or “Pigeon pose”.
From sitting position slowly bring one leg back and extend it, the other leg is bended and heel is touching the hip of the other side. Breathe deeply and focus on stretching point of your body. Do not allow any pain or strong discomfort.
5. Baddha Konasana, or “Butterfly pose”.
Sit on or the floor on your mat or towel, make sure your siting bones are even! Bend your knees and bring your heels and toes together, opening your thighs to the sides! Keep the pose for 10 rounds of breath, lengthening your spine to the sky.
6. Malasana, or “Hindu squat”.
If you have never practiced squatting before – ask somebody to assist you, also you can try to squat next to the wall: to have some support, if needed!
Draw your tail bone in, and make your spine tall and straight! Take 5 rounds of breath here and exhale trough your mouth!
Do not practice the squat at last weeks of your pregnancy if your baby is in breech position! Squats open pelvic outlet, it might make your baby engage lower down! As we still hoping that baby will turn, we need to keep the space around the baby! Try half down dog instead that was introduced above, it a great pose to free your sacrum from compression same like in squat, but it also will generate more space, so that baby might turn!
That was only 6 yoga poses, 6 minutes a day! So simple, but extremely helpful Try and let me know how do you feel.
If you want to learn more about therapeutic effect of prenatal yoga and create your own routine that fits perfectly to your body – feel free to contact me for your personal pre-natal yoga plan.
Enjoy your practice, Namaste!