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Yoga is a complete holistic approach that aims to help you improve your mental well-being and your emotional and physical well-being. Studies have proven that yoga can support you in your efforts towards cutting down on unhealthy food, beating lethargy, quitting tobacco, helping you in cutting down on stress, improving focus, combating insomnia and so on .
An essentially safe and effective exercise for pregnant women, yoga not only help provide relief during pregnancy, but it can also help prepare your body for labour and delivery. In this article, Boldsky will tell you about 7 yoga asanas that can benefit a normal delivery.
As doctors advise, the best way to prepare your body for normal delivery is through regular exercise and a healthy diet. Prenatal yoga is one of the best exercises that help prepare the body before a normal delivery.
As studies point out, prenatal yoga benefits the body in the following ways :
- Help facilitates labour
- Reduces labour pain
- Strengthens pelvic area
- Improves blood circulation
- Improves sleep quality
We have listed seven prenatal yoga poses that can help prepare your body for normal delivery. Take a look at the Yoga Poses For Normal Delivery.
1. Konasana or Angle Pose
The angle pose can help strengthen your arms, legs, spinal cord and the muscles on the sides of your body . It also helps increase the flexibility of the spine and relieves back pain.
How To Do Konasana or Angle Pose:
- Step 1: Stand straight with feet about hip-width distance apart and arms alongside the body.
- Step 2: Slowly breathe in and raise the left arm so that the fingers point towards the ceiling.
- Step 3: Breathe out and bend to the right, first from the spine, and then move your pelvis to the left and bend.
- Step 4: Turn your head to look up at the left palm and straighten the elbows.
- Step 5: As you breathe in, straighten your body and as you breathe out, bring your left arm down.
- Step 6: Repeat with the right arm.
2. Bhadrasana or Butterfly Pose
One of the best prenatal yoga poses beneficial for an expecting mother, the butterfly pose is beneficial for the muscles and ligaments of the urogenital region and helps improve flexibility. Also, it facilitates the supply of fresh oxygenated blood to the groin region .
How To Do Bhadrasana or Butterfly Pose:
- Step 1: Sit on the floor with legs stretched out.
- Step 2: As you inhale, draw your feet towards you, keeping the soles of the feet together and your back straight.
- Step 3: Now, place your hands on your knees or grab onto the toes.
- Step 4: Stay in this asana for as long as you are comfortable.
- Step 5: As you exhale, return to the starting position.
3. Utkatasana or Chair Pose
Also called the held squat, doing the yoga chair pose can improve and strengthen the lowest muscles in your latissimus dorsi . That is, it helps strengthen your lower back, spine and hips, preparing your body for the delivery.
How To Do Utkatasana or Chair Pose:
- Step 1: Stand straight on the floor and place your feet slightly apart.
- Step 2: Stretch your arms forward, with your palms are facing downwards and arms straight.
- Step 3: Then, gently bend your knees and push down your pelvis, that is as if you are sitting in a chair.
- Step 4: Stay in the position, keeping your spine straight and hands parallel to the floor.
- Step 5: Hold the pose for 1 minute.
- Step 6: Now to get back to the position, first straighten your knees, followed by inhaling and then lift your body and exhale.
4. Parvatasana or Mountain Pose
A warm-up pose, this yoga asana is effective in stretching your lower back, arms and torso. It also helps relieve back pain and improves blood circulation in the lower abdomen .
How To Do Parvatasana or Mountain Pose:
You can do this by sitting down or standing. If you are standing,
- Step 1: Stand on your feet and spread your heels.
- Step 2: The back must be straight, and the hands must be on each side of the body.
- Step 3: Take a deep breath and stretch the spine.
- Step 4: Raise the palm up above the head.
- Step 5: Lift your ankles and stand on your toes.
- Step 6: Do this ten times.
If you are sitting down,
- Step 1: Sit down on the floor with your legs comfortably closed.
- Step 2: Inhale as your arms come up and your palms come together above your head, stretching your spine as you take a deep breath.
- Step 3: Now, exhale as you relax your shoulders.
- Step 4: Repeat this ten times.
5. Paryankasana or Couch Pose
Comparatively a difficult one, the couch pose can be avoided by beginners. This yoga pose is extremely helpful for an expecting mother, strengthening the abdominal and pelvic muscles and thighs .
How To Do Paryankasana or Couch Pose:
- Step 1: Kneel on the mat with your knees together and thighs perpendicular to the mat.
- Step 2: Sit with your hips between your feet and knees hip-width apart.
- Step 3: Slowly arch back to lie down.
- Step 4: Walk your hands back as you recline.
- Step 5: Now, take your arms overhead with your hands clasped into your elbow.
- Step 6: The elbow should be pressing into the mat to support the body while arching back.
- Step 7: Make sure the crown of your head is resting gently on the mat.
- Step 8: Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute and take deep and slow breaths.
- Step 9: Release the posture by uncrossing your arms and bring the elbow back to the mat.
- Step 10: Relax for a few minutes.
Caution: Inexperienced pregnant women should avoid this yoga pose as it can be difficult to lean back with the foetus.
6. Yastikasana or Stick Pose
Yastikasana strengthens your body by removing any muscular stress or tensions. It eases joint pains, as it stretches your upper and lower limbs as well as the spine. By practising the asana, you can provide relaxation to your body muscles, especially pelvic and abdominal .
How To Do Yastikasana or Stick Pose :
- Step 1: Stand straight on the floor or a mat.
- Step 2: Move your hands above your head while inhaling deeply and stretch it, along with your legs.
- Step 3: Maintain a very minimum gap between your legs and arms.
- Step 4: Maintain the position for 20-25 minutes, maintaining constant breathing.
- Step 5: Come to the original position with a long and deep exhale and bring your hands back to your sides.
- Step 6: Repeat for 3-5 times.
7. Vakrasana or Twisted Pose
Practising this yoga pose can help strengthen the spine, neck and legs . In addition to that, the twisted pose is beneficial to expecting mothers as it helps massage the abdominal organs, facilitating less painful labour .
How To Do Vakrasana or Twisted Pose:
- Step 1: Sit down with your legs stretched.
- Step 2: Now, bend the right leg and pull it by your side till it rests beside your left knee.
- Step 3: Place your right hand behind your back and left arm over the right knee, holding your right ankle.
- Step 4: Then, gently push your right knee as far as possible and while exhaling, twist your trunk to the right side.
- Step 5: Now repeat the same steps with the left side.
On A Final Note…
All the yoga asanas mentioned in this article are basic poses that can help relax the muscles and prepare your body for the upcoming transformations. If you find it difficult to do any poses, such as Vakrasana or Paryankasana, do not strain yourself to achieve the poses. Talk to a yoga practitioner if you have any doubts.