As you enter the second trimester of your pregnancy, your discomfort related to morning sickness gradually subsides. Your body starts gaining more energy for normal activities. The second trimester is also known as the ‘honeymoon period’ for expecting mothers.
According to the leading ob-gyn specialists, this is the best time for working out some relaxation prenatal yoga techniques and asanas. During this trimester, your body recovers from the initial symptoms of pregnancy and your belly has not yet started causing obstruction to physical activities.
Prenatal yoga is undoubtedly a very effective measure you can adopt during your second trimester. The asanas and pranayamas you perform every day make your body more flexible for a smooth delivery.
Yoga is a remedial therapy which relieves you from pregnancy-related stress and fills you with a lot of positive vibes. For this, you can attend prenatal yoga classes or adopt online lessons by expert yoga trainers.
Also, attending the prenatal yoga classes will help you come across various other trainees who can give you community support during your training sessions.
Let us take a quick look at how you can make the best of your “honeymoon days” with the help of yoga.
‘Do’s and ‘Don’t’s for practising yoga during your pregnancy
Go easy on your restrictions
As you enter this crucial phase of your life and your body shows signs of changes in the first trimester, it’s time for you to focus on the demands of your body and choose your yoga positions accordingly.
We have explained some of the best yoga poses during pregnancy below from which you can pick the ones which suit your body well and you are able to perform easily. You can also consult a yoga expert or your gynaecologist to understand which yoga exercise will be better for you as per your body requirement.
Understand your body language
It is very important that you learn to understand how your body responds to certain postures or usual lifestyle habits during your pregnancy. As your tummy expands and your muscles gradually relax you may feel a lack of balance at times.
While practising prenatal yoga, make sure you have a stable support to lean on, in case you feel dizzy or unstable. Later, after learning the yoga postures you will be able to cope with such discomforts with better confidence. It is advisable to keep a chair or stand in front of a wall while doing yoga. Both will give you support in an emergency.
Focus on the spiritual aspect of yoga
Yoga is more of a spiritual therapy than physical. While trying different poses of yoga during your second trimester of pregnancy, try to focus on its healing effect on your mind and body.
Although you cannot opt for the rigorous yoga exercises, if you absorb within yourself the spiritual vibes of yoga with simple exercises, it will be more beneficial.
Do not lie on your back for a long time
After your first trimester as you tend to recover from your morning sickness, lying on your back may cause dizziness and nausea. It is better you change your position after a while.
Avoid bending back and deep forward
Such postures may stress your abdominal muscles and cause harm to your growing baby. During pregnancy, there are hormonal changes that relax your connective tissues. Bending forward or backwards during this time may cause wear and tear of your uterine muscles leading to complications.
8 Prenatal yoga exercises you must perform during pregnancy
Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)
Vajrasana is known for its effectiveness in digestive disorders at all ages. You can do this asana immediately after having your meals. It will prevent your digestive problems that occur mostly during pregnancy. Also, doing vajrasana will strengthen your thigh and pelvic muscles and prepare you for smooth normal delivery.
How to do: It is an effective asana for expecting mothers. Kneel down on the floor bringing your toes close together. Your heels should be kept wide as you will rest your buttocks on your heels. Place your hands on your knees and keep your back straight.
Try to rest your mind and relax.
Baddha Konasana (PurnaTitli Asana or Full Butterfly pose)
The Badhha Konasana stimulates your blood circulation in the pelvic area and makes your pelvic joint flexible. As a result, you feel flexible in your lower region and it helps you in normal childbirth. This asana also releases stress from your leg joints.
This asana is one of the most effective exercises in prenatal yoga.
How to do: Sit with your knees folded in both sides keeping your toes joined and close to your privy part to the maximum. Hold your toes with your palms and gently shake your legs up and down. While doing this press your legs down by using both elbows.
Repeat the process 20-30 times without stressing your abdomen.
Paschimottanasana (Seated forward bend position)
This yoga pose makes your lower back straight and tones your abdominal muscles and shoulders if you can do it regularly in the first few trimesters of your pregnancy.
You must do the seated forward bend position with your legs wide open in paschimottanasana. This will be easier and less stressful as compared to the normal position in which both legs are parallel to each other.
How to do: Sit straight with your legs stretched widely apart. Raise your hands above your head and bend forward gently trying to touch your toes. Reach out your hands as far as you can without giving slightest pressure on your abdomen.
Come back to your normal position by lowering your arms.
Tadasana (Palm tree pose)
For maintaining a perfect balance between your soul and body, Tadasana is the best prenatal yoga pose for you during the second trimester. Doing this yoga pose, will make your spine straight and elastic and give your torso a perfect shape.
How to do: Stand straight with your hands on both sides. Taking a deep breath, raise your hands above your head and keep your fingers interlocked. Gradually exhale keeping your hands on top of your head.
Repeat the whole process for 5-20 times as per your comfort level.
Urdhva Hastasana (Hand raising pose)
Urdhva Hastasana relieves you from stiffness in your back and shoulders which are a common problem in pregnant women through their pregnancy. Regular practice of this asana improves your blood circulation, respiration and gives your organs a good dose of oxygen.
How to do: Stand on your feet with your hands on both sides. Lift your hands above your head slowly as you take in a deep breath. Stretch your arms as widely as you can. Gradually release your breath and release your hands from the stretched out position.
In your next step, raise both your hands above your head. Now, gently stretch your left arm longer than your right inhaling a deep breath. Release the stretch as you exhale your breath. Repeat the same procedure with your right arm.
Do this for 5 rounds and then relax by bringing your arms down to their normal position.
Skandha and Kantha sanchalana (Shoulder & Neck rolls)
If you are feeling stiffness around your neck and shoulder area, try these asanas for best results. It does not involve much body movement and can be done through all stages of pregnancy.
How to do: To get the best results from this yoga pose, the foremost thing you should do is sit in an erect posture. Now start moving your head gently back and forth and in circular motions (both clockwise and anticlockwise).
Similarly, you can perform Skandha sanchalan by moving your shoulders back and forth with up and down motion (both clockwise and anticlockwise). Please see the explanation in the prenatal yoga video below.
Repeat this pose 4-6 times in one sitting.
Regular practice of this asana strengthens your thighs, ankles, back, Uterus, and abdomen. It is a great exercise for you as you enter your second trimester as it prepares your body for smooth delivery.
How to do: This asana is also known as the goddess pose. Stand on your legs keeping a one-meter gap between them. Bring your hands forward keeping your fingers interlocked. Gradually fold your knees and sit with your palms joined in the pose of ‘namaskar’. After a few seconds, stand up slowly keeping your knees straight. In short, it is (Squat and Rise) pose.
Repeat this exercise for about 7-10 times as per your convenience.
Savasana (Side Pose)
Savasana is known as the ultimate relation yoga pose which is usually done as a concluding asana in an entire yoga session. This asana can be done throughout your pregnancy as it gives you a relaxed feeling even during your later months of pregnancy. While doing this asana your body weight is redistributed around your pelvic area which relaxes your legs and improves digestion. It is an ideal position for sleeping and relaxing when you are pregnant.
How to do: Lie on your left side on the side of your stomach keeping your palms under your cheek with fingers interlocked. Bring your left leg close to your chest as much as you can, keeping your right leg straight. Release your stress and lie in a relaxed position.
After some time change sides but make sure you rest the right side of your head on your right hand. While doing this asana during pregnancy you can support your head and bend leg on a pillow for more comfort.
Yoga poses you must avoid when pregnant
As a precaution, we are making you aware of yoga workouts which need to be avoided. All inverted yoga poses are risky during pregnancy. Some of them are Utkatasana (Chair twist Pose), Halasana (Plow Pose), Shirshasana (Headstand Pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder stand), Natrajanasana (Dancer Pose).
Also, yoga workouts which involve lying on your back or stomach must be avoided. Traditional savasana (Corpse Pose), Dhanura asana (Bow Pose), and Shalabhasana (Locust Pose) are a few of them.
Pregnancy is the time when you undergo a lot of changes in your body and mind. But, you can make most of these glorious days of your life by choosing some of the best prenatal yoga poses that will be beneficial for you and your baby.
Above we have shown some of the best prenatal yoga asanas that you can exercise during your pregnancy. For choosing your best yoga pose, you can consult your healthcare expert or yoga trainer.
Boost your motherhood with a touch of spiritualism!