Yoga for pregnancy – asanas that carry your day Reviewed by Momizat on . HERBAL CHIKITSA  Yoga can be of great help for the expectant mothers during the pregnancy, childbirth and post-delivery stages. The simple yoga poses help in ma HERBAL CHIKITSA  Yoga can be of great help for the expectant mothers during the pregnancy, childbirth and post-delivery stages. The simple yoga poses help in ma Rating: 0
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Yoga for pregnancy – asanas that carry your day

Yoga for pregnancy – asanas that carry your day


Yoga can be of great help for the expectant mothers during the pregnancy, childbirth and post-delivery stages. The simple yoga poses help in making the body more flexible, improve posture, and ease many pregnancy problems.

Yoga prepares both your body and mind for new situations and changes that occur during and after pregnancy. The Yoga and breathing meditation techniques help you to stay fit, healthy and happy during pregnancy and prepare your body for labour.

You can reduce anxiety and unwanted worries by practicing Yoga. It also helps after pregnancy and strengthens abdominal muscles and your pelvic floor and helps you to get back to your pre-pregnancy shape faster.

The Benefits of Yoga for pregnant women are as follows:

  • Yoga along with meditation prepares your mind and body for change and helps you to connect to the baby growing within you.
  • Pregnancy Yoga postures help to have more comfortable birthing and keep you relaxed at the time of delivery.
  • It relieves edema and cramping which is quite common in last months of pregnancy.
  • It helps to ease tension around the cervix and birth canal.
  • Yoga and Pranayama (breathing exercises) help to reduce morning sickness, mood swings, and nausea.
  • It also helps to decrease fatigue and tenderness, and also the swelling of breasts.
  • It raises the energy level and helps in slowing the metabolism, thus restore calm and focus.
  • Certain Yoga poses help in opening the pelvis that make delivery easier and quicker.
  • Yoga also helps in reducing inflammation and swelling around joints.
  • It strengthens and massages the abdomen and improves the digestive system.
  • Yoga helps to restore the uterus, abdomen and the pelvic floor after childbirth.
  • It also helps to relieve upper back tension and breast discomfort after pregnancy.
  • It helps to regain the fit and shapely body after pregnancy.


General precautions

Pregnancy yoga exercises can be started like any other exercises, but you need to take some precautions to ensure maximum benefits without any harm. It is always advisable to consult your doctor before starting any exercise. If you are not used to regular exercise, start slowly and practice yoga under experienced trainer.

There are certain poses that help ease natural childbirth and reduce many pregnancy problems but there are other poses also that should be avoided during pregnancy. Hence, it is advisable to get complete knowledge and guidance before trying any yoga pose.

Some general precautions the expectant mothers should take are:

  1. Always listen to your body. If you feel any discomfort, stop practicing that pose and consult your trainer. You may need to modify each pose to your body’s physical changes.
  2. Avoid any pose that compress your abdomen.
  3. Practice twisting poses carefully, twist more from the shoulders and back to avoid putting any pressure on your abdomen.
  4. You should avoid any pose that involve lying on your back after the first trimester as that can cut blood flow to the uterus.
  5. It is good to practice standing and balance poses near a wall as it reduce the risk of injury due to balance loss.
  6. Try to maintain as much length as possible between the breastbone and the pubic bone to make breathing easier.

Yogasanas for each trimester of pregnancy

First trimester

1. Ardha Titali Asan (Half Butterfly pose):It is a simple pose that help to loosen the hip and knee joints that facilitates faster delivery.
How to do?

Sit on floor with your legs stretched in front of you.  Now, bend the right leg and place your right foot as far up on the left thigh as you can do comfortably. Place your right hand on top of the bent right knee.

Hold the toes of the right foot with the left hand. Inhale and gently move the right knee up towards the chest. While exhaling, push the knee down and try to touch the floor. Try not to move your trunk.

Repeat the action with left leg. Slowly practice about 10 up and down movements with each leg but do not strain.

2. Poorna Titali Asan (Full Butterfly pose):This yoga pose relieves tension from inner thigh muscles and removes tiredness from legs.

How to do?

Sit on floor with your legs outstretched. Bend your knees and bring the soles of the feet together. Try to keep the heels as close to the body as possible. Relax your inner thighs. Grasp the feet with both hands and gently move the knees up and down, using the elbows as levers to press the legs down. Do not put any force. Repeat up to 10-30 times and then straighten the legs and relax.

3. Supta Udarakarshana Asana (Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose): This pose helps to remove constipation, improves digestion and relieves stiffness and tension of spine caused by prolonged sitting.

How to do?

Lie on your back with your fingers interlocked and hands beneath the head. Now bend your knees so that the soles of feet touch the floor.  Exhale and lower the legs towards the right, trying to touch the knees on the floor. At the same time move the head in opposite direction (in the left), it gives uniform twisting stretch to the entire spine. Reverse in original position and repeat the action on the other side by bending legs towards left, and head towards right.

4. Chakki Chalan Asan (Churning the Mill Pose): Based on action of churning the mill, this excellent yoga asana tones the nerves and organs of pelvis and abdomen and prepare them for pregnancy. It is also useful in regulating menstrual cycle and as a postnatal exercise.

How to do?

Sit on floor with your legs stretched in front of your body about one foot apart. Interlock the fingers of both hands and hold the arms out straight in front of the chest.

Move your hands in circular movements over both the feet and try to take the hands over the toes on the forward swing and coming as far back as possible on the backward swing. Practice 10 times in each direction.

5. Marjari Asan (Cat Stretch Pose):This yoga pose improves flexibility of the neck, shoulders and spine. It gives excellent toning to the female reproductive system.

How to do?

You can start this asana by sitting in Vajrasana or by positioning on your all four. When start in vajrasana, raise the buttocks and stand on the knees, then lean forward and place your hands flat on the floor to come in the starting position. In all fours position, your knees should be hip distance apart and hands under your shoulders. Now inhale and raise the head and depress the spine so that the back becomes concave. On exhale, lower the head and stretch the spine upward. At the end of the exhalation contract the abdomen and pull in the buttocks. Your head should be between the arms, facing the thighs. It completes the one round. It may be done for 5-10 times.

6. Kati Chakrasan (Waist Rotating Pose): This standing pose is beneficial for waist, back and hips as it tones all these parts. It also encourages a feeling of lightness and relieves physical and mental tension.

How to do?

Stand straight with the feet about half a meter apart and the arms by the sides. While inhaling raise your arms to shoulder level. Now, exhale and twist body to left. Bring your right hand to left shoulder and wrap left arm around the back. Hold the pose for 2 seconds and then return to starting position with inhaling. Repeat on other side. Your feet should be firmly grounded while twisting and avoid any jerks. You can do about 5-10 rounds of this pose.

7. Tadasan (Palm Tree Pose): This pose helps to develop physical and mental balance. It provides stretch to the entire spine and helps to loosen and clear congestion of the spinal nerves. It also stretches rectos abdominal muscles.

How to do?

Stand straight with your feet together and arms on the side. Now raise your arms over the head, turn your palms upward with your fingers interlocked. Rest your hands over the head. Now inhale and stretch your arms, shoulders and chest upwards. Raise heels to come up on the toes.

Stretch whole body upwards from top to bottom. Exhale and lower the heels and bring hands on top of the head. Relax for few seconds and repeat whole action. You can do 5-10 repetition of this pose.

8. Kandharasan (Shoulder Pose):This is a very useful pose for pregnant women. It tones reproductive organs and highly advisable for women who tend to miscarry. It helps to realign the spine, relieves backache, improves digestion, massage and stretches the colon and abdominal organs.

How to do?

Lie flat on back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet touching the floor and the heels touching the buttocks. Feet and knees can be hip width apart. Now clasp your ankles with hands and raise buttocks to form an arch back. Try to raise the chest and navel as high as possible, without moving your feet or shoulders. In final position of this asana your body should be supported by the head, neck, shoulders, arms and feet. Hold the pose as long you feel comfortable and then return to original position and relax.

Second Trimester

1. Matsya Kridasan (Flapping Fish Pose): This pose helps to stimulate digestion and relieve constipation. It also relaxes nerves of the legs. During the later months of pregnancy, it becomes difficult to lie on the back as it may cause pressure over major veins and block the circulation.

This is an ideal posture for relaxing and sleeping during such conditions. It also helps to reallocate excess weight around waistline.

How to do?

Lie on your stomach with your hands resting under your head and fingers interlocked. Now, bend your left leg and bring the left knee close to the ribs. Keep your right leg straight. You can twist the arms to the left and rest the left elbow on the left knee, if you do not feel comfortable to rest it on the floor.

Rest the right side of the head on the right arm. Relax in the final pose for some time and then change the sides. You can also support your head and bent knee on a pillow for added comfort.

2. Vajrasan (Diamond Pose): This very simple pose is highly useful during pregnancy. It improves digestive functions and relieves stomach ailments like hyperacidity that often troubled the expectant mothers.

It alters blood flow and nervous impulses in the pelvic region and provides strength to pelvic muscles. It also assists women in labor. This is the only asana that can be practiced directly after the meals.

How to do?

Go down on your knees with legs together and toes pointing out behind you, and sit back on your heels. Your big toes (or big toe joints) should touch with heels apart, and the spine should be straight. Now place your hands palms down on your thighs and keep your head and eyes straight looking ahead.

This posture can be held for long periods of time but start with two repetitions.

3. Bhadrasan (Gracious Pose): This asana is also very useful during pregnancy as it has same benefits that the Vajrasana  holds.

How to do?

Start with sitting in vajrasana and then part your knees as far as possible, while keeping the toes in contact with the floor. Separate the feet so that the buttocks and perineum can rest on the floor. Try to separate the knees but do not strain.

4. Marjari Asan (Cat Stretch Pose): Explained in first trimester exercises.

5. Hasta Utthanasan (Hand Raising Pose): This pose helps to reduce stiffness from the shoulders and upper back. It improves breathing capacity and blood circulation. It improves the oxygen supply to the body, especially to the brain.

How to do?

Stand straight with your spine erect and feet together, arms hanging on the sides. Cross your hands in front of you and raise your arms over the head with inhaling. At same time bend head slightly backward and look up at the hands. Breathe out and spread arms out to the sides at shoulder level. Inhale and reverse the movement, then return to the original position with an exhale.

6. Tadasan (Palm Tree Pose): Explained in first trimester exercises.

7. Kati Chakrasan (Waist Rotating Pose): Explained in first trimester exercises.

8. Utthanasan (Squat and Rise Pose):  This yoga posture helps to strengthen the middle back, uterus, thighs and ankles muscles.

How to do?

Stand straight with your feet about a meter apart and toes turned out. Link the fingers of both hands and let them hang loosely in front of the body. Now bend your knees slowly and lower your buttocks. Hold the position for few seconds, then straighten the knees and return to standing position.

9. Meru Akarshanasan (Spinal Bending pose): This pose relaxes the hamstring, inner thigh and abdominal muscles and extends the muscles of the sides of the body and make them stronger and flexible.

How to do?
Lie on your right side with resting your left leg on right leg. Bend right arm and set the elbow on the floor. Support your head on the palm of your right hand. You can place the left arm either on left thigh or on floor in front of you. Now, raise the left leg as high as possible, and try to touch your big toe with your left hand. Now change the side and repeat the action on other side.

Third trimester

1. Ardha Titali Asan (Half Butterfly pose): Explained in first trimester exercises.

2. Poorna Titali Asan (Full Butterfly pose): Explained in first trimester exercises.

3. Supta Udarakarshana Asana (Sleeping Abdominal Stretch Pose): Explained in first trimester exercises.

4. Shoulder Rotation:This is very good exercise for expectant mothers to be practiced during pregnancy and post-delivery period as it helps to stimulate proper function of the mammary glands. It also helps to develop circulation and flexibility in the shoulders and upper back. It releases tension from around the heart and lungs and improves breathing.

How to do?

Single Arm Movement:Stand straight and place the right fingertips up on the right shoulder. Rotate the arm and shoulder joint slowly and try to draw a large circle in air with the tip of the elbow. Repeat the movement both clockwise and anti-clockwise and then repeat on the left side.
Double Arm Movement:Stand straight and raise the arms up, place the fingertips on both the shoulders and slowly rotate both arms together in large circles. While rotating the arms try to stretch the elbows as far back as possible, and try to touch them together at the front. Repeat the action in both clockwise and anti-clockwise direction.


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