Yoga has been used for centuries to move the body and prepare for long periods of stillness. Science is catching up and research has proven the benefits of yoga for pain relief, improved mobility and even improving moods.
During pregnancy it is possible to do many different poses that are often taught in a regular yoga class although modifications and awareness of cautions and contraindications is required. Some poses can be practiced with little modification but many are just not suitable unless due consideration for experience, gestation and general health during the pregnancy.
Working with an appropriately qualified pre-natal yoga instructor is highly recommended so as to get the best out of the following poses during all stages of pregnancy. The following poses are extremely efficient at relieving pain and discomfort throughout all trimesters of pregnancy. Although caution in certain circumstances is suggested.
- Makes a great hip, thigh stretch and gluteal muscles
- Releases tension in lower back and hips
- Releases psoas muscle
- Supports may be needed to ensure stability in pose
- Not suitable for women who are experiencing pelvic girdle instability; because of deepness of stretch it can cause joint stress
- In early pregnancy (and throughout) connective tissue becomes more pliable during pregnancy and overstretching of these tissues can cause more harm than good in the long run, if you are not experienced in yoga attempting this pose early on in your pregnancy may not be recommended.
- There are plenty of modifications for this pose including using props like a chair and wall to support a similar stretch. This makes this a perfect pose for all trimesters. If you feel this pose would be something you would like to try contact a Qualified Experienced Pregnancy Yoga Therapist.
- A wonderful back stretch including upper, mid and lower
- Useful to relieve discomfort during labour
- Helps take some pressure off the back by “hanging” in a neutral consciously held position
- Cat pose for pregnancy is a modified version of what is done in a general class. We would normally do both aspects of the flow moving from the up stretch of cat into the downward version of cow moving through neutral. During pregnancy we need to avoid the downward aspect of the pose hat is generally taught so as to avoid overstretching the belly.
- Using props like a fit ball, chair or bolsters can help relieve pain that can be experienced in the wrists in later stages of pregnancy
- Stretches hips and thighs
- Help support opening the pelvis for baby to engage
- Caution if pelvic instability or pubic symphysis
- Use supports under your back, head and thighs
- While it is often demonstrated lying on your back, using modifications such as blankets, bolsters and blocks that can be used to lift you more on an angle then lying flat which is indicated particularly in late second and third trimesters. If you are doing this pose beware of feeling dizzy, nauseous or short of breath during this pose however if it is appropriately modified for you it is a completely safe pose to do through all trimesters.