Prenatal Yoga At Your Own Comfort

sLesTa

I was still doing some adjustments to the new country, new office and new environment in Singapore, when I found out I was pregnant.  Work life didn’t really support me to do any intensive exercise since I was right away working long hours.  So as an on-and-off yoga practitioner, I decided to do a prenatal yoga at home, before I go to work or after a full day at the office.  It helps me to relax and said to help the expectant moms to prepare for birth. 

If you are wondering whether yoga poses or exercises are safe or not, then let me tell you that prenatal yoga exercises or poses are safe and healthy for both mother and the baby. Prenatal yoga poses can help you in dealing with pregnancy symptoms, ensuring smoother and easier delivery, and speedy recovery after childbirth.  To illustrate some of the simple poses, I’m sharing some of the basic poses that you can do at home.

Warming Up

Prenatal Yoga poses are basically series of warm-ups and stretches that you do to relax and help you dealing with pregnancy symptoms, like backache.  However, doing it correctly is the key. 

First, you may want to start by sitting in a lotus notes position, then while breathing in and out slowly, turn your head left and right, counting 3-5 breaths in each pose. 

Warm-Up

Then, put your hand on top of your knee and turn your head to the back, left and right, slowly.  Ensure to straighten your back and stretch.  Hold in each position for another 3-5 breaths. 

Warm-Up

Keep your back straight, spread your arms to the side and hold in that position for another 3-5 breaths.

Place your right hand next to you, then stretch your left hand over you.  Hold in this position for at least 3 breaths then change hands.

 

Lotus Pose (Padmasana)

Lotus Pose

The Lotus Pose is known to benefit the human body and mind.  Its main beneficial actions take place on the spine, pelvis, bladder and abdomen.  This pose is said to be safe to do until late pregnancy and supposed to ease the pain of childbirth as it’s an ultimate hip opener. 

The picture above is me doing a very simple lotus pose. 

  1. Arrange padding under your sit bones so that your hips come above your knees.
  2. Come to sit in a comfortable, cross-legged position.
  3. Bring one heel in towards your groin. The other foot may rest on the floor in front of you or you may bring it into your lap.
  4. Root your seat down as your spine grows long. Stack the shoulders over the hips and slide the shoulder blades down your back. The crown of your head rises towards the ceiling.

During pregnancy, you can also do other lotus poses.  You can search further for how to do them on the internet or youtube.  Ensure that you do the poses that you absolutely sure you can do, to avoid any unnnecessary mishap.


Cobbler’s Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Cobbler's Pose

Also termed as Tailor’s pose, it is a sitting pose that helps open the pelvis. While doing this pose, ensure that your sit bones or hip bones are well grounded on the mat. Also you can keep pillows or rolled-up towels under your knees to prevent hyper extension of your hips. Steps to be followed are:

  1. Sit straight against a wall with the soles of your feet touching each other.
  2. Slowly press your knees down and away from each other but do not force them apart.
  3. Remain in this position, as long as you are comfortable

 

Cat – Cow Pose

Cat - Cow Pose

This pose is the best pose for moving baby into a favorable position for birth for keeping baby in a favorable position.  It also helps releases back tension, increases spine flexibility and strength.  It is one of the best poses that you can do daily during your pregnancy.

  1. Start on your hands and knees making sure your hands are directly under your shoulders and your knees are directly under your hips.
  2. As you inhale look up between your eyebrows raising your head gently.
  3. As you exhale round your back bringing the chin towards your chest.
  4. Press your hands into the floor and push the center of your back up to the ceiling exaggerating the roundness of your back.

Cat - Cow Pose

if you can, you can also continue with the above pose by stretching your left hand forward and your right foot at the same time away from each other.  Hold in this position for 2-3 breaths, then switch to the other pair of hand & foot. 

 

Warrior Pose

This pose increases your stamina, improves balance and concentration, and also relieves backaches.

Warrior Pose

  1. Kneel down and keep your back straight. Step forward by keeping your left foot in front of the knee and upper leg parallel with the floor as much as you can, or you can do it as I do it in the picture above. 
  2. Rest your right foot on the floor with its toes and lower leg on the mat. Stretch by bending your right leg more and more.
  3. Stretch your arms away from each other as far as you can
  4. Lift your arms, stretch them upwards.  You can also hook both your thumbs together then try to pull the thumbs slightly apart.
  5. Now raise your knee at the back so that your weight is evenly divided between the leg in front and the leg at the back, straighten your front leg.
  6. Drop one hand to your front leg while your other hand keeps stretching upwards. 
  7. Hold for one full breath then go back to #3 and repeat using different hand and leg in the opposite position.

 

Obviously there are many other simple poses that you can do, but the ones I shared above are enough for you to do daily.  But remember, the most important about doing prenatal yoga or any other prenatal exercise is that you understand your body.  Listen to it and only do poses that you are comfortable and makes you feel good.  You should never experience any pain or discomfort while doing any prenatal yoga poses or exercises.  Move into the poses slowly and pay attention on how you feel.  If they don’t make you feel good, don’t do them!

 

The above poses are illustrated only for the purpose of this article. Although I was not pregnant while doing them, I took a liberty to pose at ease as to show that you may not have to them perfectly, but as long as you have the idea how the poses look like and you can do it comfortably.  Oh, and don’t forget to use yoga mat! :)

*feature image is taken from www.shambavayoga.org

22 Comments

  1. July 15, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Nice article, shin :)
    Ada fotonya pulak! Jadi inspire me to practice yoga again.. Bisa bikin produksi asi meningkat ngga ya? *ngarep* :p
    Satu hal yg bikin gw rajin yoga dulu adalah tidur gw lebih pules walo tidurnya cuman bentar..
    Cari dvd yoga ah wiken besok :)
    Btw, naia ga diajak yoga bareng skalian, shin?

  2. thelilsoldier
    inga July 15, 2010 at 7:02 am

    Belum pernah yoga nih tp pengen nyoba. Yang ditunjukkin itu khusus untuk bumil ya Shin?

  3. SunShine
    Fitria Adriadi July 15, 2010 at 7:37 am

    TFS Mbak Shinta…menyemangati gw utk yoga lagi nihh…gw praktis brenti yoga sejak pindah rumah (away from gym) dan hamil :( dan backpain gw pun datang kembali, diperparah dgn kehamilan…makin lama brenti koq makin males ya mulainya…hehe..
    prenatal yoga ini safe sampai umur kehamilan berapa ya, Mbak?

  4. sLesTa
    shinta lestari July 15, 2010 at 8:02 am

    @chrisye: eh mungkin aja loh bisa bikin produksi asi meningkat, kan bikin relax :) hihi gue narsis banget pake naro foto segala, tapi abisnya mikir emang mesti pake foto biar gampang jelasinnya. jadilah tuh model gagal tampil.. hihi.. naia sih paling ikut2an nungging doang.

    @inga: sebenernya yang ditunjukkin itu gerakan2 yang aman untuk bumil. tapi gerakan yang dipake juga untuk yoga biasa. misalnya kayak lotus pose, itu kan bentuknya duduk aja. kalo yang yoga beneran, ada yang pose nya pake squat segala, yang obviously kurang aman buat bumil.

    @sunshine: prenatal yoga ini aman sampe trimester 3 dan malah sampe sebelom lahiran kok. selama masih bisa ngejalanin dan masih comfortable, silahkan aja kok, gpp. malah bagus untuk mempermudah lahiran.

  5. superpippo
    Astrid Lim July 15, 2010 at 8:11 am

    slesta, yoga was the only exercise I did when I was pregnant…although hanya dari rumah, pake dvd jadul yang beli di gramedia, tapi ternyata ngaruh banget lohh buat daya tahan tubuh, trus jadi berasa nggak terlalu kaku badannya..sayangnya setelah lahiran nggak sempet yoga lagi, padahal bagus buat keep body n mind healthy ya, apalagi kalo udah suntuk sama urusan kantor, rumah tangga dan lain”, hehe.
    thanks for sharing the article, dan btw, ini fotonya pas emang lg hamil apa sengaja foto lagi buat artikel? really helpful! =)

  6. Mirza Resita
    July 15, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Wuah coba aku tau sebelum aku ngelahirin ya… ^_^ pasti bisa ngebantu saat2 kontraksi yang sakitnya minta ampun. :D

  7. Medy
    medy July 15, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Wuih Shin,ada fotonya segala? salut deh gw ama ibu2 Tum yg rajin mendokumentasi. Selama hamil gw juga do yoga, tapi msh pake arahan dvd si..he..he..

  8. sukie
    Sukma Pertiwi July 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

    waaah lengkap kali artikelnya. emang niat banget ya Shin? *penasaran yang motretin siapa*. hehehe

    TFS jeng..:) btw kalau yoga yang punyanya Wii pernah tau ga? :)

  9. lei
    Lady Fitriana July 15, 2010 at 10:16 am

    ah TFS ya bu :) ada fotonya pula, doesn’t seem so scary,nampak do-able bgt hehehe tinggal niyat nih :D kynya oke juga utk post pregnancy, mayan biar ada exercisenya lah..

  10. siska.knoch
    Siska Knoch July 15, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Suka banget baca artikelnya, soalnya dilengkapi dengan gambar dan nama gerakannya. keren ih! thanks for sharing Slesta :)
    Jadi pengen ikutan yoga diluar rumah lagi.. *mikir kapan waktunya* :p

  11. July 15, 2010 at 11:53 am

    waa, asik pake foto! coba ada ini waktu gue lagi hamil… baru mulai yoga setelah anaknya keluar soalnya… hehe.

  12. liactk
    Lia Rosliany July 15, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    slesta, wah gw jg udah lama banget ga Yoga gara2 baca ini tertarik buat aktif lagi. Lumayan buat sedikit “me time”. Nyoba practice at home jg ah,, Dulu selalu ke tempat khusus karena suka takut salah gerakan.
    TFS yaa Shin.. ntar kalo mau praktek gw sambil buka TUM deh hehe,,

  13. myson
    myson July 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    oops, kapaaan balik yoga lagi hehe… nice article, luv the pics! :)

  14. sLesTa
    shinta lestari July 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    @astrid: yup, me too! yoga and walking, lots of walking! fotonya itu diambilnya baru sebulan yang lalu kok. kan ada itu di fine print nya. diambil hanya untuk memberi ilustrasi untuk artikel ini :)

    @hana: kalo gitu saatnya untuk hamil lagi mungkin? heheh.. *minta ditabok ya?*

    @medy: thanks, medy! semoga berguna. iya deh diniatin gitu ampe foto ya? hehe.. narsis banget!

    @sukma: yang motretin suami gue kok. itu juga pake beberapa kali take, karena ngaco mulu hehe.. iya pernah denger yang wii itu, seru banget kayaknya. tapi gue terlalu pelit untuk beli :P mendingan youtube aja deh!

    @lady: yup, it’s very very doable. gak usah takut, gampang banget kok! dan iya, bisa banget untuk post pregnancy. tapi namanya ya jadi yoga biasa aja. heheh.. ini kan fokusnya ke posisi yang bisa dilakuin pas lagi hamil.

    @siska: ah dirimu juga kan sering salsa bukan? gimana kalo bikin artikel nya juga, pake foto? heheh..

    @thalia: harusnya kita bikin TUM dari dulu2 kalo gitu yah thal? hehe..

    @lia: silahkaann, semoga membantu!

    @toto: anytime dong, kan udah dikasih tau gerakannya, tinggal dicontek, bisa dikerjain sendiri :)

  15. charissarhanie
    rani nurcharissa July 15, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Ah ah, ngacung buat yg pake yoga wii, hihihi.. Lumayan kok, cuman kynya kl wii itu lebih ke esensi hiburan drpd exercisenya. dulu gw jg sempet ikutan yoga diluar itu jauh lbh kerasa efeknya drpd yg wii.

    Kynya kl udah nguasain gerakan dasar terus dipraktekkin di wii bakal lebih afdol efeknya.

  16. sukie
    Sukma Pertiwi July 15, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    woahahaha mahal ya boardnya. makanya gue juga belum beli *niat mau nabung*. oiya just cerita, gue punya temen guru yoga namanya Mas Yudhi. Udah berumur tapi tetep segar bugar..ckckck pokoknya jadi yakin mau nyobain yoga..haha :)

  17. myson
    myson July 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    @sLesTa, kalo nggak rame2, kurang semangat :P

  18. Mirza Resita
    July 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    wah thx bgt udh sharing mbak :)
    aku selama hamil ini olahraganya jalan pagi keliling komplek..tapi ya angot2an gitu,keseringannya sih bablas tidur lagi haha :D

    kalo yoga ini kan bs kpn aja & dimana aja,jd gak ada alesan males gerak lg ah :)

    btw berpengaruh jg ke pengurangan kontraksi palsu jg gak si? soalnya masuk 24 minggu ini aku sering berasa perut ketarik & sedikit mules di bwh perut. Kl iya,kan bagus banget :)

  19. yenarosa
    yenarosa July 15, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    nice article mbak. tx. dari dulu pengen nyobain beryoga ria tp gak sempet2 juga. liat dirimu jd tambah pengen :)

  20. eka
    Eka Wulandari Gobel July 16, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    tfs, yoga diva!
    akan dipraktekan saat hamil anak ke-3 nanti!
    (hmm..?)

  21. sefa
    Sefa Firdaus July 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    semoga nanti bisa dipraktekin kalo hamil kedua, TFS Shin!

  22. Mirza Resita
    September 21, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Sudah lama ga yoga lagi :(

    Setelah tau klo hamil jadi pengen yoga lagi, jarang olahraga juga :( Pengen nyoba ah…. TFS ya mbak…

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