Prenatal Yoga At Your Own Comfort

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. avatar
    Dewi Martha Indria September 21, 2010 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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  2. avatar
    Sefa Firdaus July 16, 2010 7:30 pm

    semoga nanti bisa dipraktekin kalo hamil kedua, TFS Shin!

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  3. avatar
    Eka Gobel July 16, 2010 7:02 pm

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

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  4. avatar
    yenarosa July 15, 2010 8:00 pm

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

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  5. avatar
    Anty Baehaqi July 15, 2010 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 :)

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