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06 Nov 1989

Name: Shanaya Agarwal. Degree :M.Sc - Master of Science Major :Food , Nutrition & Dietetics College : Allahabad Agricultural Institute, Allahabad

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Published on: 02 Jan 2017 by shanaya21

Yoga: A Boon for To-be Mothers

The Ancient art of Yoga is a very effective route to a peaceful mind and healthy body. Its benefits are numerous for all age-groups and also for would-be mothers who require some regular physical activity at the time of pregnancy.

The common notion that your body becomes fragile during pregnancy is wrong; it is just that your body undergoes certain changes which can be handled positively by trying a few prenatal yoga asanas. Apart from being a great relaxation-inducer, Yoga for mothers-to-be can also ensure a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy.

Pregnancy induces certain changes in your body, and as a result expectant mothers tend to suffer from mood swings, leg cramps, sickness and breathing problems, fatigue, etc.

Yoga postures and exercises can ease all these conditions by reducing stress, increasing the stamina and flexibility of the muscles used during childbirth, thereby preparing your body and mind for labor and delivery. You can always go for postpartum girdles and belts afterwards that become more effective if you resort to Yoga during your pregnancy time.

With yoga included in your routine, there are little chances for C-Section birth but there are some good binders available that help to get back in shape post C-section.

Prenatal yoga includes exercises that encourage stretching, focused breathing and mental catering. It is however important to consider your health history and talk to your doctor in order to find out the right yoga postures for yourself.

Some postures need to be picked up or dropped depending on the stage of your pregnancy. In fact, you can also refer to videos that can guide you on workouts during pregnancy. There are certain exercises that cannot be carried throughout all pregnancy months. Most importantly, listen to your body and do what you are comfortable in.

Some of the yoga poses recommended during pregnancy are:

  • Tadasana or Mountain pose: Tadasana strengthens the spine and eases back pain too.

  • Trikonasana or Triangle pose: The Triangle pose is a great way to reduce pregnancy related digestive disorders and improve hip flexibility.
  • Marjariasana or Cat pose: This pose is to be practiced only during the first 26 weeks of pregnancy. It improves blood circulation level and gives strength to wrists and shoulders.

  • Shavasana or Corpse pose: This is the most effective way to relax your body after you are done with all physical activity.

  • Virbhadrasana or Warrior pose: This pose stretches the back, chest and hip muscles and strengthens the lower body.

  • Uttanasana or Standing forward bend: Usually, forward bends are not recommended during pregnancy. But this pose is an exception as it relieves the strain from your legs and back.

Most of the yoga postures mentioned above focus on strengthening the pelvic muscles that help increase the womb space for the healthy growth of the fetus. Nevertheless, there are numerous other benefits of practicing yoga during pregnancy. Such as :

  1. Induces Relaxation: Deep breathing which is a very essential element of prenatal yoga is responsible for relaxation. With focused breathing our nervous system goes into the parasympathetic mode, thereby keeping the blood pressure and heart rate in regulation and reducing mental stress.

Yoga also decreases the risk of prenatal depression and improves sleep.

  1. Improves Body Balance: With the growth of fetus within the body, expectant mothers face some physical challenges. While practicing yoga, you tend to focus on holding or maintaining certain postures and breathing and this leads to a maintained balance, both physically and emotionally.
  1. Increases Stamina and Strength: More stamina and strength is required to carry the weight of the baby. Here also, yoga comes to your rescue as it relieves tension and increases the strength, flexibility and endurance of lower back, hips, chest, upper back, neck and shoulders.

These are the very muscles which experience heightened tension during pregnancy.

  1. Prepares for Labor: Conscious breathing leads to feeling comfortable with the uncomfortable through breath work. This really helps at the time of labor. It is quite important to prepare your body for labor as it involves rigorous physical activity/strain.

Prenatal yoga postures help reduce aches and build strength in your legs, back and abdominals to prepare you for giving birth.

  1. Enhances Blood Circulation: Circulation increases within the joints and muscles while practicing yoga. A faster circulation makes the immune system stronger, thereby creating a healthy environment for the growing baby.

  1. Nurturing Time: Yoga gives you some time out to take care not only of yourself, but of your baby as well. You become more aware of what is going on inside your body and thus connects you even more with your baby.

  1. Promotes Appetite – With continual Yoga exercises, appetite is also seen to be improving. Try and eat healthy. Include more of superfoods with nuts, seeds, vitamins and food that are rich in proteins. Fruits and juices help to retain that fiber and fluid intake.

Yoga is beneficial for all. Switch to yoga and positively embrace all the physical and emotional changes your body and mind go through during pregnancy. To ensure the health of your baby, you first need to keep yourself healthy above everything.

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