Keeping up a proper fitness routine unto the day of child delivery? Is that even possible? Yoga says, “Yes!” There are moves of yoga in the book meant for expecting mothers to wind down, gently unscrew rigid joints, bring back some order in achy lower backs, blow through bouts of morning sickness, deal with a shifted center of gravity and other body changes, and accumulate enough strength in the hips, and thigh muscles to brace for the day of delivery. Why must giving birth be a dreaded affair when it can be your greatest feat?
Here are five yoga moves to prep you up for the impact on the big day, and yes, making this list definitely with caution and safety in mind towards your sensitive condition!
Utkatasana- the Chair Pose
A standing yoga posture, recommended for giving the whole body a nice toning effect to the entire body, is also listed for its strength-building benefits in the natal state.
- Stand with your feet parallel and hips’ width apart. Move back the pelvis and lower your buttocks slightly.
- Make sure your body is aligned correctly with the knees positioned over the ankles. This will help you calibrate the shifted center of gravity in your body due to pregnancy.
- Lift up carefully through your spine. Hold this way for 5 to 6 breaths. Feel your thighs enduring your increased body weight and fortifying up to the changed weight condition. Then come back up to standing.
- Raise your arms to your ears even as your shoulders relax and droop down. Bend your knees in consonance with regulated exhalation. Bring your arms slowly overhead with your palms closed in prayer position.
Kali Asana- Pose Dedicated to the Mother Goddess
The pose of the Mother Goddess is a tribute to Kali, giving meaning to the Shiva-Shakti dichotomy of yogic spirituality in your personal practice. Shiva stands for pure consciousness while Shakti is a manifestation of the part that is pure feminine energy. In an individual, there happens to reside both, while at motherhood, one needs to invoke the shakti and unleash life-creating energies.
- Come to your relaxed standing position with the feet wide apart and hands stretched overhead. Fix your drishti or gaze to the front.
- Flex at the navel or in the lower abdomen and bend slowly towards the ground. Allow the girth of your belly to rest comfortably on the bipod of your legs and thighs. Come to a comfortable squat. Make sure the weight is distributed equally on both feet.
- Stretch out your arms to the front and invoke heartfulness by closing your hands in a ‘namaskara’.
- Breath out, come back to the standing poise and relax.
The bitilasana-marjaryasana or the cat-cow is a suave yoga move for labor preparation. This one lets your abs tone safely during pregnancy so you don’t have to plump up as a side effect of pregnancy. Also, the downward pushing force created by this posture will activate the inner muscles of the uterus for enduring a hectic delivery push. Alternating between the two postures will also effectively de-stress the spinal joints and rid you of your typical natal excruciating backache.
- Go down on the mat on your hands and knees. Align the knees carefully under your hips, pointing the tip of your fingers to the top of your mat. Yank your knees and shin hip-width apart. Bend your head to the down with gaze softened and neutrally placed.
- Slide into the cow pose or bitilasana by inhaling and dropping your belly toward the mat. Get your chin up and lift your chest, opening up your lungs to deeper breathing. Direct your gaze up to the ceiling.
- Draw the ears away from your shoulders, allowing a thorough broadening of the shoulder blades.
- Next up, the cat pose, in which you can seamlessly flow into by drawing your belly to the spine as you exhale and rounding up the back now concavely toward the ceiling.
- Without pushing your chin into your chest, release the crown of your skull floor-wards.
- Breathe deep and long, and switch back into the ‘Cow’ and with the next exhale, go back into the ‘Cat’.
- Repeat 5-10 times and thus de-tense your weight-ridden spine.
This posture creates the movement of a mill grinding man as he churns the turbine to extract flour from whole wheat in the villages of India.
- Sit with legs outstretched. Owing to the enlarged belly of the natal stage, you might have to direct your feet in slightly opposing directions as you sit with the limbs stretched to the front. Separate them as wide as possible and also be mindful of keeping them straight throughout.
- Now, stretch out your arms, with the fingers interlocking. Keep them straightened out in front of the chest. Watch out not to bend the elbows and keeping the arms more or less horizontal throughout the practice.
- Then it shall be time to bend forward to the maximum degree possible. For an image, use that of the grinding exercise of wheat or stone.
- Lean back for better ease and complete 5 to 10 rotations. A lot of life will be pumped up in your spine and in the pelvic rotational joints.
A common resting pose, balasana or the child’s pose could be your ending stroke of a de-stressing and gentle natal yoga session.
- Drop your knees to the floor, spreading the knees slightly apart, and having the big toes touched to the ground.
- Rest your belly on the thighs and start bending with caution to the floor. You can sit upon a pillow to make the bending not too strenuous.
- Either stretch your arms to the front or place them alongside your thighs with palms up.
- Rest a long while with a delicious stretch working along with your spine.
Feel nurtured and confident for childbirth! Do it with a smile!
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