Stretches – Exercising During Pregnancy

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Shruti Singh

Shruti Singh

Filling the paper with breathing of heart

Passionate for the craft and technique of writing, transforms caffeine into words, an avid reader, fashionista, mommy-blogger and believer of fairy-tales and all things magic. She writes with the aim to infuse words with a deeper meaning.

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We cannot stress enough how important it is for pregnant women to exercise. Despite the fact, exercising is one area which is often ignored.

If you want to be at your healthy best during pregnancy, you should not avoid exercising during pregnancy. With pregnancy, comes a lot of discomfort and tiredness (to name a few), which can only be gotten rid of with regular exercise. When we say exercise, we don’t mean hard core gyming, but even very gentle stretches can do the trick. Here we have compiled a list of very easy-to-do stretches that takes no less than 30 minutes of your time.

All these exercise will help you get rid of aches and pains and give you strength in your legs, abdominal and back. Apart from this, these stretches will also help prepare you in giving birth.

Very important note: Before doing any of these stretches, we advise you to please make sure you consult your doctor first. No matter how easy or effortless these stretches may seem, you don’t want to risk anything especially when you’re pregnant. Once you have a go ahead from your doctor/gynecologist, try doing it every day for a few minutes.

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Stretch #1 – Balasana or Gharbhasana (Child pose)

Stretch #1 – Balasana or Gharbhasana (Child pose)

 

How to do it:

Sit on your heels on a yoga mat and keep your knees apart. Lower your forehead and try to touch the floor. Bend only as much as you can. Do NOT force yourself into touching the floor. While you bend, breathe out. Your arms should be stretched forward alongside your body. Now, hold this pose for 30-45 seconds and feel the stretch. Deep breathe in and out.

Why do it:

  • It helps to strengthens your hip muscles
  • Reduces stress levels and fatigue
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Stretch #2 – Bitilasana-Marjaryasana (Cat-Cow pose)

Stretch #2 – Bitilasana-Marjaryasana (Cat-Cow pose)

 

How to do it:

Start by being on all fours – knees and palms on the floor. Bend your back, inhale and look up at the ceiling. While you do that, do not put pressure on your spine. While breathing out, round your spine, and curl inward and look down. Breathe in and breathe out through both these poses.

Why do it:

  • Stretches the muscles of hip, abdomen and neck
  • Improves your posture
  • Relieves stress and brings calm to your mind
  • Helps baby move into the right position for birth if done during the third trimester.
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Stretch #3 – Vishnuasana (Side lying pose)

Stretch #3 – Vishnuasana (Side lying pose)

 

How to do it:

Lie down on your right side with your head supported with your palm and elbow of that palm on the floor. Place the left palm on the floor near chest. Straighten your legs if possible. Now lift your left leg up and bring it down slowly. Repeat it for at least 5-6 times. Gently role over to your left side and repeat the same with the right leg.

Why do it:

  • It is a great stretch for the pelvic joints
  • Eases pressure on the pelvis for a smoother child birth.
  • Reduces tension in the muscles of the back
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Stretch #4 – Poorna Titli Asana (Butterfly pose)

Stretch #4 – Poorna Titli Asana (Butterfly pose)

 

How to do it:

Sit with your legs stretched out. Slowly bend the knees in a way that brings the soles of your feet together. Bring the heels as close to your pubic area as possible. Remember to not over exert yourself. Now hold your feet with your hands and sit straight. Gently bounce your knees up and down without causing any pressure elsewhere. Repeat it 10-15 times. Relax your knees, stretch out your legs and relax.

Why do it:

  • Stretches the inner thigh muscles
  • Opens up hip and thigh muscles to improve flexibility
  • Relieves stress and fatigue
  • Stimulates the digestive organs

As mentioned earlier, please consult with your doctor before doing any of these stretches. These are only some of the poses for a better and healthy you. We will be continuing this series so you can benefit from these poses and many more.

Moving your body towards the end of pregnancy can be a hard task. But trust us when we say that if you do these exercises regularly, you will be more at ease than any other pregnant woman. Here is the next set of poses just for you –

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Stretch #5 – Sukhasana (Side-bend Sitting Pose)

Stretch #5 – Sukhasana (Side-bend Sitting Pose)

 

How to do it:

Start with sitting with a straight back and knees crossed and folded. Rest the palms of both your hands comfortably on the floor/yoga mat. Now stretch the right arm up and bend to the left side. Take the support of your left arm as you bend to the side.

Why do it:

  • Lengthens and strengthens the back
  • Brings peace and calm to the mind
  • Removes stress and fatigue
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Stretch #6 – Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Stretch #6 – Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

 

How to do it:

Stand with your legs wide apart and bend your right knee. Now bring your right elbow to your right knee and stretch the left arm up. Breathe in while you do that. Keep the right knee bent. Feel the stretch on your spine and lower back. Hold this stretch for 10-15 seconds. Do the same with the left knee bent.

Why do it:

  • Energizes the body
  • Strengthens the legs
  • Relaxes up the pelvic muscles
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Stretch #7 – Parivartta Janu Sirasana (Head-to-Knee-Pose)

#7 – Parivartta Janu Sirasana (Head To Knee Pose)

 

How to do it:

Sit with your legs stretched out straight. Fold your left leg and bring the heel closer to the pubic area. Now bring your left arm to touch your left foot. Do not bend your back, keep it straight if possible. Keep your right hand on your right knee for comfort. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other side. If the stretch causes any discomfort, please don’t do it any further.

Why do it:

  • This deep stretch of the leg, looses any stress in the leg muscles
  • Stretches the lower back
  • Relaxes your mind
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Stretch #8 – Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

Stretch #8 – Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)

 

How to do it:

Start by standing with your legs wide apart. Turn your right foot 90 degrees towards the outer side. Breathe in and as you exhale, bend your body to the right, keeping your waist straight.

Allow your left hand to go up in the air and your right hand should touch the floor. Make sure both your arms are forming a straight line. Make sure your body is not bent forward or backward. The bent of the body should be sideways.

Your pelvis and chest should be wide open. Keep breathing in a out deeply and feel the stretch all over the spine.

Why do it:

  • It lengthens the spine, relieving any pressure you feel from the weight of your baby.
  • Strengthens the leg muscles
  • Releases any tension in the lower back

Most of these poses or stretches open up the pelvis so you have the least discomfort during childbirth. These poses are not only meant for giving you relief in pregnancy, but are also meant for the general well being of the mind and body.

Whatever pose you do, just remember to keep your breathing smooth throughout all the poses. Allow your mind to free you of all the unnecessary thoughts.

By doing so, you body will open up more and it will help energize your soul. If your mind is free of any stress, you will be able to enjoy a healthier and fit pregnancy.

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