Easy yoga poses to help ease your pregnancy niggles
Pregnancy yoga has all the benefits of improving your strength, flexibility and circulation with the added bonus of calming the mind and preparing your body for the birth of your baby. You’ll find the breathing techniques you practise during your prenatal yoga session are hugely beneficial, especially when it comes to managing the pain and discomfort of childbirth. Many women find yoga is great for alleviating stress and tension, releasing ‘feel good’ endorphins and promoting more restful sleep. You don’t need to be super-fit or extra bendy to enjoy the benefits of yoga and it needs minimal equipment, just a yoga mat, a blanket and something comfortable and stretchy to wear.
We asked maternity fitness experts FittaMamma to suggest their favourite yoga poses to help ease some common pregnancy discomforts:
Suffering from heartburn?
Cow Pose is a simple yoga posture that will help make more space in your diaphragm, easing the pressure in your stomach which can make your heartburn worse.
Sitting up tall, breathe out and lengthen your back, rolling your shoulders gently to release them.
Stretch your right arm up, bend your elbow and drop your hand down the back of your neck.
Now reach up behind your back with your left hand, reaching as high as you can so the fingers of both hands meet. If they don’t touch, use a yoga belt or a scarf to make the connection, working your hands as close together as you can without straining.
Hold the pose for about a minute, lengthening your lower back and neck and breathing deeply. Make sure you keep your neck free and don’t allow your arm to push against your head.
Release both arms, breathe deeply and relax for a minute before repeating on the other side.
It’s very common, especially if you’re still working and sitting at a desk all day.
The full Eagle Pose is a standing posture on one leg that improves your balance – but simply sitting and performing the arm movements will create space between your shoulder blades, easing tension in your back.
Sit tall, inhale and raise your arms up to shoulder level with palms facing upwards.
Cross your left arm over the right so that the elbows rest on top of each other.
Bend your elbows, wrapping your forearms around each other with palms facing each other. Your fingers should point to the ceiling.
Remain in the pose for 30 -60 seconds before unwrapping your arms and bringing them gently back so your hands rest on your thighs.
Relax and repeat the other side.
Our favourite pose to ease backache is the Child’s Pose, taking the weight of your baby off your lower back and releasing tension in your pelvis and hip joints.
Kneel on your yoga mat, knees wide apart, feet turned inwards. Come forward slowly, moving from the hips and lengthening your spine. Place your palms on the floor, stretching your arms out in front of you and lower your body until your forehead touches the floor….and relax.
Come up slowly when you’re ready to do so.
If you don’t feel comfortable in this pose lean over a large cushion or a bean bag, focussing on making sure your back feels comfortable and relaxed.