Pregnancy Yoga for Third Trimester
Author: Pallavi Marshal, Certified Yoga Trainer, Bodhi Yoga Academy
In this trimester with the growing baby inside, the body’s centre of gravity changes, so care should be taken, particularly for standing and balancing asanas, despite wall support.
Symptoms like heart burn, frequent urination, back pain and swelling in the limbs cause discomfort which continued practice of yoga can help alleviate.
- Relieving pressure from the back is essential so in place of Shavasana, lying on the side with bolster or supported Supta Badhkonasana are preferred for Yoga Nidra and rest.
- Pelvic tilts and gentle spinal stretches should be performed for relaxing the back.
- Vipritkarni with legs up on the wall helps relieving swollen legs and feet.
Sukha Prasava Mantra can be chanted throughout the pregnancy and during delivery:
Mathru boodeshwara devo
Bakthanaam ishta thayaka
Sukanthi kunthala naavaha
Sukha Prasava Mrichchathuhuhu
Salutations to you, Oh goddess;
You are the mother of all gods;
You are the great goddess, who is always kind to your devotees,
I’m invoking you to please protect this lady,
Who is your devotee and who is constantly praying to you.
By your grace, please bless her with a beautiful baby and a safe delivery.
The benefits of Yoga surpass the physical level and extend to the mental and spiritual level as well. Relaxed body and positive state of mind results in an overall healthy pregnancy where the mother is in tune with the changes in her body :
- Yogasanas provide the needed flexibility and strength to the right set of muscles required for child birth.
- Hip openers and gentle supported back bends can help ease tension and prepare the body for delivery
- Relaxation techniques like Yoga Nidra and Meditation are beneficial in keeping depression and anxiety away
- Pranayama increases the Prana and is great for energizing the entire body
- Breathing techniques practised during pregnancy are also helpful when in labour
- Regular Yoga practice can result in mindful eating and healthy weight gain
- Improvement in the quality of sleep
- Prenatal yoga classes are a perfect time to connect with the baby and feel its movements
- A Stress-free healthy pregnancy reduces the chances of complications during birth and thereafter
Contraindications and Precautions
- Doctor’s approval is essential before starting the practice as women with certain medical conditions and those with high risk pregnancies need to exercise caution
- Expecting mothers should practice under the guidance of a certified yoga professional
- Hot Yoga, Power Yoga and intense forms like Vinyasa are not recommended during pregnancy
- Inversions, deep twists and backbends, Lying on the belly or flat on the back (second trimester onwards) are contraindicated
- Asanas which put too much pressure on the abdomen (Boat Pose, Chaturangasana etc)
- Kumbhaka (holding of breath) and Pranayamas which involve rapid breathing like Kapalbhati to be strictly avoided
- Yoga should be practised in a well ventilated room
- Staying cool and hydrated is crucial
- Practising Yoga with awareness is fundamental but is particularly relevant to listen to the body during pregnancy