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You might already be doing prenatal yoga from the initial months itself. But as you approach closer to the due date, undertaking yoga exercises during third trimester of pregnancy starts getting difficult than before. Nevertheless, you can continue doing certain exercises in moderation without putting pressure on the belly.
Is it Safe to Perform Yoga Poses During the Third Trimester of Pregnancy?
Absolutely. After taking your doctor’s recommendation and understanding your health and the baby’s development, yoga exercises can continue uninterrupted. The previous poses might not be the best and you will have to stay away from any exercises that are stressful for the body.
Benefits of Doing Yoga in Pregnancy Third Trimester
Here are some of the benefits of yoga during the third trimester.
- By undertaking yoga exercises in different postures, the muscles get the exercises they need and bring about an increase in their flexibility and elastic nature. This, consequently, helps in the process of labour and recovery after delivery.
- Yoga includes a variety of breathing and relaxation exercises, too. These not only help in stabilizing the mood but also increase the intake of oxygen which reaches your child and keeps the development moving forward successfully.
- Many yoga practitioners emphasize the benefits of chanting as a relaxation method. The vibrations of certain words and tones can bring peace to the mind and can also reach the child, too.
- If you’re starting with prenatal yoga for the first time at this stage, it is best to talk to your doctor about it first. Get a report from your doctor to show the yoga trainer, who can then recommend the right exercises for you. All of these exercises should be done patiently and without any haste.
- At times, certain exercises might deem it necessary to take support for maintaining your balance. You can use a chair or lean on a wall for that. Once you’ve completed 8 months of pregnancy, it is best to avoid exercises that require you to raise your knees to a high level.
Best Yoga Poses/Asanas to Try in Pregnancy 3rd Trimester
These are a bunch of yoga positions for pregnancy third-trimester mothers that are easy to do and bring quite a few benefits to your health and well-being.
1. Rotation of Shoulders
It is best to start it lightly before taking it up a notch.
How to Do?
Start with your right arm by placing the fingertips on the shoulder. Now, rotate the joint as if drawing a circular shape using your elbow. Rotate it clockwise for five times and then reverse the direction, continuing to rotate for another set. Repeat the same with the other arm. Breathe in when the arms are behind and breathe out when they are in front of you.
The movement stimulates the muscles present in the shoulder and the upper back, improving blood circulation. The flexibility of shoulder muscles increases as well, which reduces stiffness in the neck. The double arm exercise also helps stimulate the mammary glands of the mother.
2. Cranking the Ankle
Bringing a degree of strength and flexibility to the foot allowing it to support your body better.
How to Do?
Start with the right leg. Bend it and place it on the left knee, such that the foot is hanging on the other side. Hold the toes with your left hand and the base of the ankle with your right hand. Now, gently turn the ankle around in as many degrees of rotation as possible, while holding the toes. Rotate it clockwise for ten times and reverse the direction, rotating it for another ten. Repeat the same for the other foot, too.
It increases blood circulation in the feet as well as brings relief to women suffering from edema or cramping, too.
3. Abdominal Stretch while Sleeping
In yoga, this pose is called as ‘supta udarkarshanasana’ which works on the entire body, while focusing on the core.
How to Do?
Lie down and interlock fingers of both hands behind your head, allowing it to rest on them. Bend your knees so that the soles are flat on the ground. Now, turn your head to the left side and bend the legs from your hip to the right. This will cause your spine to stretch. Stay in this position for a few seconds and then return back. Switch by turning your head to the right and the legs to the left.
4. The Butterfly Pose
Called as ‘poorna titli asana’, this isn’t as difficult as it sounds like and helps in restoring vigour.
How to Do?
While sitting with legs spread out, bend them in such a way that the soles touch each other close to the body. Now, relax the thighs, hold your feet with both hands, and move your knees up and down, as if to simulate the movement of a butterfly’s wings. You can make use of your elbows to ensure your knees touch the ground, but do not apply a strong force. Do this 30 times and then take a break.
It takes care of soreness as well as relieves any tension present in the thighs. The weakness that you feel in your legs is gradually replaced with strength and energy.
5. The Half Butterfly Pose
Slightly similar to the previous one, the ‘ardha titli asana’ instead focuses more on the hip.
How to Do?
Sit just as before but bend only the right knee to bring the foot close to the body, keeping the other leg outstretched. Holding the toes with the left hand and resting the right hand on the knee, raise the knee upwards as you breathe in simultaneously. Hold for a second and bring it down as you exhale. Make sure your torso does not move and the knee touches the ground. Repeat the same for the other leg after repeating ten times.
This not only stimulates the legs but also affects the joints in the hip and the knee, which directly affect the ease of delivery, speeding up the process of labour.
6. Lying Down on One Side
A variation of the popular ‘savasana’, this pose might require using a pillow for support.
How to Do?
Lie down on the mat on your left side, with your arm stretched upwards acting as a pillow. Place a pillow between your legs and rest your right knee and shin on it while bending it. Let your right arm rest on your tummy for support. Relax in this position for at least 5-8 minutes.
Helps in relaxing the body, stabilizing the mood, as well as orienting the baby’s position inside.
7. Sleeping Like a Child
This is called ‘balasana’ since it very vividly resembles the typical way babies tend to sleep.
How to Do?
Kneel on your knees and hands. Then, spread your knees outwards but let your toes be touching down. Now, take a deep breath and gently descend your hip onto your heels as you breathe out slowly. Then, bend slightly to rest your forehead on a fat pillow before you, while keeping your arms outstretched ahead. The final pose is similar to how a baby would sleep on its stomach while snuggling something.
Helps build strength in the knees, hips, as well as the back.
8. The Cat Pose
The ‘marjaaryasana’ is also termed as a cow pose and can be made funnier by adding a wagging tail, too.
How to Do?
Kneel on your knees and hands. Inhale, while arching your back and bending your chin towards your tummy. Exhale, by arching your back outwards as you lift your head and tilt it back as much as possible. Repeat as many times as needed. You can shake your hips gently as if you were wagging your tail.
Relieves stress from the spinal cord as well as the neck, and stimulates the hips, too.
9. Low Lunge
Slightly difficult than the other poses, you might need some assistance in getting the right pose for this.
How to Do?
Rest on your palms and gradually bring your right foot forward step by step, while keeping the left leg where it is. Once that is stretched, place your hands on a slightly raised stool if needed and thrust your chest forward while inhaling. Repeat for a few breaths and then switch the legs.
The stretching helps increase the flexibility of the muscles, easing the delivery process and helping with recovery.
10. The Garland Pose
Known as ‘malasana’, this pose has known to be quite helpful for pregnant mothers and build up the strength for delivery.
How to Do?
Stand with your toes pointing outwards slightly and knees open. Now gently crouch down maintaining the posture, and shifting your feet to support it. Once crouched, join your hands in front of your chest, keeping your torso straight, and take deep breaths. If this gets uncomfortable, use a pillow to gently rest your butt on.
The pose in itself helps relieve the stiffness in thighs and knees, adding flexibility to the hips, and increasing the strength of the back.
Precautions to Take while Practicing Prenatal Yoga in Third Trimester
Keep the following precautions in mind while practising yoga in your third trimester.
- Let your doctor know about your medical history and existing conditions before beginning with prenatal yoga.
- Get your exercises recommended by the doctor as well.
- If you’ve been practising yoga for a long time, it is still necessary to get a medical affirmation on the same or undertake any restrictions if needed.
Yoga exercises bring tons of benefits physically as well as a stability and peace to the mind. Mothers undertaking yoga for 9th month pregnancy only need to take the right precautions and measures to continue getting the benefits of them. All of these are going to be beneficial when the labour sets in and make the process of delivery easier and faster.