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As your pregnancy enters the second trimester of its journey, you will be breathing a huge sigh of relief. Having faced the initial time of pregnancy, this period is termed as the golden period! By this time, most pregnant women are quite relaxed, as morning sickness reduces by a huge amount, and the tummy starts showing the presence of a growing life inside it. If you haven’t started prenatal yoga until now, this is one of the best times to do so. Yoga for a 6-month pregnant woman helps you get the energy you’ve lost in the initial months, and prepares you for the rest of the journey.
Is It Safe to Practice Yoga in the Second Trimester of Pregnancy?
Very much so! Around the second trimester, women tend to get more comfortable with the pregnancy and their changed body. By undertaking yoga, your progesterone levels rise, which causes muscles to relax, aids circulations, and improves digestion. These are necessary to strengthen your body for the upcoming birth. Furthermore, attending prenatal yoga classes helps you talk to other pregnant women, and get to know how others are progressing with their pregnancy.
Precautions You Should Take While Practicing Yoga in Second Trimester
Here are some precautions to take while practising yoga in your second trimester.
- Do not rush through the yoga exercises. Make sure your heart rate does not escalate to more than half the usual amount.
- Keep away from strenuous exercises. This can increase your body’s demand for oxygen, and reduce the amount your baby gets.
- Keep yourself cool while you exercise. Increase in body temperature can be harmful to the baby.
- If yoga exercises are getting taxing for you, walking can be a pretty good alternative as well.
- Don’t opt for exercises that require stretching of muscles in the abdomen, or ones that need you to lie on your back.
- Do not push yourself. If your body feels any discomfort, stop immediately and take a break.
- Remember to breathe normally, and do not make any sudden or jerky movements.
- Do not bend backwards during any exercise.
Yoga Poses to Try During Second Trimester of Pregnancy
The following yoga poses are deemed fit for women in their second trimester:
1. The Side Leg Raise
Also known as vishnuasana, this exercise can be fun and relaxing at the same time.
How to Do
- Lie down on your right side. Place the left leg on top of the right one.
- Use your right arm to support your head as you raise it up.
- Placing the left hand on the left thigh, and gradually start raising the leg upwards, as vertical as possible.
- Start moving your left hand towards your left foot as you raise it higher. Once your hand reaches the toes, hold it there for a few seconds, then bring it down.
- Repeat it with the other leg by lying on the other side.
This exercise relaxes the hamstring muscles, the abdomen, and the inner thigh, giving them a good stretch and increasing flexibility.
2. The Warrior Pose
Called virabhadrasana, this is fitting for a mother to make her stronger and more confident!
How to Do
- Stand by placing your feet about 40 inches apart. Turn the right foot outwards completely, while slightly turning the left foot inwards.
- Take a breath, and raise your hands to the shoulder level. Breathe out and bend the right knee, extending the leg behind you.
- Once you form a pose that resembles a lunge, look straight ahead in line with your left foot, holding the hands and the posture while you breathe in and breathe out.
- Repeat with the other foot.
It is a great exercise to boost self-esteem and confidence, along with strengthening the muscles all over the body including the back, ankles, knees, and shoulders.
3. The Triangular Pose
This pose is called trikonasana in yoga, and references the stable nature of the geometrical shape.
How to Do
- Stand while keeping your feet apart. Inhale and raise your arms sideways, keeping them parallel to the ground.
- Exhale, and bend sideways to the right, touching the right foot with your hand, as you raise the left arm upwards.
- Hold the posture, inhale, and rise back up.
- Repeat with the other leg.
The stretching that this posture grants helps in boosting blood circulation in the body and alleviating any pains that are present.
4. The Side Angle Pose
Known as konasana, this can be termed as a variant of the triangular pose, although the process is different.
How to Do
- Stand while keeping your feet apart. Inhale, and raise your left arm. Then, exhale and bend to the right as you look at the left palm above.
- Inhale again and rise back up. Exhale and bring the arm down. Repeat the same with the other arm.
- Later, raise both arms, and join the palms together above your head.
- Then while breathing in and out, bend to one side and come back up, then bend to the other side.
This pose and exercise directly impacts the spine, and relieves any stress in the vertebral column and back.
5. The Standing Upward Stretch
The urdhva hastasana has a major focus on stretching the muscles of the arm and shoulders.
How to Do
- Stand still, and raise your arms above as you inhale. Stretch them as much as you can, and then relax while exhaling.
- Now, alternate by stretching one arm at a time. Repeat and switch arms. Remember to inhale as you stretch, and exhale as you relax your arms.
- Repeat these exercises at a normal speed about five to six times.
Any stiffness in the back and shoulders is relieved instantly by this pose. The rhythmic breathing helps boost oxygen supply to the brain as well.
6. The Palm Tree Pose
Fancy looking like a tropical tree? Here’s tadasana, helping you find your ground!
How to Do
- Begin by standing still. Take a deep breath, and raise your arms above your head, interlocking the fingers.
- Turn the palms upward, and exhale. Then, take another deep breath, and stretch your arms and chest as much as you can, holding the position.
- Relax the muscles, and breathe out.
The entire vertebral column gets a workout, loosening stiffness and helping achieve a strong balance, physically and mentally.
7. The Downward Dog Pose
Mimicking the typical nature of dogs looking under them, the adho mukha svanasana is a nifty pose to make you feel better.
How to Do
- Rest on all fours, and lift your hips up to make an inverted V shape.
- Spreading your arms and legs, and keeping stable, gently breathe in and breathe out.
- Relax down by bending the knees, and resting your chest down.
- Make sure to perform this pose when someone is around to supervise, in case you need support.
It makes your legs stronger, and it affects you internally by stimulating digestion, improving breathing, and bringing mental calm.
8. Neck Rolls
As basic as it might seem, the kantha sanchalana can affect multiple muscles at the same time in one go.
How to Do
- Stand still, and roll your head in different directions.
- Start with back and forth, then left and right, and rotate in both directions.
Any stiffness from the neck, shoulder, and the head will be lost within no time!
The benefits of yoga have been mentioned by various people in a multitude of ways. In the second trimester, prenatal yoga can play a vital role in keeping the mother healthy and preparing the body for the baby’s birth. When done right, it can keep you at peace, and let you enjoy your pregnancy in a healthy way. However, it should be noted that prenatal yoga exercises are recommended only if your pregnancy is not high risk, and no medical or surgical abnormalities have been diagnosed. Make sure to consult your gynaecologist before you begin prenatal yoga.