A positive pregnancy test can be a life changing experience! As you begin to grow and nurture a beautiful baby inside you, you’ll almost certainly begin to feel the impact of painful cramps, hormonal changes, and an exhausted body. After all, most of us get a stiff back just from a bad night’s sleep or from lugging around a backpack for 2 hours; imagine 9 months of growing a baby inside you!! To help manage the discomfort (somewhat!) we have 5 amazing prenatal ashtanga yoga poses, like the butterfly pose, that will help protect and strengthen your back during your pregnancy.
5 Yoga poses for your Back during Pregnancy:
1. Paravatsana (Seated-mountain pose)
As the name suggests, this asana asks you to channel your inner mountain. Paravatsana is all about strength, stillness, and stability.
- Sit on the floor with your legs crossed.
- Hold your hands to your sides with the palms facing up. Keep your shoulders relaxed with a straight neck and back.
- Focusing on a point in front of you and breathing in, slowly raise your arms above your head till your palms join each other.
- For a few seconds, hold your posture and breath in this position.
- Slowly, breathe out and let your hands drop back to their starting position.
- You can also try holding your pose for a few more seconds if the pose is comfortable for you.
2. Baddha Konasana (Butterfly pose)
The butterfly pose is one the most useful poses during pregnancy as its used to open your hips and stretch your pelvic region. Accordingly, the butterfly pose is one of the most popular yoga exercises during pregnancy and is very helpful for women in the lead up to childbirth. Take a yoga instructor’s help if you need it.
- Sit in a comfortable position with your back as straight as possible.
- Slowly bring your feet in front of you, bent from the knees as they rests on the mat.
- Join the soles of the feet together, as close as is comfortable from your pelvis.
- Gently bounce the legs up and down to loosen the muscles.
- Once you are comfortable, you can start holding both your feet during the up and downward stretches
- Baby bump permitting, try to pull your joined legs closer to your body
3. Marjaryasana (Cat and cow pose)
The cat and cow pose is an excellent pose to try while you’re pregnant. Not only does the pose stretch your spine, but it also helps tones those abdominal muscles. In effect, this pose keeps your spine flexible while improving the blood circulation in the body. Let a yoga instructor guide you if you feel the need to be guided through this.
- Take the pose of a cat, balancing your body on your palms, knees, and relaxed legs.
- Fold a towel below your knees or put a fitness ball below your chest in case of any discomfort.
- Inhaling, lift your head up, opening your chest and pushing your back to the ground.
- Hold the stretch for a few seconds, or as long as is comfortable for you.
- Exhaling, push your back towards the sky and tuck your chin in towards your chest.
- Again, hold the stretch for a few seconds or as long as is comfortable.
- Repeat 5 to 7 times.
4. Kandharasana (Shoulder pose)
Another savior prenatal yoga pose for pregnant women is the Kandharasana. It helps to open the chest, improve lung capacity, and to heal your aching shoulders and back.
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, keeping your hands by your side.
- Let your palms either rest flat on the floor or if you can take a firm grip of your ankles.
- Inhale as you lift your waist up as you arch your back upwards. Your body should be kept supported by your head, hands, and feet.
- Stay here in this final pose as you squeeze your hip muscles and hold your breath.
- Exhale, as you gently lower your hips to the ground, loosening the grip of your hands, and relaxing your legs.
- Repeat 5 to 7 times.
5. Savasana (corpse pose)
Savasana is the cooling down or meditative asana in this practise. It is designed to consciously relax your body and mind. Women often like this asana as it helps to release stress from the body and also helps them to connect with their baby.
- Lie down on your back with your arms next to you, facing the ceiling. You can keep a pillow below your knees or your head to ease any discomfort.
- Focus on your breath and relax all the muscles of your body.
Want to do even more Prenatal Yoga?
All of these 5 prenatal asanas are great for strengthening your back as well as stretching it to relieve any tension or discomfort. In the long run, a regular practise of these asanas can help you throughout the 9 months of your pregnancy and even after the birth.
If you’ve enjoyed these asanas then you might want to help yourself to even more yoga routines. If you prefer to stay home, then you might want to check out this 25 minutes video by one of our favourite channels Boho Beautiful Yoga. Or if you want a more dedicated channel Pregnancy and Postpartum TV has a variety of dedicated prenatal workout videos to fit any role.
Alternatively, if you prefer a more personal experience, then you might want to look for a dedicated prenatal yoga class near you. Avaana can help you find the perfect yoga class for any skill level, and if you book with us you can even get 20% off your first yoga booking.
Be well, feel good, and smile a lot!