As part of our prenatal yoga series, we’re covering the benefits of practicing prenatal yoga and the poses you can do in each stage of pregnancy. Our fourth and final part touches on poses that are appropriate for the third trimester. As with any exercise regimen, you should consult your doctor before doing the poses we’ve mentioned below. Keep in mind that the third trimester can make performing these exercises challenging as the weight you carry and the size of your belly can hinder certain movements. However, there are always ways to modify poses so that you reap the benefits of yoga. Here are 5 third trimester-friendly poses to try along with their modifications.
The seated side bend is a gentle exercise that stretches the neck, shoulders, and obliques. It also relieves back pain that’s a frequent complaint during pregnancy. It’s a good stress-reliever too and it reduces anxiety. When doing the pose, be sure not to force yourself to bend too far. Stop if you feel any pain. If you can’t comfortably sit with your legs crossed, fold one and extend the other in front. Twist towards your bent knee. You can also rest on a couple of thickly folded blankets if you find sitting straight to be a problem.
Warrior I pose is similar to warrior II, which we’ve covered in Prenatal Yoga for the second trimester. However, the pose provides a deeper stretch to the chest and does the same for the lungs, shoulders, back, and groin. It strengthens the muscles of the legs and the back to help you carry your baby’s weight with ease. If it’s your first time doing warrior I, you may have trouble aligning your knee to your feet. Remember to keep the knee positioned directly above the ankle and keep the hips facing forward. If the stretch to the chest is too much for you, keep your hands in front. You can also place your back knee on the floor for balance.
Sukhasana is rightly called easy pose as it’s a basic exercise that’s suitable for practitioners for all levels. It’s often done when meditating but it has other benefits such as lengthening the spine and opening the hips, which can help prepare you for labor. It also promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety. If you have stiffness in your legs, use blankets to prop up your knees. You can also sit on cushions to remove pressure from the hip bones. Sit in this pose for as long as you feel comfortable. If your back starts to strain, sit against a wall or use a chair.
The seated mountain pose is another sitting exercise. However, unlike easy pose, it provides an all-round stretch to the trunk and the shoulders. It releases tension from these areas and calms the mind. It also grounds you and instills energy in the body. You can use blankets to cushion the floor and make sitting more comfortable. If your back tends to strain, sit against a wall for support. If you can’t bend your knees properly to sit on the floor, sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
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This pose is more challenging than the rest as it requires you to stretch your legs wide and bend forward. However, it can be modified to remove pressure from your belly. You’ll still see benefits like the opening of the hip abductor muscles and groin and strengthening of the spine. To perform the pose without placing pressure on your belly, sit with your legs stretched out on either side and bend slightly forward. Don’t let your stomach touch the floor and keep your spine straight at all times. You can also bend your knees a little when leaning forward.
Yoga is a great way to bring balance to your life, both physically and mentally. It teaches you how to relax and deal with the pressures that come with pregnancy. It keeps you focused and centered, strengthens the body and helps prepare you for childbirth. It can also help you sleep better by lowering stress and anxiety. Insomnia is a common complaint among pregnant women so it’s important to address it in order to get the rest you need. You can also improve your quality of sleep by using a mattress designed to provide comfort and support.
The Nuvanna mattress is the perfect answer to sleep troubles. It’s created by a materials scientist with over 20 years of experience in the industry. The top layer features cooling gel technology that draws away body heat and disperses it to keep you cool. The middle layer isolates motion and allows you and yours to move without disturbing each other. This ensures you get better sleep, which is something that can be hard to find when pregnant. The bottom layer provides support to individual parts of the body and the spine and helps prevent back pain – another pregnancy complaint as your body adjusts to accommodate your baby.
Yoga can seem a little daunting if you’ve never tried it. However, there are many poses that cater to first-timers and that don’t require much strength and flexibility. Once you practice them regularly, you’ll find it much easier to perform them in their entirety. Yoga can make pregnancy more enjoyable and easier to deal with so consider making it a part of your life as an expectant mom and beyond!