SEQUENCING YOGA CLASSES FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

22 Dec

Pregnant Woman Yoga Serenity

(Please try under the guidance of your doctor)

FIRST TRIMESTER (WEEK 1-WEEK 14)

During first trimester many women experience extreme fatigue as the body adapts to the intense hormonal and physical changes of pregnancy. Nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness and urinary tract infections are also common. Thus, yoga in the first trimester should focus on bringing balance in the mental and physical state of the woman.

First trimester yoga should be gentle and nourishing with a focus on meditation and relaxation, gentle hip opening poses and gentle strengthening poses.

First Trimester Contraindications

In the first trimester women should refrain from over-exerting themselves and should avoid overheating. Any pose that over stretches the abdominal muscles or requires jumps and back bending should be avoided.

(Please try under the guidance of your doctor)

SECOND TRIMESTER (WEEK 15-WEEK 26)

Women often feel strong, healthy and active during the second trimester. The baby bump has started to grow and the woman is now visibly pregnant. The movement of the baby can be felt somewhere around the 20th week.

With modifications and support, women in the second trimester can often do a well-rounded practice. Standing postures should be supported with modifications. Reclining poses can be done on an incline to avoid compressing the vena cava. Chest and hip-opening poses are the favourites in this trimester. Pranayama such as nadi shodhana and brahmari breathing are also excellent. A prenatal variation of surya namaskarcan be practiced as the belly expands as a warm up.

Second Trimester Contraindications

At this stage, asanasrequiring lying on the back or stomach should be avoided. Poses involving backbends that cause the abdomen to stretch are not advised. Ustrasana  camel), Navasana  boat pose), deep twists, chakrasana upward bow), and poses requiring quick and jerky motions should be avoided.

Women who have complications such as a low-lying placenta, multiple fetuses, decreased fetal movement, leaking amniotic fluid, pre-eclampsia, shortness of breath, spotting, or other abnormalities should be advised to consult a doctor before continuing yoga.

(Please try under the guidance of your doctor)

THIRD TRIMESTER WEEK 27– WEEK 40)

The third trimester is frequently marked by fatigue and a general sense of heaviness. Common complaints include varicose veins, hemorrhoids, backaches, migraine, hypertension, itchiness, swelling of the feet, frequent urination etc. As the woman feels heavy, she cannot perform asanas demanding flexibility. In addition, due to the growing belly, there is a shift in the center of gravity. This leads to loss of balance. It is recommended that a woman in her third trimester use solid supports such as walls and stable chairs to assist in stabilising poses, under the watchful eyes of an experienced instructor.

Yoga in the third trimester should focus on opening and creating space in the mother’s body. Class should also provide relaxation and relief from the physical demands of pregnancy and assist in preparing for childbirth.

Third Trimester Contraindications

Due to fatigue in late pregnancy, women should practice only very gentle forms of yoga. The yoga teacher should modify the poses accordingly. Deep squatting poses should be avoided during this trimester as the fetus is already pressing the pelvic floor. As the baby grows, it will put pressure on the liver on the right hand side and could cause thoracic pain.

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