Practicing yoga during pregnancy is a great way to nurture you and your baby. It can also help you cope and prepare both your mind and body for any pregnancy demands and challenges that you may face especially during the third trimester.
With the onset of the third trimester, extra weight may be causing a considerable discomfort. The pressure of your large belly on the internal organs may result in heartburn, frequent urination, lower back pain, cramping in the front and side abdominals, shortness of breath, interrupted sleep, difficulty moving, and clumsiness. You might have unstable joints due to the hormone relaxin, which allows your pelvis to widen so that you can deliver, and you may experience dizziness as well as swelling in the hands and feet because of slowed circulation caused by the hormone progesterone.
Yoga during pregnancy helps you to create space for both your baby and your internal organs. However, make sure that you only do what feels right and works, avoid muscle strains and extreme pressure exercises.
There are plenty of yoga techniques that can help you to prepare for labour in the 3rd trimester. Before you try out yoga, make sure you talk to your doctor. This way, you may know the do and don’t during this stage. The following are some of the common yoga exercises to try out during the third trimester.
This is a great pose for lengthening your spine and strengthen your core muscles
This pose is a great technique for all pregnancy stages. It will help strengthen your belly as the pregnancy continues to grow. This asana also relieves the back and allow a better circulation of spinal fluids and blood.
Practice belly breathing when performing this pose. It will aid in calming your mind and reducing morning sickness.
It should be done about 5 times for best results.
Bend the right leg up and place the foot overhanging the left knee. Hold the right toes with the left hand. Steady the right ankle with the right hand. Gently rotate the right ankle around in a large circle, exploring to the very perimeters of movement. Do 10 gentle rotations in each direction, and then 10 rotations in each direction with the other ankle, coordinating the movement with slow, gentle breaths.
Good for stiffness and poor circulation in the feet. Helps extend sitting time in meditation postures. Especially useful in case of water retention, cramping, and post-epidural numbness in the feet and legs.
This pose is convenient if you want to open up your hips and strengthen your glutes, core, and hamstrings. Also, it can be practiced in all the trimesters.
Begin on the side and roll to the back as you move your body into a bridge pose. This helps avoid stressing your rectus abdominals.
Avoid this exercise if you feel uncomfortable on your back.
This technique helps you explore your upper body. It helps to open up your chest and strengthen your legs. This technique helps restore the health of your spine and help make space for the growing uterus.
Also, it helps your mind relax and stay focused and maintain balance. It can be performed as follows;
• Place your feet apart in a hip-width position.
• Pivot on the left foot.
• Make your right foot to face forward.
• Lower the pelvis, then assume a lunge.
• Look forward and lift your arms above your head.
• Hold that position as long as possible.
• Release the pose.
• Repeat the process with the left foot forward.
This technique is great for strengthening your core and legs and as well as lengthen your spine. Even though this technique is a little bit challenging, it is said to help alleviate backaches during pregnancy.
Come back into Vajrasana again, keeping your knees and thighs separate, and gently bend forward, placing your forehead on floor or on the cushion in front. Extend arms forward, palms pressed into the floor. Rest with gentle breaths. If you are not comfortable with this, you can modify it into Puppy Pose by lifting your buttocks up and stretching the hands further.
This is a great shoulder and chest opener and creates a lot of space in the torso.
Palm Tree Pose
Stand with your feet together and your arms at your side. As you inhale, raise your arms over your head, interlock your fingers, and then turn the palms upward. As you exhale, place your hands over your head. Inhale and stretch your arms, shoulders and chest upwards. Stretch your whole body from top to bottom. While exhaling, bring your hands on top of your head. Relax for few seconds, and repeat the whole round 5-10 times.
Helps develop physical and mental balance. The entire spine is stretched and loosened, helping the back to stretch and relax.
This technique is said to improve the health of the reproductive system. During pregnancy, it aids in opening up the pelvis, therefore ensuring an easy and fast labour.
It is also said to calm the mind and improve blood circulation. This yoga practice can be performed as follows:
• Sit on a mat and stretch out your legs.
• Fold your knees and bring your feet at the centre.
• Then straighten your back.
• Using your palms hold your feet for a few seconds.
• Repeat this about 4 times.
Half Bound Angle Pose
Sit with your legs outstretched. Fold your right leg and place your right foot as far up on the left thigh as possible. Place your right hand on top of your folded right knee. Hold the toes of your right foot with your left hand. While breathing out, gently move your right knee up towards your chest. Breathing in, gently push your knee down towards the floor. Make sure that you are keeping your torso straight. Repeat with your left leg. Slowly practice about 10 up and down movements with each leg.
Lie on the side of your stomach with your fingers interlocked under your cheek. Support the right cheek over the interlocked fingers. Bend the left leg sideways, and bring the left knee close to the ribs.
Your right leg should remain straight. Turn the arms to the left, and try to touch the left elbow on the left knee. If this is not comfortable, simply rest it on the floor. Rest the right side of the head on the right arm. Relax in the final pose, and after some time, change sides. Your bent knee and head may be supported on a pillow for further comfort.
Give yourself proper time for savasana. In your third trimester, this posture is ideal for relaxing and sleeping, and also redistributes excess weight around waistline.