Hey mommies, congratulations! You have made it to the second trimester– the golden period which lasts between 13-28 weeks. By now, most of you must be relieved after all that morning sickness and the adjustment period. But that’s not the case with everyone though. Nonetheless, here we are.
So, let’s see what’s happening with your body. The most obvious and visible change is your protruding belly as the little munchkin is growing. You might also find that your breasts have increased in size. Your energy levels are better.
Some other ‘possible’ changes could be- little aches and cramps in the lower abdomen, backache, Brackston-Hicks’s contractions, frequent urination, headaches (most common), in some cases constipation and heartburn, changes in the skin, UTI and weight gain.
Now if you have read my previous article; practicing yoga during the first trimester; this article is about how you could prepare and strengthen your body and muscles for labour.
If you have already been practicing yoga at home during the first trimester, then you have a fairly rough idea about your body and your limitations. Now, since there are significant changes in your body, you need to be a little more mindful about your body’s needs and discomforts.
Most women tend to get more comfortable with their bodies by this time. Practicing yoga at home during this phase helps elevate the progesterone levels which eases some of the aches, helps relax your muscles,improves blood circulation and aids in digestion. At the same time, it also helps in strengthening your muscles, which is particularly useful during childbirth.
Unlike, in the previous article, I would first like to mention certain precautions that you need to take during the second trimester while practicing yoga at home during pregnancy:
- Make it a point to listen to your body. Do not try to push your limits and try challenging poses; especially if you are new to yoga. Veterans, you for sure know what to do. For the beginners, the asanas listed below are absolutely safe to practice.
- Make sure that your heart rate does not escalate.
- Do not jolt your body my making quick sudden movements while getting into asanas.
- It is advisable to avoid intense abdominal practices like planks etc.
- Now it is time to minimise excessive twisting of your lower back (waist) and spine. From now on, focus on twisting of the upper back.
- Minimise or totally avoid backbends. I would suggest that you avoid backbends altogether.
- And most importantly, breathe. Just because you are doing an asana doesn’t mean that you hold your breath. This could prove to be detrimental. Keep yourself calm, cool and focus on your breathing.
Having said that, let us now get to the asanas…
1. Vishnuasana (The Side Leg Raise)
This is relatively very simple. And can also be fun to practice. To learn how to do the asana, check here.
Benefits: This asana is great to relax the abdominal muscles, the hamstrings, and the inner thigh. This is a great stretching pose and also helps in increasing the flexibility.
2. Trikonasana (The Triangle Pose)
Even though this asana is simple, most of you might find it difficult to maintain your balance, especially because of the growing tummy. Pay attention to your body because most of you might tend to sway and lose balance and we do not want that. Hence, I suggest that you take the support of a wall so that you can easily get into the asana while maintaining proper balance and body alignment.
To learn how to do the asana, check here.
Benefits: This is a great pose to practice as this pose boosts the blood circulation in the body. It is also an excellent pose to get rid of all the aches and pains in the body.
3. AdhoMukhasvasana (The Downward Facing Dog)
Even though, not advised during the first trimester, this asana is great once you have entered your second trimester and is an excellent pose while practicing yoga at home during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, inverted postures or inversions should be preferably avoided. However, this asana isn’t exactly a complete inversion as in this pose the pelvis and the feet aren’t above the heart.
To learn how to do this asana, check here.
Benefits: Excellent pose for strengthening your legs. It also helps in stimulating digestion, improves your breathing and breath control and helps you stay calm. It is a great pose to relax.
4. AshtaChandrasana (Cresent Lunge)
This pose is an excellent hip opener and flexor.
To learn how to do this asana check here.
Benefits: It also stretches the hip. It helps in relieving backaches, improves balance and stability.
5. Parsvottasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)
Now, this pose is an intense pose, as the name suggests. Although it is ok to practice during the second trimester, it is advisable to avoid this in the later stage of pregnancy. You need to patiently get into this pose. No jerky movements. Make sure that you keep your chest lifted. You could also use props like blocks or a chair to maintain the space in the abdomen.
To learn how to do the pose, check here.
Benefits: it helps get rid of the stiffness in the back, hip muscles, shoulders, and neck. It helps improve the flexibility and elasticity of the hip joints and spine, which proves to be beneficial during childbirth.
6. UpavisthaKonasana (Wide Angled Seated Forward Bend)
It is a fabulous pose to try while practicing yoga at home during pregnancy. While doing this pose, please keep in mind to not push your limits. Get into this pose gently. And remember to breathe.
To learn how to do this asana, check here.
Benefits: It helps in strengthening the pelvic muscles. Great pose to improve blood circulation in the pelvis and abdomen. It also helps strengthen the spine, lower back, and the sacrum. It is beneficial in reducing labour pains.
7. Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (One -Legged King Pigeon Pose).
This is a great pose to include in your routine while practicing yoga at home during pregnancy. It is basically a hip opener asana. You could place a block or pillow under your buttock for support.
To learn how to do the asana, click here.
Benefits: Helps to alleviate lower back tension and also reduce backaches during pregnancy. It also increases the flexibility of the hip muscles and aids in better digestion. It is also said that it helps in reducing any kind of mental stress or tension.
8. Agnistambhasana (Fire Log Pose) or (Ankle to Knee Pose)
This is a simple seated pose, and one must include this pose in their daily yogasana routine.
To learn how to do the pose, click here.
Benefits: this is an excellent pose in opening your back and to release any form of stress from your glutes. The best part about this pose is that it helps create space in you belly for the little one growing inside you.
9. Malasana (The Squat Pose)
This is a pose that would require you to get into a full squat position. However, be in tune with your body. Do not strain yourself while getting into the pose. Use a block or a pillow if you feel the need for support.
To learn how to do the pose here.
Benefits: This pose works mainly on the hips and thighs. This is important because strengthening of the legs will help support your growing and heavy abdomen. It helps in widening of the hip and pelvis which could help make the process of childbirth smooth and easy. It also improves the blood circulation and gives your hips and thighs a good stretch.
10. VipritaKarani (Legs Up the Wall Pose)
By the time you are well into your second trimester, you might not like the idea of being on your back. This is where practicing this pose provides great relief. While doing this pose, use a blanket or a pillow to place under your hip to create an elevation instead of being flat on your back.
To learn how to do the pose, click here.
Benefits: This pose is the only pose that will help you receive every benefit of full inversion posture, without putting any kind of strain on you and your baby. It increases blood circulation in the legs as well as in the lymph. It greatly reduces back pain, reduces insomnia and aids digestion.
These are some of the many poses that you could try while practicing yoga at home during your second trimester. However, there are many other poses as well, but I picked these few as they are less strenuous and easy to practice.
Coming up soon with Yoga asanas for the Third trimester!