Yoga is a very gentle way of increasing the strength of your mind, body and spirit. Yoga has a lot of benefits, especially if it is religiously practiced post-pregnancy. A woman’s body undergoes some drastic changes during pregnancy and yoga can help de-stress the body post childbirth. All-in-all, it is very helpful in post-natal recovery.
Some additional benefits of yoga include regaining posture, which was lost during pregnancy when the spine was greatly stressed, and reducing stress on the neck and shoulder when the mother has to nurse the child.
For new moms, here are a few yoga exercises that can help in the reduction of weight gained during pregnancy:
- Sthitaprarthanasana- This is more commonly known as the standing prayer pose. To perform this exercise, stand tall with your feet together and ensure that both toes and heels touch each other. Join your hands together at the chest level, keeping your back straight. Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed throughout. Now, with your abdomen sucked inwards, close your eyes and observe your breath. Conduct this pose for at least 3-5 minutes. The benefits of this asana include managing your breathing pattern and regaining your posture.
- Hastapadangustasana- Dubbed as the ‘hand to toe’ pose, start by lying down on the floor with your legs extended straight. Inhale while raising your right arm at a sharp right angle. Exhale while slowly raising your right leg and hold your big toe. Maintain this position for a few seconds and then come back to your starting position. Repeat this with your left limbs. And then do the same with both legs together. This is a great yoga exercise to help burn belly fat faster.
- Parvatasana: This is also called the ‘mountain pose’. It is a very versatile exercise that deals with all forms of upward stretches, right and left twists, bending and more. Start this yoga exercise by sitting in ‘sukhasana’ or with your legs crossed and back straight. Inhale deeply, and raise your hands above your head doing ‘namaste’.
Keep your elbows straight with your shoulders close to your eyes but not touching them, and fingers straight (not interlocked). Maintain this pose for as long as you can, stretching upwards. Exhale and twist your body (waist up) to your right. Come back to the original cross-legged position. Repeat the same exercise and this time during exhalation twist your body to the left and then return to the normal position.