Childbearing is one of the most difficult, yet wonderful experience in a woman’s life. Prenatal yoga is the most important and the most effective way of preparing your body for the final day of delivery. Not just this, prenatal yoga ensures good health of the unborn and the mom-to-be. Yoga starts from the first two semesters. However, things can change quite a bit during the third trimester. You may feel full, sick, or uncomfortable; you feel your baby shifting and kicking. This is the time when a modification in your yoga routine needs to be changed.
Any good prenatal yoga practice, especially during the third trimester, should include a focus on modified asanas. Tweak your practice to include more poses for hips, thighs, hamstrings, the pelvis, and midsection. These areas are essential for birth giving and help you prepare better for your delivery.
Pelvic tilts at the very beginning of your practice are extremely helpful. These loosen you up, and strengthen the back and abdomen. To do a pelvic tilt, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. You will feel your lower back lift off the ground. While exhaling, move your hips to the left and make a circle; repeat on the other side to complete one set. Complete 5-10 before moving on.
Virasana (Hero’s Pose) and Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose) are a great series for opening up your pelvic region and midsection. To modify, put your hand on a block placed perpendicularly on the ground to ease the length of the stretch and increase support.
Hips, Thighs, and Hamstrings
Poses that provide an opening of the hips, thighs, and hamstrings, will serve as great training for the big day. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler’s pose) and Suptha Baddha Konasana (Goddess pose) is a great pair of stretches for this purpose. Bow out your knees to form a triangle. In these poses, keep your spine straight and loosen the muscles of your legs to bring them closer to your mat.
In the last few months, give your crunched midsection a break by trying a few side bend poses. Focus on sideways flexing to the left and right with a pose like Parighasana (or Gate Pose). Only if comfortable, try Parivrtta Janu Sirsana (Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose). These poses will make you feel longer, and strengthen the muscles between your ribs.
At this point, modifying your asanas is a vital part of your prenatal yoga practice. Support tools such as towels, blocks, and bands are excellent ways to get a deep stretch without risking the health of you and the baby within.