One of the most difficult things a woman has to experience throughout the course of her life is when she is pregnant.
Apart from the tremendous pain, she has to endure when the baby decides to come out, she will have to undergo a substantial amount discomfort and various kinds pains during the pregnancy period.
When a woman is pregnant, she will have many sleepless nights, and when she does get to sleep, there will be a high chance that she will be woken up by a hellish cramp.
Being pregnant taking pharmaceutical medicine is out of the question.
There are only a few natural remedies and options available to her to help her get through the arduous journey without losing her mind, and yoga stretching is one of them.
1. Child Pose
For the first stretch, you start with a kneeling position. Keep your legs apart wide enough to accommodate your belly.
You then raise both your open-palm hands up above your head and gently lean forward until both outstretch hands touch the floor in front you. Your face should be facing the down the floor, with your chin tucked in.
This will stretch your lower back and spine helping relieve pain in that area.
2. Cat-Cow Pose
The second stretch will require you to support your body with your hands and knees. Some call this as the cat-cow stretch, but what is important is that you find a comfortable and stable position.
First is to let your baby hang down and let all tension be release from you back.
Then slowly move your upper back towards the sky as high and as comfortably as you can. This will open up those tightened muscles from carrying the weight of your baby.
Continue this cycle for at least eight iterations.
3. Side-lying Pose
To safely perform this stretch all you need to do is to lie down on your back first. Roll on to your side and support your head with the hand cupping your face while the elbow is in contact with the floor. Then try to touch the soles of your feet while pulling them inward towards your body.
This will stretch the pelvic muscles as well as your leg muscles. Try to breathe slowly as you repeat the stretch alternating the side that gets to be in contact with the floor.
4. Butterfly Pose
For this stretch, sit comfortably on the floor and put both bottoms of your feet together with your knees pointing to each side.
Slowly move both your knees downwards while moving your hips forward. (Move knees back up slowly and move them downwards again, repeat this cycle for at least 8 times.)
You can also put both your hands behind you to support your body.
This is called the butterfly stretch and is a great way to relax your hip flexors.
Another common variation for this stretch is to hold both your lower legs with both hands. And with your chin tucked in and lean your torso forward as you plant your buttocks firmly on the floor.
5. Side-Bend Sitting Pose
Sit in a crossed leg position and press your hips as hard as you can to the ground.
Start with your left hand and stretch it over head as you tilt your body to the right and try to reach out as far as you can.
Your right hand is pressed on the floor to your right to support your body weight during the shift.
Repeat these steps with your right hand going over. Do this for at least 8 iterations.
6. Extended Side Angle Pose
Start with a wide right side forward stance with your right foot tilting to the side. Then bring down your right elbow down on top of your right knee while you stretch your left hand outwards over your head to the right.
You will feel your left hips stretch and as any tension on that area is relieved.
Repeat the steps on your left side using the right arms to stretch over your head this time. There are many variations for this type of stretch with the objective of stretching the hips and the pelvis area.
7. Head-to-knee Pose
For this stretch start out with an Indian squat and then hold your right lower leg with your right hand for balance and support.
Extend your left leg to the side with the toes pointing up. And then gently tilt your body to the left and touch the toes on your left foot with your left hand. Push your hips downwards as you try to reach as far as you can. Replicate the steps for the other side. This is a variation of the butterfly stretch which also loosens up your leg muscles.
8. Extended Triangle Pose
Start with a wide stance that is almost two times your shoulder width. Then stretch both of your arms to the side as straight as you can and as far as you can.
Then while holding this position, slowly tilt your body to the side and try to touch your left foot with your left hand.
It does not matter if you can’t reach it yet as long as you try to reach down as far as you can. Repeat this stretch for each side of the body for at least 8 iterations. Remember that the wider your stance is the more difficult it will be for your hands to reach your foot.
There are a lot of variations for the stretches mentioned above. They are all borrowed from Yoga and these stretches focus on the areas that may be affected by the pains and cramps brought about by the pregnancy.
Another important point to mention is that these stretches are non-strenuous and may be safely performed by pregnant women. Contrary to what you may believe, being pregnant requires a woman to perform regular walks and various exercises.
This will promote better health not only for the baby but also for the expecting mother. They are always encouraged to do stretches that not only help alleviate pains and cramps but will also help prepare their muscles come labor time.