Blogs

Prenatal Yoga and a Few Key Poses to Practice

Should you practice yoga during pregnancy? You bet! A regular prenatal yoga practice can give you more energy, help you get and stay in touch with your changing body and prepare you to have an easier delivery. Plus, prenatal yoga can ease the discomforts of pregnancy, such as moodiness, shortness of breath, swollen ankles, nausea, indigestion and insomnia.

We have many yoga classes that are suitable for you to take part in during your pregnancy at all of our CNY Healing Arts Centers. Check out our class schedule here, it’s separated by location: Syracuse, Albany and Rochester. We hope to see you soon!

Below are a few of the poses that can be very useful to you during this prenatal time. Enjoy and remember you are doing a wonderful job nourishing yourself and your baby by showing up to your yoga practice whether you do 1 pose or a full 60 minute class.

  • Tree Pose is a wonderful balance posture. As you practice this pose you may enjoy the empowering feeling you get when you are in the pose and balancing perfectly. Especially during this time of life when your body is so rapidly changing and may feel a little off balance.
  • Camel Pose is a great upper spine arch and heart opener.
  • Malasana Squat is a pelvic opening pose that’s a perfect birth posture. Note: Do not do malasana squat after 35 weeks because it might bring on labor.
  • Cat Pose is great for stretching your spine and delivering nourishment to the area as well as being good for the baby.
  • Child’s Pose is a fantastic stretch for your back and a wonderfully relaxing pose. It’s one of the favorites that many yogis return to during their practice for a little break and opportunity to go inward.
  • Downward Facing Dog Pose is a wonderful pose and a save inversion for you to do during your pregnancy. It will bring fresh blood to the upper part of our body and underneath the organs. This one can also relieve tension in your back as it stretches during the pose.

The Health Benefits of Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

Our staff at CNY Healing Arts presents you with one of our favorite asanas. What we love about camel pose is that, when performed correctly, nearly all the major muscles of our bodies are being stretched. In addition, it stimulates and tones many of our limbs, including the chest, abdomen, and thighs. In short, the front side of our bodies are getting fully involved. Note that beginners should only hold this posture for about 20 seconds to avoid straining anything.

Ustrasana work subtly, but brilliantly, to improve conditions of the digestive, respiratory, endocrine, lymphatic, skeletal, and circulatory systems. This posture is recommended for people suffering from asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, thyroid and parathyroid disorders, spondylitis, and voice disorders. Doctors may also suggest camel pose to people who have constipation, colitis, dyspepsia, obesity of the thighs or arms, and Genito-urinary disorder of the kidney, urinary bladder, ovaries, testes and prostate. In Sanskrit, “ustra” means camel and “asana” means pose, hence the English name.

Getting into Camel Pose:

Begin Ustrasana by kneeling on the floor or a yoga mat. If your knees are sensitive, kneel on extra padding. Make sure your knees are hip width apart and thighs are perpendicular to the floor. The soles of your feet should face upward, toenails touching the floor. Place your palms on your hips and try to keep your outer hips as soft as possible. Breathe deeply.

Use your hands to lengthen your back pelvis and draw the tailbone towards the pubis. Inhale and lift your heart by pressing your shoulder blades to the back of your ribs. Begin to arc your back. Withdraw your arms one at a time from your hips and place them on your heels. Press your palms firmly against your heels to keep from losing your balance. Turn your arms outward so that the elbow creases face forward. Arch your back until your arms are straight. Imagine that there is a string tied around your waist that pulls you upward towards the sky.

If you find it difficult to keep your thighs perpendicular to the floor, try tilting the thighs backward individually as you touch hand to heel, using entirely the left or right side limbs. Press each thigh back into perpendicular position before joining the opposite hand and heel. Furthermore, if you cannot touch your feet without compressing your lower back, turn your toes under and raise your heels.

You can keep your neck at a neutral position, neither flexed nor extended, or drop your head back. Be careful not to strain your neck or tighten your throat. Maintain this posture for 30 seconds to a minute. Breathe calm and deep.

Benefits of Camel Pose:

  • Reduces fat on thighs
  • Opens up the hips, stretching deep hip flexors
  • Stretches and strengthens the shoulders and back
  • Expands the abdominal region, improving digestion and elimination
  • Improves posture
  • Opens the chest, improving respiration
  • Loosens up the vertebrae
  • Relieves lower back pain
  • Helps to heal and balance the chakras
  • Strengthens thighs and arms
  • Improves flexibility, especially in the spine
  • Stimulates endocrine glands
  • Releases tension in the ovaries
  • Stretches the ankles, thighs, groin, abdomen, chest, and throat
  • Cures constipation
  • Tones organs of the abdomen, pelvis, and neck
  • Complements overall health and well-being