Main Principles of Iyengar Yoga and Basic Workout for Pregnant Ladies
Yoga is a philosophical and religious doctrine from India, which helps to acquire self-awareness, harmony and teaches people how to manage their own physiological processes.
Iyengar Yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga in which there is a focus on the structural alignment of the physical body through the development of asanas. Iyengar Yoga makes emphasis on the correct position of the body in order to make it softer and more flexible, to learn to perform the asanas without strain.
Iyengar Yoga involves the study of asanas and pranayama, as well as other higher yoga postures until Samadhi. An important advantage of Iyengar Yoga is the gradual development of the practice, the shift from simple to more complex postures. Iyengar Yoga can also be used for medicinal purposes.
Another significant advantage is Iyengar Yoga often makes use of props, such as belts, blocks, and blankets, as aids in performing postures. The props enable students to perform the asanas correctly, minimizing the risk of injury or strain, and making the postures accessible to both young and old, as well as pregnant women.
Trainings during pregnancy
Iyengar pregnancy yoga has a pronounced therapeutic effect. For this reason, Iyengar yoga is recommended to engage in for all those who have health problems and poor sports and physical training.
Hatha Yoga, as well as Iyengar Yoga, is more useful and safe for pregnant women, as it is more suitable to relieve pain and discomfort during childbearing.
If you decided to practice Iyengar yoga while pregnant, you can be confident that the correct performance of asanas is a guarantee of strong therapeutic effect. Owing to gradual and smooth shift towards more complex exercises, Iyengar Yoga is completely suitable for newly pregnant women with poor physical training.
But what about yoga during the first trimester? Iyengar said, ‘In the first three months of pregnancy, you can perform all the yoga asanas. All the standing postures and forward bends should be performed very gently, because the spine must be getting soft and flexible, and one should not feel pressured in the abdomen.’
According to his words, Iyengar Yoga is completely safe even during the first trimester in case you haven’t got any contraindications or serious medical conditions. Do not overstrain yourself and control your workout.
Postures for pregnant ladies
All asanas should be performed on an empty stomach, not earlier than 2-3 hours after a meal. Your next meal should be 1-2 hours after the workout.
- Original stance – supine position on the mat. Slowly raise your head and lift your body up.
- Bend your right leg and place the heel toward the buttock. With your right hand grasp the foot from the inside, keep yourself at this time with your left forearm.
- Begin to unfold a bent arm until it touches the top of the foot. The fingers should be directed to the head. Move your hand a little lower, at the same time directing the heel and toes on the floor. Tap the floor with your foot. The pelvis should be located at the same straight.
- Now slowly lift the rib cage to the top. Breathing should be very smooth. Hold asana to 30 seconds.
- In the end, release the foot and slowly put it next to the other foot, do not make any sudden movements. Lower the chest.
- Repeat the asana on the other foot, then have a rest for 1-2 minutes.
This asana helps to stretch the entire forebody: chest, neck, groin, abdomen, ankles, thighs and extensor muscles. It also stimulates the abdominal organs and strengthens the back muscles.
- Original stance – supine position on the mat. Arms along the body, palms down (to support), on the inhale raise both legs up, exhale, throw head a little. Then, while supporting the pelvis or lower back with your hands, make your legs straights vertically at the angle of 45 degrees.Advice: you should relax the feet, legs, neck, face, stomach and all the muscles in general without losing the correct posture.
- Breath in and out strictly through your nose, close your eyes. Focus the strain around your thyroid gland. Keep asana as long as you can (advisable 1-2 minutes for pregnant).
- Slightly resting on your palm, with an exhalation, slowly lower your legs straight on the floor. If it is difficult, make it this way: bend your knees to your chest, lower your feet to the floor, then straighten your legs on the floor.
- Make just a single set of Viparita Karani, then have a rest for 5 minutes.
This asana will help you to “clean up” your body, improve the performance of internal organs, improve cerebral circulation.
Bhadrasana – “posture, that brings good”
- Original stance – sit on the floor, stretch your legs in front of you.
- Slightly swaying from side to side, bend forward and pull your buttocks up slightly bending forward with the pelvis.
- Straighten up. The pelvis remains bent slightly, resulting in a free and natural position of the vertical spine.
- Move your knees apart and put together your feet. Pull them as close as possible to the perineum.
- Without deflecting pelvis back slightly rise on your arms and torso to move closer to the feet.
- Lower the hips to the floor one more time, leaning forward slightly, pull your buttocks back-up, giving the pelvis a stable position in which the spine is straight and vertical. If necessary, you can keep your balance, starting from the floor on your hands, palms are on the floor behind the pelvis.
- When the limit of the natural leg strength is over, relax and sit with spine straight, take up your toes and gently pull the foot a little bit closer.
- Place the hands on the knees and sit freely, of course, with slow and deep breathing.
- Hold “lock” phase as long as possible, it is desirable – for several minutes. Then slowly straighten your legs and wait for the passage of the descending wave.
- Have a rest for 2 minutes, then make another 3 sets.
This asana will help you to prepare the body for delivery: it develops and improves the knee and hip joints, and all the organs that are in the lower abdomen and pelvis.
What asanas are desirable to avoid during pregnancy?
During the first trimester you should avoid asanas with the initial stomach stance, as well as jumping, stretching out the abdomen, while the fetus only begins to fasten to womb walls. By the end of the second trimester you should avoid movements with the initial supine position. Carefully perform exercises that are connected with abdominal muscles and joints, mind your balance, while such exercises could cause cord entanglement.
In this video you will see Iyengar yoga sequence for pregnancy:
Now let’s talk about contradictions that Iyegar yoga has for pregnant ladies:
- medical conditions connected with the work of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems;
- difficult and troublesome pregnancy, i.e. morning sickness, significant weight gain, edema;
- threatened miscarriage;
- low insertion of placenta;
- chronic or pregnancy-emergent medical conditions, connected with locomotor system.
Iyengar Yoga exercises are not designed to help you to lose some extra weight or to increase your muscle mass. This set of exercises is aimed at helping you to bear your child easily, have safe delivery and improve the general conditions, stimulating metabolic processes in the body. If you decide to engage in Iyengar Yoga while pregnant, please, consult your doctor first.
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