The first trimester of pregnancy helps you prepare your mind and body for labour and birth as this helps you focus, to concentrate and keep you healthy. The following yoga poses are gentle ways of keeping your body active and supple and minimize the common pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and constipation. It can also help in ensuring easier labour and smooth delivery by relieving tension around the cervix and birth canal and by opening the pelvis.
For the first trimester, the following standing Yoga Poses are advised as this will help strengthen the legs, generate energy, and reduce leg cramps.
Stand with the bases of your big toes touching, heels slightly apart (so that your second toes are parallel). Lift and spread your toes and the balls of your feet, then lay them softly down on the floor. Rock back and forth and side to side. Gradually reduce this swaying to a standstill, with your weight balanced evenly on the feet.
Firm your thigh muscles and lift the knee caps, without hardening your lower belly. Lift the inner ankles to strengthen the inner arches, then imagine a line of energy all the way up along your inner thighs to your groins, and from there through the core of your torso, neck, and head, and out through the crown of your head. Turn the upper thighs slightly inward. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and lift the pubis toward the navel.
Press your shoulder blades into your back, then widen them across and release them down your back. Without pushing your lower front ribs forward, lift the top of your sternum straight toward the ceiling. Widen your collarbones. Hang your arms beside the torso.
Balance the crown of your head directly over the centre of your pelvis, with the underside of your chin parallel to the floor, throat soft, and the tongue wide and flat on the floor of your mouth. Soften your eyes.
Separate the feet slightly further than shoulder distance apart. Inhale and raise both arms straight out from the shoulders parallel to the floor with the palms facing down. Exhale slowly while turning the torso to the left, bend at the waist and bring the right hand down to the left ankle. The palm of the right hand is placed along the outside of the left ankle. The left arm should be extended upward. Both legs and arms are kept straight without bending the knees and elbows. Turn the head upward to the left and gaze up at the fingertips of the left hand.
Inhale and return to a standing position with the arms outstretched.
Hold this position for the duration of the exhaled breath. (Exhale and repeat on the opposite side)
The Cat pose teaches you to initiate movement from your centre and to coordinate your movement and breath. Start on your hands and knees in a 'tabletop' position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in line and perpendicular to the floor. Centre your head in a neutral position, eyes looking at the floor.
As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, making sure to keep your shoulders and knees in position. Release your head toward the floor, but don't force your chin to your chest. Inhale; come back to 'tabletop' position on your hands and knees.
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