Many women wonder if you can do stretching exercises during pregnancy. Our answer is yes, and leg stretching asanas can help. Daily performance of simple asanas will help increase mobility of the hip joints and elasticity of ligaments – this is especially useful before the upcoming birth.
Yoga for leg stretching, especially if you want to sit on the splits, helps to stretch the hip and ankle joints, as well as some parts of the spine. Remember not to stretch the knee joint, because it is the support of the body – it is better to gently stretch the muscles around it.
Yoga for the legs for pregnant women requires following certain rules:
- Do a warm-up routine aimed at warming up the muscles
- Perform the asanas slowly, without jerking
- If you feel a strong discomfort, stop performing the asanas.
- Explore your abilities and control the load.
We want to remind you right away of the importance of breathing during stretching exercises. When your muscles stretch, you will inevitably feel a little pain. Remember – any pain can be “exhaled”. Close your eyes, direct your attention to the part of the body where you feel the tension and mentally “breathe out” the muscles and tendons. Breathing should be even and calm, and gradually the tension can be increased.
So, what are the leg stretching asanas? We suggest doing a whole set to work the muscles and tendons more effectively:
- Do a warm-up, making sure to engage the knee and hip joints.
- Uttan Prishthasana, or Lizard pose: Kneel on the mat, rest your straight arms on the mat and put your bent right leg forward, with the foot slightly beyond the palms. In this position roll your torso forward and backward, slightly moving the knee of your bent right leg to the side. Hold the pose by moving your left hand to the side and leaning on it, or resting on your forearms, placing your palms on the mat in front of you, helping to stretch the muscles of the leg at your side.
- Eka Pada Kapotasana, or Pigeon pose: put your left leg on your knee and slowly bend over, resting your hands on the mat. Bend your right leg and extend it forward toward your palms, touching the floor surface with your shin, placing your foot in front of you. Extend your left leg behind your body. Hold for a couple of seconds, bring your right leg back, lifting it slightly upward to relax the muscles. Do these movements several times. Then, sitting on the floor with your left leg back, try taking the pose in any of the ways:
- Using your hands, place your right leg bent at right angles in front of you, so that the space between your thigh and shin is wide enough to accommodate your abdomen;
- Bend your right leg with your foot against your crotch.
Lower yourself onto the forearms of both hands, trying to relax, and hold for 3-5 cycles of quiet breathing.
- Baddha Konasana, or Butterfly Pose. Sit on the floor or a mat, putting a pillow under your pelvis for comfort. Keep your back straight. Bend your knees, connect the outer surface of the feet, as if opening the folded feet upward, with the knees apart. Pressing lightly on the knees with the palms of your hands, try to bring them lower to the floor. Alternate the pressure on your feet with relaxation, so that your bent legs move like the flaps of a butterfly’s wings. Don’t try to bring your knees to the floor when you do it the first time, but let the muscles stretch out slowly, without any pain. Do this asana for as long as it is comfortable.
To complete the set of yoga exercises for stretching the legs it is useful to sit in Siddhasana. The heel of one leg is pressed against the crotch, with the other leg on top of it, the back straightened, and the hands resting on the stomach. Star pose is considered the best pose for meditation, allowing you to breathe calmly and listen to your body while stretching your knee and ankle muscles. Yoga video lessons help pregnant women at home to gently work the muscles and ligaments and prepare them for mastering the twine.
Yoga for leg stretching, preparing ligaments and muscles for twine stretching, improves blood supply to abdominal organs by increasing the mobility of the sacrum and pelvic bones, have a positive effect on the urogenital system and bowel peristalsis, eliminating constipation occurring during pregnancy. Yoga exercises straighten the spine and open the thorax, helping you breathe more freely, strengthen the muscles of the buttocks, abs and legs.