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Asanas for stretching and back flexibility
The health and flexibility of a woman’s spine become especially important when she is expecting a baby. During pregnancy, the load on the spinal column changes. Accordingly, the muscles that are directly attached to the vertebrae begin to work differently. These muscles are responsible for flexion and extension of the spine and its twisting to the sides, and they are responsible for the comfort and freedom of movement of the person. Due to a change in posture and a shift in the center of gravity in the body in pregnancy, the load on the muscular corset of a woman increases in general. It includes the deep and superficial muscles of the back and neck, as well as the abdominal muscles. With the abdominal muscles to work while waiting for the baby should be done with caution, some poses in a smooth version strengthen the abs and abdominal muscles, on our website you will find a set of such asanas. Yoga exercises for stretching the back and neck can be done daily.
Taking care of your back during pregnancy consists of strengthening and relaxing the muscles, as well as stretching the spinal column itself. Yoga for stretching the spine includes several asanas that will let the vertebrae come to their physiological position, at least temporarily take the load off them. This will get rid of pain in the spine itself and in the muscles of the deep muscles of the back, which are directly attached to it.
Yoga for stretching the spine can be practiced from the earliest stages of pregnancy. If you have had a back injury or spinal surgery, yoga classes must be discussed with your doctor, and the asanas themselves must be performed at least initially together with an instructor. Contraindications are:
– Threat of pregnancy termination,
– Severe gestosis.
It is better to do hatha yoga exercises for stretching the spine in the evening, when the back has already received its daily load. Then the effect of exercise will be more noticeable: you will feel the muscles of the back and spine back to normal, become more flexible and mobile, discomfort and pain disappear. If you do asanas for back stretching just before going to sleep, you will have a quiet and comfortable night.
Yoga postures for back stretching
Apanasana. Asana stretches the back muscles of the deep layer. Performance technique: in a supine position, embrace your right knee with your right hand and your left knee with your left hand. Pull your knees as close to your chest as possible, while trying to press your tailbone to the floor. Stay in the pose for about a minute. Asana can be practiced until the birth, if the stretching allows. There is a variant of the pose that is easier for yoga beginners, as it effectively relaxes the back up to the time of childbirth.
Marjariasana is the pose of a cat. How to do it: squat down, with an exhalation the chin is directed to the chest, the back is arching and the shoulder blades are pulled up. As you inhale, arch your back, throw your head back, and try to look up at the ceiling. The bend should go from the waist down to the neck. To complete the asana, while bending, turn your head and pelvis to one side and then to the other. From the initial position of this asana one can do another one: raise and stretch in a line the opposite arms and legs one after another.
One of the best asanas for back extension, which also stretches the lower back, in yoga is considered Adho Mukha Shvanasana – downward-facing dog pose. The exercise can also be done during pregnancy, but in a more gentle version: put your feet wider and put your hands not on the floor, but on a support – bricks, a low chair.
A similar exercise can be performed on the floor. Starting position is on all fours, with legs spread wide apart. The pelvis is left in place, and the arms are stretched out as much as possible forward, pulling the back behind them. The forehead then touches the floor, and the muscles of the back – from the waist to the neck – stretch, so that the spine regains its flexibility.
More asanas of hatha yoga to stretch the spine you will find in the video on our website.
What do I need for classes at home?
To perform yoga exercises for flexibility of the spine at home will be useful:
– A special mat,
– A large rubber ball and a small elastic ball, with their help you can perform a whole set of asanas for the lower back,
– A low stool or other stand, with the help of which some postures could be simplified during a long pregnancy,
– Plaids, blankets, pillows – these are traditionally needed for pregnant women to put under the back, shoulders, buttocks for elevation, etc.
Notes for Beginners
On the Internet, a significant portion of the exercises for stretching the spine and back muscles are shown to be performed from a lying position on the stomach. However, such asanas are forbidden for pregnant women. Also, twisting and all asanas that involve tension of the abs and holding the breath are contraindicated.
If you have started to practice yoga only after the pregnancy, start with the simplest exercises, preferably under the supervision of an instructor. If you started practicing yoga to stretch the spine on video lessons, then repeat the asanas exactly. Postures for spinal flexibility seriously affect both vertebrae and muscles, so be sure to listen to yourself and do not continue the exercise if you feel discomfort or pain.
Any yoga exercises should end with a quality relaxation in shavasana. For small periods you can lie on your back, but with the increase of the abdomen it is better to rest on your side, putting a blanket or a small pillow under the knee.
To start doing exercises for stretching the muscles of the back and neck, you do not have to wait for pain in these areas. If you stretch your spine for preventive purposes from the beginning of pregnancy, there is a chance that you will spend the whole 9 months with a back that will not bother you.