Prenatal Sun Salutation

Prenatal Sun Salutation is quite similar to the normal Sun Salutation except for a few minor differences. Some of the difficult poses in Sun Salutation have been removed or modified for the convenience of pregnant women. Poses that comfortable for pregnant women and prepare them for a normal and smooth delivery and position the baby correctly in the womb have been incorporated.

During the beginning stage of pregnancy, the prenatal sun salutation are done like the normal sun salutation. The movements from one asana to another follows the regular breathing pattern. But as pregnancy advances, the time required for moving from one pose to other increases.

The various poses and workouts in prenatal sun salutation are:

  1. Raised Arms Pose (Urdhva Hastasana) - This is the first step and you begin with the Tadasana pose. Then slowly you inhale and raise your arms towards the ceiling with your legs apart.
  2. Camper's Pose - In this step you exhale and bend your knees with feet wide apart and parallel.
  3. Lunge Pose - In this pose, you inhale as you bring your palms flat to the floor along with the left feet and stretch the right foot towards the back to form a lunge posture.
  4. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) - In this step, you exhale and with your heels on the floor, you drop down towards the front with your palms touching the floor and your hip arched to form a triangle shape.
  5. Plank Pose - This yoga pose is similar to a push-up pose.
  6. Chaturanga Dandasana Variation - This pose is also similar to a push-up pose where your knees are dropped to the floor and the elbows bend. Then by slowly inhaling, you raise your torso up by straightening your hand. However, this step is optional as it is slightly difficult.
  7. Downward Facing Dog - From the plank pose or Chaturanga Dandasana, you exhale and come back to the Downward Facing Dog pose.
  8. Lunge Pose - From the Downward Facing Dog position, you inhale and come back to the Lunge pose.
  9. Camper's Pose - From the Lunge pose back to the Camper's pose by exhaling.
  10. Raised Arms Pose - From the Camper's pose, you inhale and straighten yourself back to the Raised Arms Pose.

Along with the above prenatal workouts, the Cat-Cow Stretch and Pelvic Tilts can be practised to prevent back pain which is common during pregnancy.

There are many benefits to practicing prenatal sun salutations.

  1. Helps to improve and increase blood circulation to the foetus.
  2. Helps to strengthen and tone the abdominal and pelvic muscles of a pregnant woman to support the weight of the uterus.
  3. Helps pregnant women to relax and calm their mind and eliminates all fears and anxieties associated with pregnancy and labor.
  4. Helps the foetus to grow healthily and to position the baby rightly in the womb.
  5. Increases the flexibility and thereby ensuring easy labor and smooth childbirth.
  6. Prevents backache, cramps in the legs, breathlessness, constipation, morning sickness etc.

Before beginning to practice the Prenatal Sun Salutation poses, it is always better to consult the gynaecologist to rule out any problems or complications. Also it is equally important to practice yoga under the guidance of an expert who conducts prenatal yoga classes.