Congratulations! You are nearing the end of your pregnancy and will soon be able to hold your precious little one. However, the third trimester can come with some discomforts, such as exhaustion, a growing belly, and heightened anxiety. It’s important to remember that these are normal experiences that most pregnant women go through. Take your time, appreciate your body’s changes, and enjoy this special time in your life. If you’re wondering whether yoga is safe during this stage of pregnancy, it definitely can be. Certain poses can help relieve common discomforts like heartburn, constipation, and stress. Keep reading to discover some helpful yoga poses for the third trimester and which ones to avoid.
- 7 Safe And Helpful Yoga Poses During First Trimester Of Pregnancy
- 11 Yoga Asanas For Second Trimester, Safety, Tips & More
Common Problems During Your Third Trimester Which Yoga Can Help With
Most problems you had during the second trimester may also tag along to your third trimester. From back pain to constipation, these minor health issues will remain with you for a few more weeks.
The following are a few common discomforts you likely have during the last trimester.
- Back pain
The back pain continues! The extra weight you’re carrying can strain your back muscles. And what more? The back pain can now be more intense.
- Swelling and fluid retention
Swelling, or Oedema, also continues due to increased blood volume and pressure in your veins. Increased weight, blood pooling in the legs, and poor lymphatic fluid flow may contribute to swollen feet and varicose veins.
Carrying around the weight can make you more tired during the last trimester. The third trimester is also known for poor sleep, making you feel fatigued during the day. Yoga during the third trimester can relieve these problems significantly.
- Leg cramps
Hormonal changes and reduced circulation can contribute to leg cramps. Stretching exercises and gentle leg movements in yoga can help alleviate cramps and improve blood flow.
- Difficulty sleeping
Insomnia and night waking are common during the third trimester. Frequent peeing, digestive issues, heartburn, and leg cramps may wake you several times. In addition, finding a comfortable position to sleep can also be challenging.
- Digestive issues, constipation and haemorrhoids
Your belly keeps growing, so digestive issues may continue, including gas, bloating, heartburn, acid reflux, and constipation. For women with haemorrhoids, it may get worse.
- Stress and anxiety
Another constant during pregnancy is stress and anxiety. The changes a pregnant woman goes through, hormonal imbalances, and anticipation of all things to go right may all cause stress and anxiety.
Beneficial and Safe Yoga Poses For the Third Trimester
Before we learn about yoga for the third trimester, NO backbends, NO inversions, and NO intense abdominal twists or work. Also, avoid poses that require lying on your back and be careful not to fall with squatting poses. With that caution, let’s start the sequence.
You may start the sequence with Tadasana and Vrikshasana, as described in the article on yoga for the second trimester. These two poses set the tempo for your practice. Also, follow the tips mentioned in the article for a safe and helpful yoga practice. Continue with the following poses.
Poorna Skandh Sanchalana (Full shoulder rotation)
This asana will release tension around your heart and lungs and enable good breathing. Continuing this asana after childbirth ensures proper functioning of mammary glands and thus enhanced breastmilk production.
Place the tips of your fingers on either of your shoulders and make slow rotations. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply while doing this asana.
Modified Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Stand with your feet wide apart, and gently extend one arm down to your shin or a block while keeping the other arm raised. This pose helps stretch your sides, improves balance, and strengthens the legs.
Warrior pose II (Veerbhadrasana)
Warrior pose strengthens ankles, knees, legs, and hips, easing tension in your lower body and relieving pain. This strengthening pose also gives you confidence and courage.
Stand with 3-4 feet width apart. Turn the right foot by 90 degrees, inhale and slowly bend your right thigh until it becomes parallel with the floor. Also, spread your arms along the legs and look across your right hand, holding the pose for a few seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Supported Squat Pose (Malasana)
Malasana is a beneficial pose yoga pose during the third trimester. Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, and toes turned slightly outwards. Lower your hips down into a squat position while resting your hands on a support, such as a bolster or a block. This pose helps open the hips, strengthens the legs, and prepares the body for labour.
Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
Sit with the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to fall gently to the sides. This pose helps release tension in the hips and groin, promoting relaxation and easing pain and discomfort in your hips and lower back. Also, this asana relieves gas, bloating, and constipation.
Child’s pose (Balasana)
This restorative hip opener also opens your chest and torso. It is relaxing and eases pain in your hip and pelvic region. In addition, Balasana improves digestion and regularises bowel movements.
Sit on your heels and inhale, slowly opening your knees outward. Exhale and go down with arms stretched forward. Rest your forehead on a yoga block or a rolled blanket and take a few breaths.
Reclined supported bound angle pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
When your body feels tired and needs good relaxation, try this pose. Get into the bound angle pose. Support your back and head with folded blankets and yoga blocks. Place a blanket underneath your folded legs. Close your eyes and observe every part of the body relaxing.
It is advised not to practise any asana that requires lying down on the back (supine position). This is because the vein vena cava carrying blood back to the heart may get compressed with your belly’s weight, resulting in potentially low blood pressure.
Hence, always end your sequence with supported savasana to relax your body and mind.
The bottom line
The movements are comparatively restricted in the last trimester due to increased weight and a large abdomen. Yoga during the third trimester aims to stretch your muscles, improve energy levels, relieve minor discomforts like heartburn and constipation, and keep the mother-to-be stress-free. Specific poses also strengthen your pelvic and lower body regions, which is crucial during labour. Though your body may not feel enthusiastic about yoga practice daily, motivate yourself not to skip it, for your body and mind will surely love the after-effects!