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Mood swings, fatigue, leg cramps, motion sickness -- pregnancy can be a physically, emotionally and mentally difficult time.One of the most effective answers to manage the discomforts of pregnancy lies in yoga. Mayur Karthik,senioryoga instructor at Sri Sri School of Yoga, talks about breathing exercises which every pregnant woman must do:
These breathing exercises help release stress, are light and easy to practice and keep the mind calm and focused.
Nadi Shodhan Pranayam (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
Sit comfortably with your spine erect and shoulders relaxed. Keep a gentle smile on your face.
Place your left hand on the left knee, palms open to the sky or in Chin Mudra (thumb and index finger gently touching at the tips).
Place the tip of the index finger and middle finger of the right hand in between the eyebrows, the ring finger and little finger on the left nostril, and the thumb on the right nostril. We will use the ring finger and little finger to open or close the left nostril and thumb for the right nostril.
Press your thumb down on the right nostril and breathe out gently through the left nostril.
Now breathe in from the left nostril and then press the left nostril gently with the ring finger and little finger. Removing the right thumb from the right nostril, breathe out from the right.
Breathe in from the right nostril and exhale from the left. You have now completed one round of Nadi Shodhan pranayama. Continue inhaling and exhaling from alternate nostrils.
Complete 9 such rounds by alternately breathing through both the nostrils. After every exhalation, remember to breathe in from the same nostril from which you exhaled. Keep your eyes closed throughout and continue taking long, deep, smooth breaths without any force or effort.
Bhramari Pranayama (Bumble Bee Beathing)
Sit up straight in a quiet, well-ventilated corner with your eyes closed. Keep a gentle smile on your face.
Keep your eyes closed for some time. Observe the sensations in the body and the quietness within.
Place your index fingers on your ears. There is a cartilage between your cheek and ear. Place your index fingers on the cartilage.
Take a deep breath in and as you breathe out, gently press the cartilage. You can keep the cartilage pressed or press it in and out with your fingers while making a loud humming sound like a bee.
You can also make a low-pitched sound but it is a good idea to make a high-pitched one for better results.
Breathe in again and continue the same pattern 3-4 times.
It is advisable to consult a doctor/ expert before attempting the Yoga Asanas. Learn and practice Asanas under the supervision of a trained prenatal specialized Yoga teacher.
Here are some easy yoga asanas for pregnant women.
Image source: Shutterstock
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