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    5 yoga moves to reduce muscle cramps during pregnancy

    By Emily Hagan | Published on Oct 18, 2023

    Pregnancy brings about various discomforts, including leg pain and muscle cramps that can disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling stressed and in pain. If you’re seeking relief, yoga might just be the solution you’ve been looking for. Specific yoga poses designed for pregnancy can effectively ease muscle cramping and provide much-needed comfort.

    Yoga’s Impact on Pregnancy

    During pregnancy, women commonly experience physical discomfort. But what many don’t realize is just how beneficial yoga can be for expectant mothers. Engaging in yoga postures involves gentle stretching that helps keep the body fit, relaxed, and prepared for labor.

    Pregnant women can reap the benefits of yoga in two ways. First, yoga serves as a form of exercise that raises awareness of the body’s changes and decreases the risk of developing health issues such as cramps and pain. Secondly, yoga can enhance mood and bring about a sense of calm during the nine-month journey. It’s clear that incorporating yoga into your pregnancy routine is highly advantageous.

    Calm and happy childbirth - Try these yoga asanas.

    To shed more light on the subject, we spoke with Akshar, Founder of the Akshar Yoga Research and Development Centre. He emphasized that yoga during pregnancy not only helps prepare for childbirth but also ensures a comfortable and holistic pregnancy. As a versatile form of exercise, yoga is highly recommended for its safety and effectiveness.

    Here are 5 Yoga Poses to Relieve Muscle Cramps During Pregnancy:

    Perform these poses on a bed or cushioned surface for optimal comfort.

    1. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)

    How to perform this pose:

    • Start by standing in Samasthithi.
    • Lift your right leg off the floor and balance your body weight on your left leg.
    • Place your right foot on your left inner thigh as close to your pelvis as possible.
    • Use your palms for support if needed.
    • Join your palms in Pranam Mudra at your heart chakra.
    • Keep your gaze forward.
    • Repeat on the other leg.

    Get your balance right with Vrikshasana.

    2. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler Pose)

    How to perform this pose:

    • Begin in Dandasana.
    • Fold your legs and bring the soles of your feet together.
    • Pull your heels closer to your pelvis.
    • Gently push your knees down.
    • Hold the posture for 15-20 seconds.
    • Repeat for 2-3 sets.

    Baddha Konasana for muscle cramp relief.

    3. Kaliasana

    How to perform this pose:

    • Stand with your feet wide apart, toes pointing outward.
    • Squat deeply with your back kept straight.
    • Lift your arms up, parallel to your shoulders.
    • Bend your elbows and turn your palms up towards the sky.

    4. Balasana (Child’s Pose)

    How to perform this pose:

    • Kneel down on the mat and sit on your heels, spreading your knees apart.
    • Inhale and raise your arms above your head.
    • Exhale and bend your upper body forward, placing your palms on the floor.
    • Rest your pelvis on your heels, ensuring your back is not hunched.
    • Feel free to use a blanket for support under your knees or buttocks.

    Child's pose to keep your mind calm.

    5. Dandasana (Staff Pose)

    How to perform this pose:

    • Start in a seated position with your legs stretched outward.
    • Join your legs, bringing your heels together and keeping your back straight.
    • Engage the muscles in your pelvis, thighs, and calves while looking ahead.
    • Place your palms beside your hips on the floor to support your spine.
    • Relax your shoulders.

    Dandasana for muscle cramp relief.

    Additional Benefits of Yoga During Pregnancy

    Akshar highlights that staying active and practicing yoga throughout pregnancy can improve strength, flexibility, and overall readiness for childbirth. Furthermore, yoga effectively alleviates aches and pains experienced by the body during pregnancy. Apart from the physical benefits, gentle asanas, pranayama, and meditation exercises can significantly reduce anxiety and help maintain a calm state, particularly during labor.

    A Word of Caution

    Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or a beginner, it is crucial to consult with your doctor before attempting any yoga poses during pregnancy. Your health professional can provide personalized guidance to ensure your safety and the well-being of your baby.

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