Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma amused the internet recently with a picture of her doing a headstand in the last phase of her pregnancy with the baby due next month and netizens cannot stop praising and adoring the gorgeous and fit mother-to-be.

Well it won’t be wrong to say that yoga, since times immemorial, has proven to be a boon for pregnant women and here’s the reason why.

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It provides holistic health benefits for pregnant women in the following ways-

1. The asanas help in keeping the body supple. They relieve tension around the cervix by opening up the pelvic region. This prepares the mothers-to-be for labour and delivery. 

2. The pranayams can train you to breathe deeply and relax consciously helping in reducing pain during labour and childbirth.

3. Yoga helps pregnant women in dealing with morning sickness, painful leg cramps, swollen ankles and constipation.

4. The asanas also help women recover quickly after delivery. 

Here are the asanas that all mothers-to-be are advised to do-

1. Marjariasana(Cat Stretch ) 

This asana stretches the neck and shoulders, alleviating stiffness and keeps the spine flexible. It helps as the back has to support more weight as pregnancy advances. This asana tones the abdominal region improving blood circulation and ensuring that reproductive organs are well nourished. 

2. Konasanas I and II

These asanas keep the spine flexible and stretches the sides of the body. They help alleviate constipation and tone arms, legs and abdominal organs.

3. Veerbhadrasana(Warrior Pose)

This asana improves the balance of the body and increases stamina of expecting women.

4. Vipatra Karani(Legs up the wall pose)

It relieves bachache and improves the flow of the blood to the pelvic  region. It eases swollen ankles and varicose veins- a common symptom of pregnancy. 

5. Shavasana (Corpse pose)

This poses relaxes the body and repairs cells. It helps in self healing which is vital as pregnant women should avoid taking pills. 

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Here are the asanas mothers-to-be should avoid at all costs-

1. Naukasana (Boat Pose)

2. Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)

3. Ardha Matsyendrasana(Sitting half spinal twist)

4. Bhujangasana(Cobra Pose)

5. Vipatra Shalabhasana (Superman Pose)

6. Halasana (Plow Pose) 

However, it is advisable to consult a doctor before performing any exercise during pregnancy.