I am asked very often about doing yoga while pregnant. Many mamas-to-be either do not have money to pay for a class, do not have the time to go to a class, there are no classes offered where they live or just feel very private during their pregnancy and do not feel comfortable to go to a class. I have developed a sequence of poses (asanas) that I feel are beneficial to the pregnant body that you can do from the comfort of your home. I have added in parenthesis what part of the body each asana benefits. Yoga helped me get through all of my pregnancies helping to relieve aches in my body as well as brought calmness and strength to my mind. Every pregnant mama should be able to practice yoga!!
Here it is:
Lie on your left side on your yoga mat, option to put a pillow in between your knees, under your head.
Relax each muscle in your body and bring attention to your breath. As you breathe in think positive thoughts, love, gratitude, abundance, health, etc. and when you breathe out breathe out fear, hate anger, etc.
After you feel your body calm, come up to a sitting position, placing pillows to the side.
Butterfly (Baddha Konasana) ~ Place the soles of the feet together and knees falling out to either side…keep spine long…press the outer edges of feet together. (opens hips and groin) Option to lie all the way back to the ground. Or you can do this up against a wall.
Cow Pose ~Kneeling on hands and knees round back up, reaching spine as high as you can. Then on an exhale pull tummy to floor into Cat Pose.
(helps baby move into right position and helps loosen pelvis for help in delivery)
Tabletop ~ Staying on all fours, make flat back. Inhale lift right arm and left leg, exhale down, inhale left arm and right leg x 3. Then right elbow to left knee then switch x 3
Lift hips to Downward Facing Dog
Mountain Pose (Tadasana) ~ Stand tall, feet together, lifting your shoulders up, back and down.
(Promotes stillness, strength, relaxed power and immovable stability associated with mountains)
Move neck around, life shoulders up and down, to release tension.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)~ Lift right foot and place inside opposite thigh. Hands in prayer. Switch sides. (Helps strengthen thighs, calves, ankles and back and increases flexibility of hips and groin)
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) ~ Step one leg back and bend the front leg to a lunge position stretching your arms out to the sides point with strong fingers. Breathe…come up and pivet to other side bending front leg straight back leg. (Increases leg and arm strength. Improves balance and concentration and relieves backaches as well as self-confidence)
Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)~ Straighten both legs turning the front leg to a 90 degree angle and your back one slightly in. Arms stretched out actively. Bending from the hip joint over front leg rest hand on shin, ankle, or floor outside of leg and opposite arm up to ceiling. Stay in for a couple breaths and inhale come up. Switch to other side.
Standing Spread Leg Forward Bend (Uttihita Trikonasana)~ Face feet forward…make sure shoulders are up back and down and interlace hand behind back and bend (Strengthens and stretches inner and back legs and spine. Opens hips. Only go as far forward as you feel comfortable.)
Walk feet together, place hands on floor in front of legs, straight back and lower knees to floor then lower entire body to Cobra and then hips up into Downward Dog for a few breaths. Lift left leg up in air then down, then right leg opening up hips more
Legs up the Wall (Viparita Karani) ~ Go to wall lie on back with feet up against the wall. Remain for 5 to 10 breaths. Spread legs apart for a few breaths. Bring soles together hold for 5-10 breaths…whatever feels good. To come out bring knees into chest and roll to your side. (calms)
Pelvic tilt ~ lie on back with bent knees, soles of feet flat on floor, arms on floor straight, palms down. On exhale gently rock hips towards face. Your bottom will not actually leave the floor but you will feel your low back press into the floor. After a few seconds, inhale and return. Repeat 5-10 times
(strengthens and supports muscles in lower back and abdomen)
Reclined Pigeon pose ~ lie on back, bend you knees and place soles of feet on mat. Cross your right ankle over your left knee. Place your right arm between your legs and wrap your left arm around your left knee to grab hold of your knee. Draw your left knew towards your chest. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Switch sides. (stretches the thighs, groin, lower back, opens chest and shoulders)
Lie back on your left side with pillows in between your legs and go back to focusing on your breath. Connect with the your little baby tucked under your heart. Relax your entire body while focusing on your calm breathing.