Prenatal Yoga 2
As a certified prenatal yoga instructor, I can help guide you through the best yoga sequences for YOUR pregnancy. Every woman's pregnancy is different and each woman has specific exercises she can do for her body.
Yoga is a powerful form of exercise that encourages flexibility in the body as well as the mind (how perfect for labor!) Consider your choice to do yoga as a gift that you give to yourself and to your unborn baby during your pregnancy. It will reduce your daily stress and sweeten your inner environment for your baby. Yoga awakens mind/body harmony, making it easier for you to make choices that are good for you both physically and emotionally. Yoga can also help relieve many discomforts of pregnancy.
Below you can find the second installment of some basic and simple yoga positions to try out. If you are interested in a personalized yoga sequence, have questions or would like tips on best positions for you; please reach out at no extra cost!
1. Pigeon Pose:
· Begin on your hands and knees. Crawl your right knee forward between your hands and slide your right heel toward your left hip. Extend your left leg back behind you, keeping the top of your foot and knee facing the floor. While still supported by your hands, begin to allow your hips and pelvis to release downward. Slowly lower down onto your forearms.
· If you need more room for your belly and baby, slide your right forearm toward the inside of your right knee. Place a rolled blanket under your arms, hips, or buttocks if you’d like more support.
· Allow your head and neck to hang forward to increase the stretch. Turn your elbows out to the sides and allow your head to rest on top of your hands. Breathe and release into the stretch for five to ten breaths.
· Repeat on other side.
· Benefits: This pose helps stretch and lengthen the muscles around your hips and groin.
2. Child’s Pose:
· Starting on your hands and knees, move your folded blanket in front of you. Spread your knees apart to create room for your baby. Your feet should be facing inward with the toes of both feet close to each other. Press your buttocks back into your heels and allow your lower spine to lengthen. Bend your elbows and come down onto your forearms. If you are comfortable, stretch your arms farther forward over your blanket. Rest your forehead on the edge of your blanket making sure that you can breathe easily. Soften your neck, shoulders, torso, belly, lwer back, and buttocks for five to ten breaths
· Bring your awareness to your baby and imagine your breath flowing around her.
· To come out of this pose, place your palms by your shoulders, then press into palms and lift your head and torso. Finally, come all the way back to an upright position.
· Benefits: Because this is a resting pose, it helps to release tension in your back muscles and hips, while allowing your belly muscles to soften and relax. It helps to enhance the flexibility of your pelvic joints as it widens the space through your pelvis.
3. Simple Twist:
· Sit on the edge of a folded blanket with your legs crossed in front of you. Place your right hand behind you on your blanket with the base of your palm by your buttocks. Press into your palm and lengthen your spine. Reach your left hand across your body and rest it on your right knee. Inhale deeply. As you release your breath, begin twisting your torso to the right beginning with your waist. Continue twisting through your chest, shoulder, neck and chin. Taking another deep breath, see if you can twist a little farther.
· To come out of this pose, soften your back arm and gently allow your torso to return to center. Then repeat the procedure twisting to the left side.
· Benefits: During this pose your internal abdominal organs are massaged while your spinal muscles gently stretch. People often report a sense of enhanced vitality after performing this pose in both directions.
4. Rotated Stomach Pose:
· Lie down on the floor on your back. Bend your knees and bring them in toward your chest, resting your arms at your sides with your palms facing up. Roll your hips and bent legs all the way over to the left and allow your legs to rest on the floor, with your thighs resting at a comfortable angle I relationship to your belly. Rest your left hand on your right leg to give it some support. If your knees do not touch or if you want more support for your legs, place a folded blanket or a pillow in between your thighs. Turn your neck and head away from your knees, and allow your right shoulder to soften toward the floor. If your right arm is uncomfortable, bend the right elbow and place your right hand on your ribs to support them or place a blanket under your ribs and arm for more support.
· Take a few slow breaths into your belly and allow your right shoulder to soften toward the floor. Remain in this pose for five to ten breaths, an then roll your legs back to center so that you are again lying on your back. Place your arms around your knees and rock your hips slowly from side to side. Then repeat the process by rolling your body to the right side.
· Benefits: This a soothing pose for your whole body. It aids digestion and elimination by gently massaging your internal organs. It also helps you stretch and relieve discomfort in your lower and mid-back muscles, and may help relieve discomfort from sciatica.
References: Chopra, Deepak, et al. Magical beginnings, enchanted lives: a holistic guide to pregnancy and childbirth. London, Rider, 2005.