Congratulations on your pregnancy. This is one of the most special times of a woman's life, and the perfect opportunity to invite in calm, balance, and a sense of wellbeing.
Pregnancy comes with major changes in the body, which sometimes are not very comfortable. Yoga can restore a sense of comfort in the physical body, as well as allowing you time to bond with the beautiful baby growing inside of you.
Remember that pregnancy is a time in which you are sustaining another life inside of you. You deserve to feel happy and calm, and to allow yourself time to release tension. This is both a gift to yourself and to your unborn baby.
While a dedicated daily practice is recommended, there are some quick prenatal moves that you can do anywhere. This yoga sequence is safe to practice through all three trimesters, leaving you and your baby feeling energized and refreshed. Namaste!
Gallery Credit: Richard Wainscoat of AinaKai photography
Standing Cow Pose
This simple movement is fantastic for mobilizing the pelvis — you're going to be able to move your body more easily in the way that it needs to, on the day of labor and delivery.
Begin with your feet hips-width distance apart, and your hands on your thighs. Inhale and gaze up to the sky, lifting the heart and the tailbone.
Standing Cat Pose
From Cow Pose, exhale and round your spine like a cat after a long afternoon nap. Take it easy with the pelvic tilt, and focus more on the stretch in your low back and shoulders.
Repeat a few rounds of Cat and Cow to warm up your spine, moving with your breath.
Door Frame Stretch
Begin by standing in a doorway. Place your hands on a wall, at (or near) shoulder height. Step one foot forward and lean into the stretch. You will feel your chest and shoulders release. Breathe deeply and enjoy.
This is a fantastic pose if you've been rounding your upper back in response to the increasing weight in the front of the body from your growing baby.
Begin by standing with your feet planted firmly on the earth. Lift one foot to rest on the inner thigh, calf, or with your tiptoes on the floor like a kickstand. Just be mindful not to place the foot on the knee of the standing leg.
Your hands can be in Namaste, or simply resting on your hips. Send your tailbone downward and lightly engage your core muscles, to protect your lower back and to support the weight of your baby.
Enjoy 3-5 deep breaths, and then change sides.
Tree is a wonderful pose for cultivating balance in the body, mind and emotions of heart.
Puppy Pose At The Wall
As your baby grows in your belly, the lower back becomes compressed. To release the tension in the lower back, begin by standing about 2-3 feet away from a wall or door, and place your hands firmly on the wall, shoulder-width apart.
Press into your hands and reach your tailbone back, as the crown of your head extends forward. Breathe deeply and imagine your belly as a sanctuary for your baby.
Standing Thread The Needle Pose
If you've started to feel a little heaviness and/or tension in the outer hip, and the area where the lower back meets the outer hip, you are not alone.
This is a very common source of discomfort during pregnancy. The good news is that it is very simple to release this tension with this pose.
Begin by placing your hands on a wall. It is also easy to practice this asana by holding onto your kitchen counter. Cross one ankle on top of the opposite thigh and send the hips back, so the body takes the shape of a number four.
Breathe deeply into the lower back and outer hip. As you inhale, imagine
calming images like the Pacific Ocean, or your baby's beautiful eyes looking
into yours for the first time. As you exhale, imagine any tension or stress
(mental, physical, emotional) leaving the body.