Shifting through the many prenatal yoga poses can be difficult, especially when your body is changing and growing. Yoga has a wide variety of poses that are specifically designed to help pregnant women strengthen their core muscles and work on their balance.
The first breath is one of the most important steps in prenatal yoga. This pose helps to open up your chest and lungs, and clear your head. You can do this pose either lying down or sitting up, but make sure you are comfortable. Hold your breath for a few seconds before releasing it slowly. Repeat the sequence four times.
This pose is all about opening up your abdominal muscles and deep breathing. Sit with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your thighs and press them towards your chest. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, counting to four as you do so. Hold the pose for two minutes before releasing it gently.
This pose targets the digestive system, including the stomach and intestines. Lie flat on your back with both legs bent at the knee, and arms extended overhead. Place your palms on either side of your ribcage, then press into the ground with your feet as you breathe in deeply through your nose. As you breathe out, slowly lift both legs off the ground until they are parallel to each other, then lower them back down again.
Five Favourite Prenatal Yoga Poses To Do Now And Enjoy Photo Gallery
When you’re expecting, one of the most important things you can do for your health and well-being is practice prenatal yoga. Prenatal yoga helps to improve circulation, relieve stress, and promote a healthy mind-body balance in preparation for labor and birth. Here are five favorite poses to do now and enjoy:
1. Cat-Cat-Cow: Start in Downward Dog pose with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Straighten your legs so that you’re in Cow pose, leaning forward until your chest rests on the ground. Hold this pose for 3-5 breaths before switching sides.
2. Child’s Pose with Twist: Start in Downward Dog pose with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your hands behind your back and press into the heels of your palms to lift yourself up into Child’s pose. Extend your left leg out in front of you, then reach back and twist your torso to bring your left heel next to your right toes. Hold this pose for 3-5 breaths before rotating to the other side.
3. Half Camel: From Downward Dog, slowly rotate your torso to the right until you come into Half Camel pose with your right leg in front. If your foot is too high, bend your knee and bring it closer to the ground. Hold this pose for 3-5 breaths before slowly rotating back to Downward Dog.
4. Half Sun: From Half Camel, lower yourself into Half Sun pose with your left leg extended out in front of you, then sit on your heels. Bring your left knee forward to meet your right ankle and clasp both ankles together with one hand. Reach the right arm up, behind you, and circle it around for a deeper stretch or reach the arm behind you to hug the back of your calf as well. Connecting these two points will help to open up your hips as well as center yourself in this pose.
If you’re looking for a prenatal yoga pose that is both challenging and therapeutic, arm circles are a great choice. They work the entire arm, shoulder, and neck muscles, and provide a great stretch for the chest and upper back. Start by lying down on your back with your palms flat on the ground beside you. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the ground, then lift your arms up above your head and circle them around to the left and right. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower your arms back to the ground. Repeat on the other side.
Downward Facing Dog
If you’re looking for a prenatal yoga pose that will help open up your chest and lungs, try downward facing dog. The counter-clockwise rotation of the spine opens up the chest and stimulates the diaphragm, which aids in breathing. This position is also excellent for stretching the lower back and hips.
Another great prenatal yoga pose to try is cat-cow. In this pose, you’ll recline on your left side with your upper body resting on your left elbow and your right leg drawn up towards your chest. Turn your head to the right to stretch your neck and shoulder muscles. To really open up your chest, arch your back slightly.
The final prenatal yoga pose we’ll discuss is Child’s Pose. This pose is classic and beneficial for many reasons: it stretches the hamstrings, shoulders, hip flexors, and quads; it tones the abdominal muscles; and it balances energy in the body. To do Child’s Pose, lie flat on your back with feet flat on the floor and hands resting by your sides. Bend both knees so that you are in a quarter squat position and slowly lower yourself down until you are lying fully flat on your back with legs bent.
Fish pose is one of the most versatile poses you can do during pregnancy and it’s a great way to stretch your hips, back, and abdomen. To do fish pose:
1. Lie on your back with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor.
2. Place your hands on your thighs for support.
3. Relax your shoulders and let your head rest on the floor.
4. Breathe deeply and lift your hips off the floor until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your legs and in the middle of your torso.
5. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release and relax into the stretch.
If you’re looking for a prenatal yoga pose that’s both grounding and strengthening, try Tree Pose. “This pose is great for pregnant women because it helps to open up the hips and tones the thighs,” says Yoga teacher and author of The Pregnancy Sweat Workout, Tracy Fredrickson. “It also benefits the spine by toning the abdominal muscles.” To do Tree Pose:
1. Lie flat on your back with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands at your sides or press them into the mat for support.
2. Inhale and spread your legs wide, then lift your torso and upper legs off the mat until you are in a tabletop position, with your toes pointed towards the ceiling.
3. Press down into the heels of both feet to stabilize yourself, then exhale and let your head fall back between your shoulder blades. Stay here for two to three minutes, or as long as you find comfortable.
4. When you’re ready, slowly lower yourself back down to the mat and repeat from step 1.
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