Pregnancy is a wonderful time but it can be physically challenging. Yoga is a great, gentle way of calming the body and mind while keeping loose and maybe helping some of the common aches and pains that carrying a baby brings. Below are a few great yoga positions for pregnancy but as always, check with your doctor first before trying any type of yoga or exercise practice.
Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
This pose from Do You Yoga increases blood circulation in the lower abdomen, stretches the groin, and increases external rotation in the hips and is excellent for calming the mind. Modify this posture for pregnancy by placing a few pillows under your back and head to create an incline (so you are not flat on your back), and a block between feet to broaden your pelvis. Sit on the floor and slowly use your arms to lay back on pillows on an incline as you open the knees and legs out while you put the soles of your feet together with a yoga block in between. Breathe deeply and relax as you open the hips and relax.
Child's Pose (Balasana)
Pretty much anyone familiar with yoga knows this pose. According to Do You Yoga, Child's Pose can fight off nausea, relieve anxiety, and quiet the mind. Modify for pregnancy by placing a bolster or pillow under the torso for support. Sit in a kneeling position with knees together. Slowly open your knees and let your belly drop down between your legs as you carefully walk yourself down onto the pillows in front of you and embrace them with your head turned to the side. This allows support of your head and chest while opening your hips and the weight of your belly to hang down and relieve lower back discomfort. As you're hanging out in Child's Pose, you may be curious about things you should avoid while you're pregnant: Things to Avoid When Pregnant Around the World: It's Not What You Think!
Cat/Cow Pose (Marjaryasana Bitilasana)
Yet another easy, popular pose perfect for the expecting mom as it gets the weight of a growing belly away from your lower back. Get onto the floor on all fours with arms and legs body width apart with hands and wrists directly under your shoulders and knees aligned with your hips. Start with the Cow Pose by carefully looking up and arching your back so your belly drops down and your upper torso moves upward toward the ceiling. Keep breathing and slowly move into the opposite position, Cat Pose. Just as a cat arches their back, slowly move your back into a curve so your spine is rounded toward the ceiling. Gently move back and forth into these two positions a few times while slowly breathing relieving back pain and opening up the chest for greater breathing ability.
Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana)
We love the name of this pose because isn't every expecting mom a Goddess? You Do Yoga says this is an amazing pose to prepare for childbirth because it opens the hips and groin and creates space in the pelvis. It also strengthens and tones the many muscles in the legs. Stand on a yoga mat and open your legs so your legs and lower body form a square shape. To prevent injury, line up your knee with the second toe to keep it stable. Then lift your arms at 90 degree angles so your entire body is upright and arms and legs are forming right angles. Don't go beyond a stretch that is comfortable for you. Take a few deep breaths then slowly bring your arms down and one leg back to vertical, then the other. While you're practicing your position you may start to wonder What Do Labor Contractions REALLY Feel Like? Well click here to find out!