by Liza Janda AAHCC, ERYT, RPYT
- Sit on the front edge of a block, or the folded edge of a blanket, or a rolled up yoga mat. This helps to lift the hips higher than the knees and takes pressure off the lower back.
- Take a few minutes to focus on your breathing and sit quietly.
- If your mind starts to wander bring the focus back to your breath. You can count breaths or silently repeat words like “Calm” or “Let Go”.
Come to Table Pose and do Cat/Cow. Repeat 30 times.
To come into a squat, curl your toes under behind you. Walk your hands back toward your feet and pop yourself up into a squat. If your heels are off the floor, try two things:
- Open your feet wider till the hells come down or
- Roll a blanket or towel under your heels.
- Hold for 30-60 seconds.
Squatting – Malasana creates a little heat and strengthens the legs to prepare for second stage of labor.
Bound Angle Pose aka Baddha Konasana.
This is a good warm up pose for Firelog pose and One-legged King Pigeon pose, below.
- Sit on your mat or a folded blanket. If you want a deeper opening, sit on a block after you have warmed up.
- Place the soles of your feet together and let your knees open out toward the floor.
- Sit up tall as you bring your feet closer to your groin.
- As you breathe, try to release tension in your hips. Let gravity and your breath guide your legs down. Don’t force them.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths. Release.
Come into Downward Facing Dog for 5 breaths:
Fire Log Pose -Agnistambhasana
This yoga pose should be done daily during pregnancy, especially if you’re suffering from sciatica pain. As your pregnancy progresses you will notice that it gets easier and easier.
- To make it more accessible, sit on a folded blanket or a block so that your hips are higher than your knees.
- Sit in easy pose (or as they say in preschool, “Criss-cross applesauce”),
- but position you’re your right shin parallel to the top of your mat.
- Then place your left ankle on top of your right knee, letting the heel of your left foot be perpendicular to the floor.
- You want your left shin to be as close to parallel to the top of the mat also.
- Now sit as tall as you can. If this pose is not challenging for you, begin to lean forward, folding from your hips and keeping your torso long and your spine straight as you lean forward. With pregnancy, those bellies may get in the way when you fold forward.
- So if you’re in your third trimester of pregnancy, you can place your hands or forearms on a block or a chair in front of your legs as you lean forward. Hold for 5-10 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
You will feel your hips and your groins open and stretch. This is great for relieving sciatica pain and excellent for preparing your hips and your body for opening up for labor and birth. This yoga pose is excellent for relieving stress if you focus on breathing deeply while in the pose. As you sit and focus on your breath, you will begin to feel an emotional release. Since you’re pregnant, your baby will get the benefit of the endorphins you’re producing with your deep breathing.
Come back into Downward Facing Dog for 5 breaths.
Prepare for One legged King Pigeon Pose -Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana.
If you are in your 2nd and 3rd trimester, place your block on the left side of your mat and place a pillow or folded blanket in front of your mat within reach.
- Begin on all fours, with your knees directly below your hips, and your hands slightly ahead of your shoulders.
- Slide your right knee forward to the back of your right wrist; bring your right foot to the left side of your mat. If you feel any discomfort in your right knee, bend your right knee more, and bring your right foot closer to your left hip.
- The outside of your right shin will now rest on the mat.
- Slowly slide your left leg straight back resting the left leg on the mat.
- Moms with nice big bellies will need to place your block, under your left thigh, just above the kneecap to give your baby a bit more room.
- The right foot is flexed and the right heel rests in front of the left hip.
The right knee can angle slightly to the right, outside the line of the hip. Exhale and fold forward laying your torso down on the inner right thigh or your head on your pillow, folded blanket, or block. Stretch your arms forward or rest your head on your arms. Find what is comfortable for you. Try to keep your hips square to the floor. Note: hold for one minute
Begin to walk your hands back toward your body on either side of your right leg. Then, with your hands back on the floor, remove the block, carefully slide the left knee forward, then exhale and lift up and back into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose). Take a few breaths, drop the knees to all-fours on, and repeat on the other side.
Want to keep feeling better and better as your baby grows? Try these prenatal yoga classes: