Pregnancy is a miraculous time in every woman’s life but adjusting to all the changes happening inside the body can sometimes also trigger certain discomfort. Each trimester brings something new to a mum-to-be, especially when it comes to her workout routine and an every growing belly.
Besides swimming, yoga is definitely the ideal workout throughout pregnancy. It will help you to stay active, deal with the extra weight and changing balance, gives you physical and mental strength, relieves back pain and prepares your body for a successful and natural delivery.
So here are my 12 all time favorites you can practice during all trimesters! You can either do them in a flow sequence or simply pick one or two poses each day. Just start with the one you feel most comfortable with, turn on some soothing music and enjoy your time on the mat. This is your time of the day to recharge and connect to your little one. Accept your body how it changes week by week, even if that means to back of a bit. Now is really not the time to proof yourself in funky poses. Instead, be conscious about each breath you take, since there are now two souls gaining their energy out of it.
Also keep in mind that pregnancy makes your body more flexibel as usual, so building up on strength rather then flexibility is the key in Prenatal yoga!
Step by Step: Stand in Mountain pose with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step your right leg back and point your left foot forward. Turn your back foot for about 60 degrees. Inhale and lift your arms shoulder height. Slowly bend your left knee and bring it directly over the ankle. To exit this pose, slowly straighten your front leg, turn both feet in and step back into Mountain pose. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: Strengthens the arms, legs, shoulders and back. Stretches the hamstrings, calves, ankles, and shoulders. Relieves sciatica, flat feet, and backache. Tones the abdominal organs and creates sense of strength and confidence.
Step by Step: Beginn in Mountain pose with your feet shoulder-width apart, same like in warrior I. Step your right leg back and point your left foot forward. Turn your back foot for about 90 degrees this time. Inhale and lift your arms to your side parallel to your shoulders. Slowly bend your left knee and bring it over the ankle. To exit this pose, slowly straighten your front leg, turn both feet in and step back into Mountain pose. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: same like in Warrior I
Step by Step: Start in warrior II. Straighten your front leg while moving your fingertips more and more to the front of your mat. When you reached your limit start flipping over to your front leg, placing your hand on top of your shinbone or onto a blog. To exit this pose, slowly bend your front leg, come back into warrior II and back into mountain pose. Repeat on the other side.
Benefits: Stretches the inner thighs and groin. Tones the waist and aids in fat loss. Supports balance.
Step by Step: Stand in Mountain pose. Step your right foot back and turn both of your feet in. Turn your heels in and place your hands on your knees. Hold for 5 breaths. Inhale at the center then exhale and point your right shoulder towards your left knee. Inhale come back to center, exhale change side. Repeat a couple of times. To exit this pose, straighten your legs and step both feet together.
Benefits: Opens the hips and chest. Strengthens and tones the lower body. Stimulates the uro-genital, respiratory and cardiovascular system.
Side stretch & Hip circles
Step by Step: Stand in Mountain pose with your legs hip-width apart. Inhale and raise your right arm to the ceiling and over your head to the left. Exhale and pull your right shoulder back into the socket. Hold for a couple of breaths and then change side.
Come back into Mountain pose, bring your hands on your hips and draw a couple of circles into both directions.
Benefits: Stretches the abdomen, arms and upper back.
Step by Step: Stand in Mountain pose. Slowly bring your weight onto your left leg while bending your right knee and place it onto your left inner thigh. Hips are pointing forward while both legs stay active. Keep grounding down through your left foot.
Benefits: Helps to gain better sense of balance. Strengthens ankles, knees and arches.
Squat with a Twist
Step by Step: Put your feet hip-distance width apart and squat down toward your mat. Try to bring your heels to the floor—or use a blanket to support them. Bring your palms together at your heart center. Hold this pose for 30 seconds. Then bring your right palm onto the floor while inhaling and lifting your left arm to the sky. Stay for one deep breath. Exhale while lowering your left arm. Inhale and change side. Place both of your hands on the floor to support your weight as you sit down to come out.
Benefits: Relieves tension in the hips and lower back. Stretches the achilles tendon. Strengthens the ankles.
Bound angle / Butterfly
Step by Step: While sitting bring both edges of your feet together. Use your hands to bring them as close to the pelvis as possible. Let the knees lower towards the ground. Stay here as long as desired.
Benefits: Lengthens and releases abductor muscles of the groin. Stretches the lower back and thighs. Strengthens the hip flexors and abdominals. Stimulates the digestive system. Relieves stomach cramps.
Cat & Cow
Step by Step: Come on to your hands and knees. Inhale and lift your chest while tilting your pelvis down. Exhale and move your chin towards your chest while arching your upper back. Repeat for 4-6 times.
Benefits: Releases stiffness in the lower back. Strengthens arms and knees. Relaxes back and tones abdomen. Aids in weight loss and rejuvenates body and mind.
Step by Step: Start on all four. Bend your left knee and slowly bring it forward until you find yourself in a seated position with your shinbone parallel to your hips (or as parallel as possible). Your back leg rests straight back on the floor.
Benefits: Stretches groin and thighs. Opens the hips and tones the lower back.
Seated open side stretch
Step by Step: Sit in butterfly pose. Keep your left knee bent while straightening your right leg all the way towards the side. Try to hold on to your big toe or inner arch of your foot or even use a belt. Open your chest and left shoulder towards the sky. Stay for 5 breaths before you change sides.
Benefits: Stretches and tones the abdomen and arms. Opens the hips. Improves spine and neck flexibility as well strength.
Step by Step: Lie on your back. Maybe use a folded blanket to support your hips and head. Rest your legs on top of a chair, couch or wall. Keep your arms by your side, straight or bent.
If you can`t lay on your back anymore, choose a side laying position instead. Turn to your left and place a bolster between your knees.
Benefits: Reduces headaches and insomnia. Lowers blood pressure. Relieves stress and lower back pain. Stimulates the thyroid and balances hormones.
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