I am so very passionate about listening and honoring our bodies. I believe they speak to us through discomfort and pain and I have found practicing Yoga asanas helped me immensely by allowing me to tune into what I needed during each stage of my pregnancy.
It is not simply just the physical poses that helped open and strengthen my body, but my mind was also strengthened and empowered. Negative thoughts and feelings were acknowledged and feeled to be freed. The discomfort, expectations, tension and fear were softened and surrended. I was brought back to my breath and anchored in each moment. Try these gentle poses to honor your self and take the time to listen and tune in, BREATHE.
Please ensure you consult your midwife or doctor before doing any physical activities.
Special care & attention is required during pregnancy as every body & baby is different.
- YOGI SQUAT
This asana is so grounding and empowering. It is so very beneficial and I encourage you to practice this one every day!
How to enter the pose - First start in standing position with feet a little wider then hip distance, point toes outward a little and ensure toes are spread and pressing firmly into the Earth. Feel your feet grounded here. Take a deep inhale and as you begin to exhale gently bend your knees and sink your hips toward the floor, perhaps use your hands in front to help support you. You can also find support using a wall behind you. Keep trying to sink down into hips as you keep chest and face lifted, you want to refrain from shrugging your shoulders and curving your back.
Useful props - Perhaps place a pillow or some blocks under your hips for support. Don’t worry if you need to use these props, eventually as you practice and stretch regularly your hips will open and you will sink deeper into this pose. This is fantastic support for your lower back and opens the groin and hips.
GOLDEN TIP - Practice pelvic floor exercises here! You can do this by taking an inhale then as you exhale squeeze in the pelvic floor (like you are trying to stop from peeing) and draw upward, hold for a few seconds or as long as you can before gently and slowly releasing. Repeat and continue to try hold longer each time. This is fantastic for supporting your baby and body as it grows and strengthens your 'Magic Mama Muscles' for birth.
I really encourage to stretch into hips daily especially when pregnant as we can tend to store a lot of emotion here, most of the time unconsciously. Daily practice will allow them to come to surface and release with ease.
2 • TABLE TOP TO PUPPY POSE OR DOWNWARD FACING DOG
Puppy Pose & Downward Facing Dog are not only great at opening and strengthening shoulders and back but can also be useful pose to practice during labour if you need to slow things down. Downward dog is virtually a full body stretch and strengthen however it is especially fantastic for stretching hamstrings and calves. Perhaps stick to Puppy Pose during Third Trimester, it is so important to listen to what feels right for you.
How to enter the pose - Starting in Table top position ensuring knees are under hips, and palms are aligned under shoulders. Draw shoulders away from ears and keep lower belly tucked and during in toward your spine. Keep your gaze to the floor as you move to Puppy Pose by keeping hips still and simply walking palms forward so you can melt your chest toward the floor. If this feels enough stay here otherwise if you feel it is available to you come into your Downward Facing Dog by first coming back to Table top position then lifting hips up and back, as you melt your chest and draw shoulders apart. Perhaps bending the knees a lot here if you have tight hamstrings, trying to focus on drawing heels toward the floor.
Useful prop - if you have sensitive knees place a folded blanket or a pillow under knees for support.
GOLDEN TIP - Ensure inner palms are always pressing into the floor to protect your wrists and always keep gentle bend in the elbows instead of putting pressure on your elbows by locking.
3 • WARRIOR TWO
Such a challenging yet powerful pose! Channel your inner Warrior Goddess here as you strenghten your body and find that delicate balance between effort and effortless.
How to enter the pose - Starting in Tadasana (standing position) draw one knee into chest and then gentle send it back to come into a high lunge. Place back heel down so outside of your foot is parrallel to back of the mat, front toes are facing foward. Front-heel and back-arch are in line. Spread ten toes and feel grounded through the feet, as you bend the front knee so it comes above the ankle. Hips are open to the side and chest is directly above hips. Roll your shoulders up and back to draw away from ears. Feel energy in your arms as they stretch in opposite direction, spreading fingers, palms face down. Upper arms drawing externally as lower arm & hands drawing down internally. Gaze looking toward front hand as you soften your face and jaw.
GOLDEN TIP - simply drop your hands to hips if you need to rest upper body. Keep drawing inner thighs together to fire up your legs and feel more secure in your lower body.
4 • SEATED WIDE LEG with option to transition to BADDHA KONASANA (BUTTERFLY)
Beautiful stretch for your hamstrings & to open hips here! Either stay upright and option to use a wall for support or you can gently fold forward to increase the stretch. Either way, meditate and embrace your beautiful body here!
How to enter the pose - first set comfortably on your bottom and extend you legs as wide as is comfortable. Flex toes back toward you to engage your legs, ensuring your second big toe is facing toward to ceiling. Take a deep inhale as your straighten your spine tall drawing high through the crown of your head. Roll shoulders up and back and relax them down as you place your palms gently on your bump or perhaps to your heart. Each breath feeling the weight of your worries release from your shoulders as your body softens. After a few breathes perhaps you feel comfortable to draw your heart forward and slowly fold. Use your fingers in front of you to support yourself. To release out of the fold press through your fingers to draw back up tall. Useful prop - place a pillow under your bottom for comfort as well as to raise your hips a little to allow for a deeper fold forward.
GOLDEN TIP - Coming into Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose) feels magical after this! Simply bend your knees as your draw soles of your feet together, open knees wide, gently grab your shins as you lengthen spine, perhaps fold forward again to deepen the stretch into hips. You can move your feet away from your groin to ease the stretch or draw closer to go deep!
5 • BALASANA - CHILDS POSE
I saved the BEST for last! Such a restorative pose, that opens hips, shoulders and aligns your spine. You can really allow your Heart to connect to the Earth as you surrender into rest.
How to enter the pose - start in Table Top position, open your knees wide, untuck your toes and sink your hips as close to heels as you can. Walk your palms forward as you melt your belly, heart and forehead to the floor. You can keep your palms to the floor or bend your elbows and come into reverse prayer as pictured. Allow long smooth breathes to flow freely as you become passive and take rest here.
Useful prop - place a pillow under your chest to cuddle especially if your bump is touching the floor, it will elevate your chest to allow more room for your beautiful growing belly. You can also place a small pillow between your bottom and heels if you feel your hips are quite tight.
GOLDEN TIP - gently rock into hips left and right just to feel out and observe if your feeling any tension or resistance. Use your inhale to send more energy into your hips and as you exhale release any heavy energy of fear, stress or anxiousness.
Sending BIG waves of support, love, patience and DEEP BREATHES to you!
Believe in your body, in your baby, and most of all your Self!
You have got this magical Mama!
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