Yoga for Pregnancy

Hi To All The Mothers-To-Be,

Today, in collaboration with my yoga teacher Marisa Wolfe, I would like to share with you some thoughts on yoga for pregnancy, as well as three specific yoga poses that have been modified to suit your practice during pregnancy. 


Yoga can be a really wonderful form of exercise during pregnancy, as well as pre- and post-pregnancy. It has many benefits for both physical and emotional health. Some of the more general benefits of yoga include strength, flexibility, endurance, and relaxation, and it is a particularly useful form of exercise when pregnant as it is low-impact. 


The main modifications when practicing yoga (for use in a healthy pregnancy) – 


1) Keep your belly-button pointing in the same direction as your hips in twists.


2) Always make room for your expanding belly (i.e. wide-legged child’s pose).


3) Some women prefer not to (or should not, if the Doctor advises) do inversions. 


4) There is often a point in the pregnancy when lying on the back or even doing things like a gentle bridge pose will cause nerve pain, so doing poses like camel become a good alternative. 


Pregnancy Variations for Three Yoga Postures

 1. Kneeling Bridge

 
Kneeling Bridge: If you arrive at a place in your pregnancy where you can no longer lie on your back or do bridge comfortably, this is a nice alternative.  Standing on your knees, pelvis neutral, arms overhead, lift up out of your waist, back-bending the upper back.  This is nice to move in and out of with the breath.  This movement supports greater core strengthening.  The arm position also adds load to increase the core strength aspect of this posture. Very similar to the Cobra variation below, this can also be done with the hands supporting the low back, if you wish for a gentler version.
 
 
2. Standing Cobra


Standing Cobra: Standing in mountain pose, keeping your pelvis neutral, lift up out of your waist to create a backbend in the upper back. Supporting your low back with your hands can be a great help here.  I like to move in and out of the pose with my breath.  This is a good strengthener for the low back and helps to open the lower front rib cage.  Opening the lower rib cage and diaphragm area can help increase breath capacity, something that can be inhibited as baby grows.
 
3. Standing Locust


 
Standing Locust: Stand next to a wall or chair if you need a little help with balance and feel free to hold on!  Endeavoring to keep your pelvis in “neutral,” extend one straight leg back at a time.  I like to Inhale the leg back, Exhale the sole back to the floor, and then switch sides. This is very helpful for practicing balance.  This is a stretch for the hip flexors and a core strengthener.


Thanks so much to my yoga teacher Marisa for her help with putting together this post; her expert advice, providing the images for each yoga pose, and taking me through my own pregnancy.

Bridget @ Hot Tea, Travel, and Thyme x

For more from Marisa, head to: All Yoga All The Time 

Note: All postures and information on the blog have been discussed in consultation with my yoga teacher, Marisa Wolfe. Please always see a professional teacher, as well as a doctor or physical therapist, to come up with the right exercise plan to suit your individual needs.

 
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Disclaimer: Before beginning any exercise program, always get the “okay” from your doctor.

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