Pregnancy yoga! Five moves for mums-to-be

Pregnancy is such a special time in a woman’s life and the perfect opportunity in which to really listen to your body, slow down and go easy on yourself. Yoga can assist you in staying present to all the emotional ups and downs and unfamiliar sensations you’ll experience in your body during pregnancy. It can help smooth out the roller coaster ride so that you feel more ease and joy on this epic journey.

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So here are my top five daily yoga postures for mums-to-be. Of course, as with any new exercises you undertake during pregnancy, be sure to consult with your doctor before trying them out.

Yoga side angleExtended side angle

Why it’s great

A beautiful hip opener as well as leg strengthener, you’ll strengthen not only the body but build mental resilience.

How to do it

Take a deep wide stance through your legs with your right foot forward. Turn your left toes in 45 degrees and your right toes straight forward to top of mat. Lunge into the right leg so that the knee and ankle are in line. Place your right forearm on your right thigh and your left arm up and over the head. Gently squeeze the right knee out to the right and press down into the outer edge of your left foot. Take five easy, deep breaths.

Yoga triangleTriangle

Why it’s great

This pose stretches the hamstrings, hips and back. Awesome for when you’re starting to feel fatigued and tight along the spine.

How to do it

From the above side angle, gently and with control, bring your torso back up to stand. Step your front foot back a little to shorten the stance. Inhale the arms out to shoulder height, exhale and lengthen into the right side. When you can’t reach any further, take your right hand down to your right shin or ankle (depending on where you can reach) and extend your left arm above the head.  Press into both of the feet generously, wrap the right seat under the body and lengthen from the tail to the crown. Take five to 10 deep breaths.

Repeat both of the above poses on your left side.

Yoga intense stretchIntense seated side stretch

Why it’s great

This is awesome for digestion and for energizing your whole body.

How to do it

From a seated position, take your left leg forward keeping that left foot active by pressing into the heel. Fold up your right knee and take the right heel to the inner right thigh. Place your left hand to your left knee. Inhale to lengthen both side waists by lifting the crown towards the sky. Exhale, lengthen the right arm up and over to the left towards the left foot. You’ll probably feel a juicy stretch all down the right side of the body as well as your lower right back. Enjoy! Take 10 deep breaths.  Then repeat on the other side.

Yoga bound angleBound angle

Why it’s great

This pose opens the hips and inner thighs as well as lower back.

How to do it

From your seated posture, bring the soles of the feet together and take the knees out wide. Grab a hold of the feet and then open them up as if you’re reading a book. Inhale to lengthen your spine then exhale and lean forward until you feel a stretch in your inner thighs and lower back. If you’d like to ease further into this you can take your elbows to the inner thighs or shins and gently press down on the exhalations. Take 10 deep breaths.

Cat/cow

yoga cat cow

Why it’s great

These are fantastic for spinal health especially if you feel back pain during pregnancy.

How to do it

From all fours, take you hands directly under the shoulders and your knees under the hips. Inhale drop the navel, lift the tailbone and look forward as you broaden your collar bones. Exhale lift the navel, tuck the tail and look back between the thighs. Move through these two spinal postures in time with the breath and take 10 breaths.

Image credits: Thinkstock