18th March 2021

The Most Comfortable Yoga Poses during Pregnancy

woman performing yoga

The benefits of physical movement are endless. This is especially true while your body is preparing for the baby to arrive. Depending how far along you are in your pregnancy, you may feel completely out of touch with your body! There is no better way to reconnect with your everchanging and amazing body than through pregnancy-friendly yoga poses.

The most important things to remember when practicing these poses is to not push yourself beyond your limits, wear loose yoga pants that don’t cut into your belly and to take this quiet time as an opportunity to focus on you and the babe. Play some chill music, dim the lights, and light a candle to further the relaxing ambience. Without further ado, here are some of the best yoga poses to stay active during this exciting time of change.

1. Supported Fish Pose

Too often we go through our day hunching our shoulders and compromising our posture. This constant forward lean actually closes up the chest and can put more pressure on your belly! Try this heart-opening pose at the beginning or end of your practice for a deep stretch across your chest. It cultivates relaxation, reduces stress, and helps to balance your internal systems.

How to do the pose:

Grab two blocks and arrange them into a T shape on your mat. The long side of the block sits between your shoulder blades, and the top block rests at the base of your skull. Start to recline until your back and head contact the blocks. Adjust them as needed, and then close your eyes to relax into the pose.

You can bend your knees to release any tension from your lower back. You may choose to keep your hands on your thighs or stretched out beside you. Whichever variation feels the most comfortable to you is fine, just make sure your palms are facing the ceiling, so you maintain an open heart.

2. Sitting Twist Pose

A twist series can be included from a standing or a sitting position. To provide the most comfort in this pose consider using straps or blocks as needed. As you squeeze your twist, try to keep everything tight and compact. As you unwind, notice the increased space you have created and inhale deeply into this new cavity.

How to do the pose:

Sit on your bum with both legs in front of you. Bend your left leg and draw your knee in to your chest. Using your right arm, hug your leg, and twist to the left. You can push your arm against the bent leg to help deepen your twist.

Keep your back straight and your neck relaxed. Keep breathing! It is common to want to hold your breath, but you get maximum health benefits through regular breathing. Unravel your arms and legs and complete the next side when you are ready.

3. Cat-Cow Pose  

If you are driving, sitting, or even standing – you are probably feeling stiffness in your back. As the baby grows, it can feel more challenging to find mobility in your spine. Daily cat-cow poses can help you strengthen your back muscles, massage your abdominal organs, and maintain flexibility in your vertebral column.

How to do the pose:

Start on your hands and knees. Your hands are under your shoulders, and knees are stacked under your hips. Look down and see how far your toes are, we usually overestimate how big our hips are!

As you inhale, start to tilt your head up to the sky and then drop your belly to the ground. Your tailbone is the last to move (Cow Pose). As you exhale, move in reverse, and tuck your tailbone under first. Slowly arch your back towards the sky (cat pose), until the last part of your body (your head) drops between your arms. Your gaze should be towards your belly button. Continue this movement for a few rounds, following your breathing.

4. Warrior II Pose

Right now, you are powerful! Your body is doing amazing things, and this pose can help you tap into that energy. The wide stance of the warrior pose fosters empowerment and strength. This is an especially excellent pose to complete on days when you may need a reminder of how capable you are!

How to do the pose:

Starting with both feet together, step your left foot forwards into a lunge. Your back foot will rotate to be parallel with the end of your mat. Inhale and lift your hands above your head. As you exhale, lower your arms and stretch your fingers away from you. Both arms are actively engaged, so if someone tried to push your hand down, they would feel resistance.

Your gaze is looking forwards, over your front fingertips. As you exhale, you can tilt your back to exalt your warrior. When you inhale, return to your warrior pose. Your front foot returns to the back of the mat. Repeat the pose with your right leg in front.

5. Feet up the wall Pose

Ending your practice with an inversion is an excellent technique to increase circulation throughout the body. The fresh nutrients and oxygen in this blood revitalizes mom, and also feeds the baby! This pose cultivates stability, and some women have decreased swelling in their ankles after regularly practicing this pose.

How to do the pose:

Put your mat up to the wall and sit down on your bum, so you are sideways with the wall. Using your arm for support, lean to the side, and slowly walk your feet up the wall. Naturally, you will find that you have rotated onto your back and you are staring at your feet.

Play with this pose until you find the right posture that you fully relax into. Start by pointing and flexing your feet. Then straighten your legs to a V, going as wide as you feel comfortable. Place your hands on your stomach and feel the connection to your baby. Breathe deeply and savor these moments.

To comfortably roll out of this pose, walk your feet back down again, and use your hand to prop you up into a seated position.

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