Prenatal Yoga Exercises
Updated: Feb 28, 2021
When you’re pregnant, parts of your body hurt that you didn’t even know existed. Weird aches and pains pop up out of nowhere and your growing belly can make finding comfortable positions nearly impossible.
Here are 5 yoga poses every pregnant woman should know.
1. Extended Side Angle Pose: We feel especially sluggish during pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find energy reserves to tap into. Try the extended side angle pose when you’re dragging. It requires strong legs and works to open up the hips — a much needed stretch if you’re sitting at a desk all day. “Extending the upper arm above the head at an angle works the whole side body from finger tips to the extended back leg,” notes Broda. If you reach for it, you might find you have more energy than you think.
2. Triangle Pose: Somewhere between remembering to take your vitamins and prepping a nursery, did you start to feel like you were losing your sanity just a bit? While pregnancy is a time of celebration, it is also a highly anxious time and you may find yourself carrying around a bit too much tension. Try a modified triangle pose to regain your sense of balance. This all-around good pose works the legs, stretches the side body, energizes the hips, and opens up the shoulders, which (we’re guessing) have started to cave in a bit under the pressure.
3. Sitting Side Stretch: Around week 30, you may look down in terror as you try to figure out where 10 more weeks of growth are supposed to go. The sitting side stretch will open your side waist and pelvis and stretch the hips. “As our bellies get bigger,” Broda reminds us, “it’s important to find as much space in your torso as possible.”
4. Cat / Cow Poses: Do back pains have you already dreading the ominous and mysterious sounding “back labor?” We feel you. Most women will endure back pains at some point in their pregnancy, but gently rocking between cat and cow poses will work to warm up the spine and stretch the body, hopefully getting you back on track. They also help to shift the weight of the baby away from the spine, giving you some much needed relief. You’ll want to remember and practice this one, Broda says, in case you do have “back labor.”
5. Child’s Pose: If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you probably love child’s pose because it signifies a short break from all the hard work. When you’re pregnant, however, your normal day can begin to feel like a lot of hard work and it’s important to take time to rest and regroup. When in child’s pose, Broda recommends focusing on relaxing the face and breathing deeply into the back — two important lessons to remember in between contractions!
As your belly grows, keep your big toes together and spread your knees apart to create space. Likewise, if it’s more comfortable to sit up high, rather than bringing your bum to your ankles, go for it. Just remember to rest your forehead and to breath deeply into your back.