How to: Yoga for Pregnant Women

Remember to stay active while pregnant can be one of the most important things you do, but it can also be the most difficult as the weeks pass. What might have been something you could do in your sleep can now seem daunting the bigger your belly becomes, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting the blood pumping. Yoga has become a pregnant woman’s best friend, and for good reason! With a focus on breathing and a plethora of poses aimed at helping to relax and open up your body, it’s well-known that yoga can be extremely helpful in preparing for childbirth! Below is a list of maternity-friendly poses.

Cat Pose

This pose is great for stretching out and relaxing your lower back and abdomen- it’s also extremely simple. Start by getting on your hands and knees, placing your hands at shoulder-width apart and your legs hip-width apart. First, arch your back, lifting your hips and opening up your chest, keeping your chin held up high and looking straight ahead. After holding that pose for ten seconds, slowly bring your hips down and your chest in, returning to your previous position. From there, arch your back again, only this time bring your shoulders down and tuck in your hips until your back is curved like a cat. The farther into your pregnancy the more difficult this could become, so focus more on curving your back than tucking in your hips. 

Downward Dog

This might seem a little daunting while pregnant, but this pose gives you a great stretch all the way down your back, and is said to feel amazing for pregnant women! Usually, you would start this pose standing up before reaching down to touch the floor, but depending on how far into your pregnancy you may be, this could be much closer to impossible than anticipated. Instead, start on your hands and knees, and on the exhale, lift your hips, standing on your feet now with your butt in the air. If you are not entirely comfortable, widen your stance until you find the perfect position. Also, keep in mind not to lock your legs, instead, you should keep them slightly bent at the knee. 

Pigeon Pose

One of my all-time favorite stretches, the pigeon pose, helps pregnant women open up their hips, allowing to become more flexible during childbirth. Start by getting down on bent arms, almost as if about to get into a plank. Bring your right leg in front of you, bending it until your knee is pointing away from your body and your toes are near your chest. Bring your left leg straight back behind you, opening up your chest and laying your hands flat on either side of your hips. Keep your hips facing straight ahead, and lift your head up. For this pose, it’s important to remember your breathing and not rush anything. After each adjustment, take a moment to make sure there is no pressure on your stomach. Using blocks or blankets to hold your weight can also help tremendously!

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