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Meghan Roces is our guest writer this week. She is a lifestyle content writer and mama that loves writing about fitness, particularly yoga. I’m happy to have her share some tips about pregnancy yoga poses this week! Yoga was always one of my favorite ways to de-stress and work out some of the pain I felt in my back and hips and my pregnancy progressed with my daugther! They are also great for preparing the body for childbirth.
Yoga is one of the most recommended exercises for pregnant women to ensure a healthy body and a safe pregnancy. Doing some poses and gentle stretches while you are pregnant can also relieve everyday aches and pains. And attending prenatal yoga classes can be therapeutic for moms.
Dealing with your pregnancy while on quarantine can add an extra stressful layer to your journey. Not only will yoga ease your discomfort, but it can also offer some relaxation.
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A Few Gentle Reminders
- Before you try these poses at home, please consult with your obstetrician. While yoga is beneficial, you shouldn’t do these on your own if you are a first-timer or have not had a consistent yoga practice prior.
- It is also worth noting that there are suitable yoga poses for each trimester. Your first trimester should be navigated with much care, as the risk of miscarriage is highest during this time. The further you are in the pregnancy, the more constricted some of your movements will be. Always listen to your body and adjust when something does not feel comfortable.
With that, let us begin!
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1. Seated Side Stretch
- Sit on your mat with your legs crossed. You have the option to elevate your sitting bones with a thin cushion, bolster, or blanket for better posture.
- From here, lift both arms towards the sky and stretch your upper body.
- Next, place your left hand on the floor with your elbow slightly bent. Then, reach your right arm up towards the ceiling, and bend towards your left side. Your torso should look like a banana.
- Only go as far as you can and breathe here for a few moments. When you are feeling good, repeat this on the other side. Move slowly.
The seated side bend stretches your obliques to relieve pressure from your back. When pregnant, you should ideally avoid twists, so this is an excellent alternative to your seated spinal twist. If you are not comfortable with crossing your legs, you can also have them extended in front of you.
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2. Standing Forward Bend
- Stand firm and secure on the mat with your feet apart, wider than your hips. Find stability here.
- Bend your knees slightly and keep your spine as straight as you can.
- Slowly bend forward from your hips, gently hanging your head loose from the mat. There is no need to go so far down. (Grab a yoga block or ball if needed for support.)
- Extend your arms and hold onto your elbows with the opposite hands. This will open your chest as well.
- Breathe for a few moments. When you are feeling good, you can switch grips with your elbows.
- To come out of the pose, keep your chin tucked to your chest and use the support of your hands on your thighs to get up. Move up slowly to avoid nausea.
This simple pregnancy yoga pose can relieve lower back tension, help with SI joint or low back pain, and offer relaxation, as well. For added release, you can gently sway from side to side.
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3. Legs up the wall pose
- Lie down on the mat against the wall. You can also do this on a firm bed.
- Slowly prop your legs up the wall, making a capital L with your body.
- Extend your arms to the sides and take deep breaths.
If you are suffering from fatigue, or your legs are hurting from standing up too much, this is a sweet pose that will bring you relief. It is perfect to do at night before going to sleep.
**Disclaimer: Lying on your back as your pregnancy progresses can restrict blood flow to your baby- tune into your body and get permission from you OB before trying this pose
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4. Cat and cow
- Get on your all fours, with your shoulders directly above your wrists and hips above your knees.
- On your next inhale, look up, open your chest, and draw your stomach towards the floor, replicating the look of a cow.
- At the exhale, guide your gaze towards your belly and curl your spine like a scared cat.
- Do this for a few rounds until you find comfort on your spine and lower back area. Close your eyes for a meditative effect.
Even when you are not pregnant, the cat and cow movements feel good on the spine. If you are experiencing tailbone or round ligament pain this movement is great for these too. Use an extra cushion on your knees if you have to. There is also no need to over-arch the back during cow pose since you do not want to stretch it more than it already is or will be.
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Be Gentle to Your Body
Massive changes happen to the body when you are pregnant. Do not berate yourself or put an unnecessary amount of pressure to feel good after the poses immediately. Take time to find what works for you, and do not be afraid to modify.
If this helped a lot, you would probably benefit from attending regular virtual classes with a certified prenatal yoga teacher in your area. Take it easy and be gentle with your body.