Pregnancy Yoga Poses
To maintain a healthy pregnancy, yoga poses are a wonderful addition to your diet and exercise regimen. If you had a regular yoga practice prior to pregnancy, there's really no reason why you should stop-you'll simply modify postures as your baby grows.
If you're new to yoga, make sure to first check with your OB/GYN before beginning a practice. Also research poses not recommended for pregnant women, such as certain twists and backbends.
This image shows many popular pregnancy poses, including Tree and the Warrior series. Flip through this slideshow to see more.
Such a familiar posture, but one you can use to as a centering pose between other seated ones, or simply as a way to relax.
Here's another example of Tree Pose. Notice that the foot is not on the knee, but just below it. That's a wonderful modification if baby is rolling and kicking. But, if all is calm, see if you can inch your foot higher up on the inner thigh above the knee. Remember, the key to balancing postures is to fix your gaze on a point ahead.
Give you and your baby strength performing Warrior II. Notice this model is quite advanced in her pregnancy, and yet she holds the pose with power and purpose.
This modification of Extended Side Angle relies on a firm planting of the feet into the earth, elbow/forearm resting on the thigh. This is a great chest-opening pose, but keep your hips forward. Only extend the arm as is comfortable. You might find this pose increases energy, too.
This is a terrific resting posture after a standing sequence. You should always feel the body relax and not have any tension in your neck or shoulders.
If you're feeling foggy, slip into Downward-Facing Dog Pose. The usual recommendations apply: draw your shoulder blades away from your ears, rest easy on your heels, and lower your head and chest between the arms. Usually, one moves from Down Dog into Lunge, but if baby's in the way, simply walk your feet back up to your palms, and slowly rise up on an inhale.
Another way to come out of Down Dog is to move into Cat-Cow. A table-top back with the head down is Cow. To move into Cat, arch the back and drop the neck even more. Again, baby might make this a challenge, but do what is comfortable for you. Alternate between the two poses a few times with controlled breath guiding the movement.
If you need a good hip stretch, this pregnancy yoga pose may be the solution. Move forward as is comfortable.
To maintain form and not overextend, take advantage of props. This ball is a great tool for a pose like this, because you can relax without adding pressure to your back or stomach. Take care to bring the shoulders down from the ears if you do the pose with the ball.
Usually Eagle Pose is performed standing, and you're certainly welcome to do it that way. But if there are days when you need something less strenuous, this modification will still help you improve concentration.
Once or twice a day, take at least 10 minutes to sit quietly in a sacred space. Reflect upon the wonderful journey you and your baby are sharing, and fill your bodies with light and joy.
Do Yoga With Baby Later, Too!
If you enjoyed pregnancy yoga poses, just imagine how much more exhilarating your practice will be after the baby is born! Find ways to build upon your skills and knowledge, and use free kids' downloadable yoga videos to extend your baby's practice as well.
Visit LoveToKnow Pregnancy for more health and exercise tips.