My yoga practice changed a lot during my pregnancy but I was so grateful to have it as part of my prenatal fitness routine. From a physical standpoint, practicing yoga several times a week throughout my pregnancy helped keep my body strong and agile while also alleviating discomfort that can come with growing a human inside of you!
For the first two trimesters I was able to maintain my normal power practice and felt good doing it but the third trimester brought a slowing down. I found that my growing and changing body needed a lot more TLC and stretchy, slow movement.
7 AMAZING YOGA POSES FOR PREGNANCY
For this post, I am sharing a collection of seven of my favorite “feel good” postures for pregnancy. These are simple postures that you can incorporate into your prenatal yoga practice or just do on a one-off basis as you need a little stretching and relaxation.
TABLETOP WRIST STRETCH
Pose: tabletop wrist stretch
Why: to stretch out your wrists and alleviate carpel tunnel which can be common in pregnancy due to a build-up of fluid in the tissues in your wrist.
How: come to all fours and line your hips over your knees and shoulders over wrists to find your tabletop position. Working one hand at a time, spin your fingertips back to face towards your knees with palm down on the mat. Perform some gentle rocking motions back and forth to stretch out the wrist. You can also do this with knuckles down and palm up/open to stretch a different part of your wrist.
Pose: supported bridge
Why: this restorative backbend opens up your low back…which is something that feels so good and is so needed in pregnancy!
How: lie down on your back and slide a block under your sacrum. You can adjust it to any of the three heights. Relax your arms down by your sides and plant your feet under your knees. Relax!
T-SPINE (THORACIC SPINE) STRETCHPose: t-spine stretch
Why: reduces tension in the mid to upper spine and opens the chest and shoulders.
How: lie down on your back and slide a yoga block under your shoulder blades. Position the block horizontally on the lowest height. The bottom of the block should rest on the bottom of your shoulder blades. Lean back over the block. Open your arms wide and let your head fall back. If you need more support for your head, place a bolster, blanket or another block under it. You can extend your legs out long or bend the knees and plant the feet.
Pose: chest stretch
Why: with so much weight in the front of your body, it’s easy to begin rounding your shoulders forward during pregnancy. This stretch can also help with discomfort caused by growing breasts due to hormonal changes within the body.
How: lie down on your side and bring the elbow that is closest to the ground out beside you at a 90-degree angle. Make sure there is a relatively straight line from the shoulder to the elbow. Plant the other palm into the mat underneath the opposite shoulder to counterbalance. You can rest your head on the mat or on a bolster, blanket or block. If it’s uncomfortable to get into this position lying down, you can also replicate it standing up against a wall.
LEGS UP THE WALL
Pose: legs up the wall
Why: this pose is super great if you are experiencing swelling in your legs and feet. And even if you’re not, it can make tired legs feel so much better. Legs up the wall helps promote blood and lymph circulation and can also reduce insomnia and aide in digestion.
How: lie down on your back and scoot your butt up against the wall. Extend your legs up the wall (straight or in a v-shape). You can place a blanket under your hips if you need a little cushion and it can be nice to place a bolster or blanket under your head.
Why: stretches hips and relieves low back discomfort.
How: begin in a kneeling position and bring your knees out wide. You want to make sure your hips are over your knees and not out in front of them and to have a straight line from knee to ankle with feet flexed. Start to crawl your hands forward and support your bodyweight on your forearms or on a block or bolster placed under the chest.
SUPPORTED THRONE RELAXATION
Pose: supported throne relaxation
Why: because what pregnant mama doesn’t want to feel like a queen!? I learned this one in my prenatal yoga teacher training and it’s amazing!
How: to set up, place one bolster horizontally at the top of your mat to create the base. Place a block on top of it oriented vertically on the lowest height to create elevation. Place another bolster vertically on top of the block to create a back rest. Recline back against the throne and bring feet together, knees apart to add a gentle hip stretch. You can also place rolled up blankets or blocks under the knees. Bonus: place your hands on your belly to connect to baby!
7 AMAZING YOGA POSES FOR PREGNANCY GRAPHIC
I hope that you find these poses to be helpful, comfortable and relaxing! Please let me know if you have any questions.
Did you practice yoga during your pregnancy?
What are your favorite yoga poses for pregnancy?
All photos Scott Broome Photography.