Note: Please help us welcome Andrea to our contributor team! She is a yoga and barre instructor and mommy to one cute little guy. We are excited for you to read about her journey through motherhood and tips for staying healthy.
Prenatal Yoga is a great way to stay balanced and in shape during your pregnancy.
All the fluctuating hormones and added weight can sometimes leave us feeling discouraged to get moving. Now that Fall season is here and cooler temperatures are right around the corner, it’s time to spice up your workout with a few season specific prenatal yoga poses.
Prenatal Yoga can be a fun, safe and effective way to build strength and stability, as well as calm an overactive mommy mind. These yoga poses are intended to help support a growing belly as well as promote circulation which is so important during these cooler months. The Fall season, according to Ayurveda, brings on Vata energy. The ayurvedic doshas are Kapha, Pitta and Vata. Vata is most prominent during the Fall. The Vata’s dosha characteristics are airy, cold and dry. These elements can make you feel unsupported, unstable and irregular. The following poses can support you through this time of year.
To get started you’ll need a yoga mat, a hand towel and some water to stay hydrated. No yoga mat, no problem. A rug or carpet will do. Now let’s get started!
This is the perfect pose to begin any yoga practice. It helps to promote stability and balance. Child’s Pose also feels great for our ever expanding hips AND heart! Being slightly inverted creates blood flow to your heart and baby.
Great for breaking up tension along the spine, toning your core muscles and safely stretching your baby belly. The fluid movement of combining these two poses can create warmth by circulating blood flow.
This is one of my favorite poses! It creates stability, strength and stimulates feelings of power and security. I mean, it’s called Warrior for a reason!
This pose can also be modified to cradle your bump.
Seated Open Twist
The Fall season can create irregularity in our digestive tract, so twisting poses are encouraged to detoxify and help break up anything blocking our body or energy from elimination. Deep twists are NOT recommended during pregnancy. Here (below) I demonstrate an open twist which is less restricting.
Not only is this pose ideal for mommies-to-be, but also happens to be the ideal position for natural birthing. Malasana helps to build strength in the lower abdominal muscles particularly the pelvic floor. It also promotes good posture. Be aware that during pregnancy the body releases the hormone relaxin that makes the ligaments in the body stretch and expand. It’s important to ease into every pose to not over stretch the body.
As you bring your practice to a rest be aware that mommies-to-be need to take a different approach to this closing posture. The best way to lay in Savasana is on your left side. There is a major artery that runs along the right side that sends blood to baby, so you’d want to avoid putting any pressure on it. Of course you may take the traditional approach to this pose if you’re earlier in your pregnancy and can still rest on your back comfortably.
Blankets, bolsters and blocks are great tools to use for your prenatal yoga practice. They help as you get further along in pregnancy. FYI…I use a bolster to sleep with every night!
Have awareness and listen to your body
When something doesn’t feel good, STOP. Try another variation of the pose or move on to Child’s Pose. Remember Child’s Pose is grounding and helps to reset the body and mind.
Yoga in general should be fun and not at all serious. A prenatal yoga practice should be nurturing and relaxing. Enjoy your practice and you’ll heighten the benefits to you and baby!