Powering through pregnancy with yoga…

I accidentally stumbled upon yoga while trying to rehabilitate a severe hamstring injury I got while running. I can honestly admit that it has been one of the most challenging forms of physical exercise I have ever attempted, so naturally, I was hooked. As I had already been doing yoga regularly when I fell pregnant, I carried on attending classes all the way through.

I cannot emphasize how wonderfully yoga has complemented my pregnancy. I feel stronger, more flexible than ever before (relaxin has added to this), and have an incredible sense of body awareness that I know can only be attributed to my yoga practice. As my due date creeps up on me (2 and a half weeks to go…eeek!), I find myself sitting in various poses for relaxation and opening of my pelvis while I practice my breathing techniques for labour.

I have been fortunate to find a wonderful yoga instructor. She is incredibly strong, compassionate and literally oozes calmness from her pores; she has also been a wonderful mentor and friend throughout my pregnancy. She has been kind enough to pose for some photos showing which yoga poses I have found to be particularly helpful during my pregnancy.

Cobbler Pose:Image

Opens the Hips, Knees and Ankles
Relieves pressure in joints
Calming pose
Encourages deep thoracic breathing

Cobbler Pose- Forward Fold

Image

Deepens the stretch to the Hips and Pelvis

Creates a long extended Spine

Drops head below heart, which takes pressure off the cardiovascular system

Calming for the nervous system

Prepares body for relaxation

Cat stretch Series:

A)     Rounding the spine:Image

Takes pressure out of lower back

Opens up shoulders and scapular

Stretch to the spinal muscles

Tones up abdominal muscles

B)      Arching the spineImage

Opens up the chest and ribcage- encourages deep thoracic breathing

Makes space for baby to drop down, which takes pressure off spine.

Wonderful pose for heart burn or compression of baby onto stomach.

Compresses kidneys and adrenal glands, toning up the endocrine system 

Cobra pose: Knees on the floor variationImage

Relieves lower back pain

Opens up chest and ribcage

Strengthens arms

Opens up the throat- to facilitate correct breathing

Downward Facing Dog:Image

Tones up the arms and shoulders

Moves the weight of the baby back into lower pelvis- strengthening ligaments, muscles and tendons in the hips and legs

Stretches and strengthens spinal muscles

Floods brain with oxygenated blood- nourishing the nervous system

Downward Dog- hip opening variation:Image

Encourages balance

Works the muscles of the arms and shoulders

Creates a flexible, mobile spine.

When the leg is in the air- it encourages correct lymphatic and vascular drainage of the legs, preventing varicose veins

Be sure to repeat on left and right

Camel PoseImage

Chest Opener

Makes space for baby to stretch and move around

Gives mom space to really open the ribcage and breath deep into the base of the lungs

Opens up the heart centre- energising the body and the mind

Warrior 2:Image

Strong pose to work on the muscles of the legs, glutes and pelvis

When the lower body is strong, the pregnant woman can carry her upper body with ease.

Warrior 2 encourages strength of the mind and the body.

It tones up the legs, and works on correct rotation of the pelvis and hips.

Squat pose: Hands at chest variation.

THE QUEEN POSE of pregnancy.Image

Do this pose every day- As many times as you can.

Strengthens the legs, the pelvis and the spine

The pose helps to move baby down into the birthing canal- to facilitate for easy natural labour.

It opens the pelvis- moves the hip bones into correct alignment for birthing, sends blood into the pelvis nourishing these organs.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Powering through pregnancy with yoga…

  1. i reaaaaally want to try yoga. i have a few more months of my pregnancy and i can only see it helping. i am already winded when walking up the stairs so i think it’s about time i do something about that. 😉

  2. Right here is the right site for anybody who would like to find out about
    this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue
    with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a new spin on a topic that has been written about for decades.
    Great stuff, just excellent!

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