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.
Opens the Hips, Knees and Ankles
Relieves pressure in joints
Encourages deep thoracic breathing
Cobbler Pose- Forward Fold
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:
Takes pressure out of lower back
Opens up shoulders and scapular
Stretch to the spinal muscles
Tones up abdominal muscles
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
Relieves lower back pain
Opens up chest and ribcage
Opens up the throat- to facilitate correct breathing
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
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
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
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.
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.