Mindful Movement: Top 4 Yoga Positions for Expecting Mums
Not everyone glows during pregnancy. For most expecting mums, it’s a time of excitement and fear. And the further you are in your pregnancy, the more uncomfortable you become. That’s where yoga comes in. Not only does it do wonders for your body, but it can also help calm your mind (a little zen goes a long way). Prenatal yoga is a great way to stay active and relaxed through each semester and can also help alleviate some of the discomforts you might be feeling.
Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or new to the practice, these five poses will help keep you feeling healthy and happy.
Cat/Cow – for back pain
Back pain is one of the most common problems during pregnancy, but a daily dose of cat/cow pose is one of the best ways to alleviate this. It can even help the baby move into the correct position for birth. Get onto all fours and keep your hands shoulder-width apart and your knees directly below your hips. As you breathe in, curve your lower back inwards and bring your head up. As you exhale, gently round your back, look down and relax your neck. Remember to do this gently and slowly, and repeat it three or four times.
Downward facing dog – for taking pressure off your belly
Downward facing dog is the perfect pose to take a little pressure off your growing belly. Start on your hands and knees, making sure that your hands are shoulder-width apart, with your shoulders above your wrists. Then lift your knees, tuck your toes against the mat, and lift both knees into the air. Press your heels down and hold for at least three breaths.
Legs up the wall – for swelling
Swelling is common during pregnancy, but this pose can take some of that pressure off your feet and legs and give you some much-needed relief. This easy position can become difficult to move into when you’re far along in your pregnancy, but it’s worth it. First, place a bolster or pillow against the wall. Sitting to the left of it, stack your knees to the left and scoot your bottom as close to the wall as you can. Once you’re there, gently lower your body to lie on your left side, then roll your bottom onto your props. Slowly shimmy yourself until you touch the wall, extend your legs up, and relax.
Bound angle – for pelvis pain
A growing baby can often lead to pelvic pain, but a bound angle pose can help relieve the discomfort, and help open up your pelvis. Simply make your way onto your mat into an upright seated position and bring the soles of your feet together. Let your knees drop down, and use pillows or blocks to help if you need some support. Practice some deep breathing and even give yourself a little foot massage while you’re here.
As you practice prenatal yoga, don’t forget to take it easy and tune into your body’s needs. A few poses a day can help, but never overdo it. Take your time, breathe in the good stuff, and move mindfully between poses. After all, this is yoga for two now, so stretch, flow, and enjoy.
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