Yoga with your bump

Yoga has many ben­e­fits for your body and mind – es­pe­cially dur­ing preg­nancy

Your Pregnancy - - Contents -

IF YOU HAVE never done yoga, but your preg­nancy has in­spired you to start liv­ing more healthily and try yoga for the first time, then con­grat­u­la­tions. The ben­e­fits pre- and post-baby are sure to make you feel fab­u­lous and never look back. De­pend­ing on your fit­ness level and gen­eral health, it may be ad­vis­able to only start a new prac­tice like yoga once your preg­nancy is well on track. Talk to your health prac­ti­tioner be­fore you start, just in case.

STAND­ING POSTURES BEN­E­FITS

In­creases leg strength En­er­gises the whole body Opens hips, chest and ham­strings Tones all muscles

1 WAR­RIOR II

Stand with your feet wide apart. Turn left foot fac­ing for­ward 90 de­grees and in line with the back heel which turns in about five de­grees. Bend your front knee 90 de­grees but don’t ex­tend over the an­kle. Lift both arms side­ways and try to get them in line with each other. Gaze over the mid­dle fin­ger of the front hand.

2 TRI­AN­GLE

Place feet wide apart, with feet fac­ing for­ward. Turn left foot out 90 de­grees and in line with the back heel. Turn the back heel in about five de­grees. Tighten quad muscles to pro­tect lower back. Lift both arms out to the side of your body. Reach down with the left arm un­til you can touch your leg. Right arm reaches up strongly. Look up at your hand.

3 WIDE-LEGGED FOR­WARD BEND AND TWIST

Place legs wide apart. The out­side edges of the feet must be par­al­lel with the toes. Fold down at the hips, go­ing for­ward un­til your hands touch the floor. Place left hand firmly under your shoul­der and in the mid­way be­tween your legs. Reach your right arm up and turn your neck gen­tly to gaze up at the right hand. Be gen­tle in this twist and lis­ten to your body.

In preg­nancy you need to be ex­tremely aware of what your body is telling you, and never push your­self too much. Be gen­tle with your­self, and lis­ten to your body

SEATED POSTURES BEN­E­FITS

In­creases blood cir­cu­la­tion to the pelvic floor Opens hips Twists cre­ate space in your preg­nant body (in­creas­ing your com­fort through­out and es­pe­cially to­wards the end of your preg­nancy)

4 TWISTS

Sit­ting with both legs stretched in front of you, step the right leg over the left leg and bend your knee. Gen­tly twist your chest and hook the right el­bow over the right knee. Press firmly into the mat with your left hand and look over your left shoul­der.

5 GOD­DESS SQUAT

Stand with your legs hip-width apart, feet par­al­lel and then slowly squat down. Be care­ful not to lose your bal­ance. Hold onto a wall or a chair if you need it to. When you are squat­ting and feel bal­anced, lean into your heels and press the palms of your hands to­gether. Place your el­bows against your knees to feel a deeper stretch in the hips. Be care­ful not to over­stretch.

KNEEL­ING POSTURES BEN­E­FITS

Gets baby into op­ti­mal birthing po­si­tion Takes pres­sure off your back Re­leases ten­sion in the lower back

6 HIP ROLLS

In­hale and arch your back into cat pose (6A). Look up. Ex­hale as you round your back, tuck your chin in, and let all the air out of your lungs (6B). Re­peat. Then slowly start to roll your hips and com­bine the two poses to­gether.

PRAC­TIS­ING YOGA DUR­ING PREG­NANCY NOT ONLY HELPS YOU COPE WITH THE PHYS­I­CAL AND EMO­TIONAL CHANGES, BUT ALSO PRE­PARES YOU FOR A HAR­MO­NIOUS LABOUR AND BIRTH

WIDE-LEGGED CHILD’S POSE

Once you have done a few hip rolls, re­lax into the wide-legged child’s pose. Press your fore­head into the floor, and breathe eas­ily.

RE­LAX­ATION

Lie back onto a large cush­ion with your legs crossed and your arms rest­ing freely by your side.

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