Yoga with your bump
Yoga has many benefits for your body and mind – especially during pregnancy
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.
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)
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.
Lie back onto a large cushion with your legs crossed and your arms resting freely by your side.