Pregnancy is such a transformative time. The word 'Birth' is basically synonymous with the word 'Transformation'. Your body is changing, emotions and hormones are in flux, and life may feel chaotic and out of control. Just as pregnancy and birth are transformative, so is Prenatal Yoga.
At Blooma’s Prenatal Yoga Classes, we UNDERSTAND. We get it. We acknowledge it all - the waves of the ups and downs, the way you feel unfamiliar of your own body, and the fear change can bring. Our intention at Blooma is to educate, support and give you the BEST yoga postures to comfort your pregnant body and mind each class. Coming to class can help you perfect your form to gain the most from your practice.
Here are our Top 6 Favorite Prenatal Yoga Poses for Expecting Mamas.
1. Cat/Table Pose (MARJARYASANA / BHARMANASA)
Get on all 4’s! This rocking movement back and forth from Cat to Table is my # 1 all time favorite. As the baby grows, more weight and tension is put on the lumbar spine and muscles of the lower back. The entire spine will benefit from gliding easily back and forth and this movement can encourage baby into “optimal fetal positioning” for delivery. It could very well be a position that supports you in labor!
*Replace cow pose with table to avoid added pressure to the lumbar spine and to avoid over stretching of the abdominal muscles.
2. Child’s Pose (BALASANA)
Child’s pose is the great pose of surrender. Allow your knees to go wide to make room for baby and bring your toes in towards each other. Fully let go with the support of either a blanket or pillow under the knees, and a bolster under the chest. This posture can help fight off nausea, relieve stress and anxiety, and help to quiet down the mind. Your head can go to either side or forehead down. Eyes closed. Deep breath. Let go.
3. Squat Pose (MALASANA)
Take a yoga block underneath your sitting bones, take your knees wide and have a squat! You can put a blanket underneath the heels for more lift. Squat pose will help to open the hips and lengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. Constipation is common in pregnancy and this pose can help aid in digestion. For more support, you can try a squat while leaning against a wall. *Don’t hold squat pose if your baby is breech and you are 34 weeks or more.
4. Warrior 2 (VIRABHADRASANA II)
The pose of confidence! This hip-opener, leg-strengthener, heart-opener, mind-bender is a must for every prenatal yoga mama. Finding strength, balance, breath and inner confidence in Warrior 2 will help create that same confidence on your birthing day. Learn to breathe into all parts of your body here. Check in with your front knee and make sure it is guiding towards your front foot’s pinky toe side. Open up that front hip, ground down in the back foot just as much. Feel baby snuggle up and in while your tailbone lengthens down. Heart open with your hands reaching wide - and breathe!
5. Goddess Pose (UTKATA KONASANA)
At Blooma we call this the “Mothership of all poses." In this pose we get to tune into sensation. We get to see what shows up in our minds as we face challenge. Goddess pose is not only an endurance builder, but a confidence maker. Open the hips, lengthen the inner thighs and pelvic floor muscles and goddess pose will create an opening in the pelvis. This pose is a strengthens the muscles in the legs. We often have a tendency to internally drop the knee, so line it up with your second toe for proper placement. Imagine your scratching your back against a tree behind you to keep the shoulders and torso up tall. Glide side to side, then come back and find your center. Let your fire-y goddess shine! With every exhale you can sink down and create a mini micro-bend in the legs to feel your strength!
6) Final Resting Pose (SAVASANA)
It’s time to allow your body to soak in all of your hard work. The MOST important pose in yoga- savasana. When you prepare to lie down, sit on the left side of your hips and slide your arm down until you reach the side seam of your body onto the mat. Laying down on your left side (again to promote optimal fetal positioning) let your left leg stay extended long. Place a bolster underneath your right knee, bent at 90 degrees, with your right foot on the bolster as well. A second pillow can go underneath your head. Close your eyes and rest mama. You deserve it.
During every prenatal yoga practice be compassionate and kind to yourself, listen to your body, and most of all know how loved you are.
**Please consult with your health care provider before starting a prenatal yoga practice.
Written by Stacy Seebart E-RYT500/ RPYT
Director of Blooma’s Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training