Yoga Poses for Expecting Moms

Pregnancy is a very transformative time in a woman’s life, both mentally and physically. It’s a busy time – filled with doctor’s appointments, anxiety, excitement, fatigue, new aches and pains, and a rapidly growing belly and shifting center of mass. It’s a period when balance, both mentally and physically, becomes difficult. I found that keeping a regular yoga practice helped me maintain that balance. The following 6 poses will help you during your pregnancy to:

  1. Breathe – find a calming and centering breath that will soothe and energize you and your baby.
  2. Strengthen the abdominal wall, back, and leg muscles, which is important for protecting your stretching ligaments, strained back, and preparing for delivery.
  3. Stretch, in a controlled way, the low back, side waist, and legs, which get tight as your body adapts to its new shape.

Please note that all pregnant women should consult with their physician before beginning an exercise program.

Cat/Cow Pose

In cat position, the muscles in your back and neck will stretch. In cow position, you will feel a stretch in your chest and abdominal wall. This is a great way to loosen up your lower back and get your spine moving.

Goddess Pose with Eagle Wrap

This is a great way to strengthen your leg and hip muscles in preparation for labor. Eagle wrap is a wonderful tactic to elongate the muscles of your shoulders and open up your upper back.

High Lunge

This is a good method to challenge your balance and to strengthen the muscles of your legs, hips and core, while getting a wonderful stretch of your hip flexor muscles

Gate Pose

A wonderful stretch for the hips, groin, and leg muscles. This stretch also targets the side body, which gets very tight during pregnancy.

Seated Pigeon Pose

This is a great stretch for the deep muscles of the hip and can help relieve pressure in the low back.

Warrior III Pose

This is a good way to work your balance on one leg and strengthen the muscles of the standing leg. It’s also a great core workout.

This post originally appeared on the Hospital for Special Surgery website.

Image via Flickr User jseattle