Prenatal Yoga Sequence
There is nothing like the thrill of getting pregnant! I was beyond excited when I found out I was pregnant with my first son. I personally loved being pregnant, but some women don’t feel the same way. There are so many changes to navigate mentally, hormonally, and physically.
I found my yoga practice was super helpful while my body was transforming and growing a life inside of me.
Prenatal yoga can:
- Improve sleep
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increase the strength, flexibility, and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
- Decrease lower back pain, nausea, headaches, and shortness of breath
Prenatal yoga can also help you prepare for the stress of being a new parent. In yoga, we connect our mind and body through our breath so we can be present. When we are in the moment, we can respond in a more loving, compassionate way to ourselves and others. When we are anxious about the future or worried about the past; we are more reactive and on edge.
You can start a prenatal yoga practice if you’ve never done yoga prior. Listen to your body and begin slowly. I have an entire collection of pre and postnatal yoga classes on Peloton from beginner to intermediate to restorative. The app is free for 30 days too! I also have an awesome Prenatal series on my site you can download. I created these classes when I was pregnant with Timothy seven years ago.
Here are some of my favorite poses to help you get started:
CAT/COW: I love doing cat/cow for achy backs during pregnancy as well as developing core and pelvic floor strength. On the exhale round your spine like a cat and feel your lower abs and pelvic floor engage. On an inhalation, open your chest and lift your tail but be mindful not to over stretch the abs keep the belly pulled up and in. 5-10 cycles.
FOREARM PLANK: Forearm plank is a great alternative to regular plank during pregnancy. It doesn’t put as much pressure on the core or wrists. Once your belly gets too big, you can do side forearm planks instead and if this feels like too much on your abs, you can drop your knees to modify. Hold for 5 breaths 3 cycles.
CRESCENT LUNGE: Crescent lunge is an awesome way to open tight hip flexors during pregnancy. Also, think about opening your heart center and staying loving and kind towards yourself during this somewhat uncomfortable time.
WARRIOR 2: I love warrior 2 for opening up and strengthening the hips. “Proud warrior mama” repeat that phrase as you hold this pose for 5-8 breaths.
PIGEON: Pigeon is a great hip opener and preparation for labor and delivery.
DOUBLE PIGEON: Double pigeon can really open up the hips and relieve tension in the lower back. Learning how to breathe through the discomfort in this pose is also a great way to train for labor and delivery.
CAMEL: Camel is a safe backbend for expecting moms since they can’t lie on their backs or bellies past the first trimester. I love how camel strengthens the core and pelvic floor muscles while opening the chest.
Repeat each one of these poses, do each side for crescent, warrior 2 and pigeon. Take your time in each shape and listen to your body and breath. Send loving thoughts to yourself and the growing life (or lives which was the case in my second pregnancy with my twin boys). You got this!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!