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Pregnancy yoga workout

Jump straight to the pregnancy yoga exercises

In this blog about pregnancy yoga, I’ll guide you through gentle yet empowering exercises designed to nurture your body during this miraculous time. Embrace the calm, strengthen your connection with your baby, and discover the rejuvenating benefits of pregnancy yoga. From soothing stretches to empowering poses, I’ve got your back (and your bump!) covered.

Pregnancy yoga will pretty much always make you feel better however there are times when it should be avoided.

What are the benefits of pregnancy yoga?

Pregnancy yoga can offer a range of benefits for expectant mothers. Here are a few:

  1. Physical well-being: Pregnancy yoga helps in maintaining physical health by promoting flexibility, strength, and balance. It can alleviate common pregnancy discomforts like back pain and swollen ankles.
  2. Breath control: Yoga emphasises conscious breathing, which can be particularly beneficial during labour. Learning and practicing breath control techniques can help manage stress and anxiety which can be at an all time high during pregnancy.
  3. Stress reduction: Pregnancy can be a stressful time, and yoga provides a calm and peaceful environment. The relaxation techniques in yoga can reduce stress and promote emotional well-being.
  4. Preparation for labour: Certain yoga poses and breathing exercises can be helpful in preparing the body for labour and delivery. Squats and kegels, for example, can strengthen the muscles needed for childbirth.
  5. Improved sleep: Pregnancy often comes with sleep challenges. The relaxation techniques in yoga can contribute to better sleep patterns, helping pregnant women get more restful nights.
  6. Recovery after birth: Gentle exercises and stretches can lead to a smoother recovery after childbirth.

How to use these pregnancy yoga exercises

You can integrate these pregnancy yoga exercises into your routine, either by following the sequence or selecting those specifically to address your current ailments.

5 pregnancy yoga exercises

Set the mood with some relaxing music, light a candle and do each exercise for as long as you can feel benefit.

Warrior III (each side)

How to

  1. Start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose): Stand at the top of your mat with your feet together or hip width apart, shoulders relaxed with your fingers pointing to the floor and your weight evenly distributed through your feet.
  2. Shift your weight to one leg: Begin to lift your other foot off the ground while keeping a slight bend in the standing leg.
  3. Extend the lifted leg back: Hinge at your hips, lowering your chest forward and lifting the back leg straight behind you. Your body should ideally be in a T-shape.
  4. Arms forward or alongside your body: Reach your arms forward in line with your ears, or keep them alongside your body for balance.
  5. Engage your core: Keep your abdominal muscles engaged by making a ‘ssss’ sound to help maintain balance.
  6. Align your hips: Aim to keep your hips parallel to the ground.
  7. Hold for a few breaths: Breathe steadily while holding the pose, then return to the starting position and switch sides.

Why this exercise?

As your body changes during pregnancy, your balance can be affected. Warrior 3 helps improve stability and balance.

Remember!

Listen to your body, on some days you will feel like you can fully lift your leg all the way but on others you will not be able to push yourself so much and that is ok.

Cat cow

How to

  1. Get into a box position with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  2. Inhale, move through each vertebra, starting from your neck and moving down to your tailbone. arching your back into a Cow pose.
  3. Exhale, tilt your pelvis and let the movement ripple through each vertebra moving up to your neck, creating a smooth, flowing motion into a Cat pose.

Why this exercise?

As the baby bump grows, it can put strain on the lower back. Cat-Cow helps in stretching and strengthening the muscles around the spine, potentially easing back pain.

Remember!

A visualise someone walking up and down your back with their fingers helping guide each vertebra at a time, or better still ask your partner or friend to physically do it.

Pelvic tilt

How to

  1. Start in a box on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Keep your back straight and your neck in line with your spine.
  3. Engage your core and imagine you are making a ‘ssss’ sound.
  4. Slowly tilt your pelvis forward, arching your back slightly while dropping your belly towards the floor. This is the anterior pelvic tilt.
  5. Tilt your pelvis in the opposite direction, rounding your back and tucking your pelvis under. This is the posterior pelvic tilt.
  6. Move between the anterior and posterior tilts in a controlled manner. Perform 10-15 repetitions.
Pregnant women doing pelvic tilts in sunny garden

Why this exercise?

They help strengthen your abdominal muscles, which can ease back pain, a common discomfort during pregnancy. Pelvic tilts also promote flexibility in the lower back and pelvis, which can be especially helpful as your body undergoes changes to accommodate the growing baby.

Remember!

This is a very small movement but engages the most important muscles for pregnancy so be sure to do this one a lot.

Adductor stretch

How to

  1. Start in a box on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Put one leg out at a right angle with the inside of your foot on the floor.
  3. Gently rock backwards and forwards and feel the stretch in your adductor.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Why this exercise?

Pregnancy can contribute to changes in posture and weight distribution, which may lead to muscular imbalances. Stretching the abductor muscles helps maintain balance in the hip and pelvic regions, reducing the risk of muscle tightness or weakness.

Remember!

Listen to your body, these can be done more slowly when you have less energy or faster with more of a bounce when you are feeling energetic.

Child’s pose

How to

  1. Get into a box position with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  2. Bring your big toes together and spread your knees apart. This creates space for your belly.
  3. Lower your hips toward your heels, rest your head on the mat keeping your arms stretched out in front of you.
  4. Take slow, deep breaths, focusing on expanding your ribcage and creating space for your baby.

Why this exercise?

It’s a restorative pose that you can come into at any point during your pregnancy when you need a break or some time to connect with your body and baby.

Conclusion

So there you have it, five yoga exercises for pregnancy. If you have any suggestions please comment below and I will update the list and credit you!

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