Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Uber-Pregnant Yoga



Butterfly, Warrior 2, & Tree Pose at 36.5 weeks

I'm now 10 days past my due date! I'm still practicing yoga and thought I would share just what that looks like at this stage in the game! (Please note this is my personal experience and not meant as medical advice. Always check with your doctor before engaging in any exercise program, especially when pregnant.)

Before my practice today I took a walk to get warmed up. Typically in a Vinyasa yoga class we begin with flowing yoga poses to heat the body and prepare for holding postures and more deeply stretching the body later in our practice. Since it is pretty challenging for me (and not recommended at this stage of pregnancy) to move quickly enough to warm up my muscles with Sun Salutations or the like, a walk helped me warm up safely.

I started my yoga practice with some Diaphragmatic Breathing in Child's Pose (with my knees wide to make room for my belly). Then I moved through some Cat/Cow (one of my favorite poses for pregnancy). I briefly went into Downward Facing Dog (I don't recommend any more than 3 breaths in this pose, especially in the last trimester) and then a Standing Forward Fold (with a big bend in my knees to keep the lower back safe). Next I rose up to Mountain and then into Squat Pose with Mula Bandha (another highly recommended pose for pregnancy). From my squat, I gently rocked back onto my seat and moved into Butterfly Pose, taking a gentle forward fold (being mindful to use an inhale to lengthen the spine and an exhale to hinge forward from the hips). I spent several breaths here, letting my hips open and focusing on relaxing into the pose. I finished up with some variations on Wide-Angle Seated Forward Fold to continue opening my hips and a seated meditation, using a bolster for support.

A very gentle and slow moving practice and it felt good! Did you practice yoga during your pregnancy? What was your favorite pose? Feel free to share in the comments or on our studio Facebook page.

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