Updated: May 30, 2022
Looking for yoga postures to help you to connect with baby and to treat your pregnant body with some TLC? I’ve got a few go-to postures I have been able to practice pretty much whenever, and just about anywhere. In general, yoga helps us deeply connect with, and helps us to be in tune with subtle changes that take place within our bodies, so why not use this practice to deepen our connection with our babies as well? Practicing yoga throughout pregnancy not only deepens a connection between you and baby, but also helps to prepare you mentally, emotionally, and physically for birth. What’s so great about the postures that I’m about to share with you is that they, as mentioned before, can be practiced anywhere. This means that you don’t need any bolsters, blocks, or other specialized supports. As long as you have a padded surface, a chair, or couch, you’re good to go! There’s definitely no better time to keep it simple and minimal than during pregnancy! I hope you enjoy the following three prenatal postures that I cannot do without!
Cat & Cow:
***Update (May, 2022): Please omit cow from this flow. Ever since becoming a RYPT, I've come to learn that this pose should be avoided during pregnancy as it could lead to diastias recti due to the pressure put on abdominal muscles.***
There are sometimes days when an entire yoga flow is just not in the cards for me. On such days I would always resort to at least the Cat and Cow Pose because they’re super simple to do, and you can practice them safely pretty much anywhere, including your bed or even the beach! Practicing Cat and Cow Pose also helps me to create room in my womb to ease pressure against my organs, and of course, baby too! I especially like to practice these two postures to help move baby into a more comfortable position for the both of us. So, if you’re facing the same challenges of feeling pressed for time, or just feel really tired (hello third trimester!), these two postures, which are non-negotiables for me, may be just the thing you and your baby need.
Other Cat & Cow Prenatal Benefits:
Helps to elevate lower back pain.
Helps with round ligament pain.
Helps to shift baby into ideal birth position.
Gently tones and strengthens shoulders, abdominals and spine.
Begin by coming into Table Top position, aligning your shoulders above your wrists, and hips above your knees.
As you inhale, come into Cow Pose by gently lifting the chest and bringing your gaze towards the sky. This will create a natural and gentle bend in the spine and direct your belly towards the ground.
Next, inhale and come into Cat Pose by rounding your spine, drawing the belly inward (be gentle with your baby belly), and bring your gaze toward your bellybutton.
Repeat this sequence while focusing on your breath. On each inhale find Cow Pose, and on each exhale come into Cat Pose.
Stay in a certain pose for another breath or two if it feels good to do so (I personally stay in these poses for a couple of breaths each before moving onto the next).
Release to Child’s Pose with a wide-leg variation when complete.
Seated Chair Pigeon Pose:
The traditional Pigeon Pose is one of my favourite postures to practice, but pregnancy makes it a tad difficult to achieve its intended form. Have no fear, because there’s an accommodation for that! To carefully practice this pose and accommodate a growing pregnant belly, simply do it seated in a chair (or in my case, a large rock at the beach!). This pose provides many benefits, especially during pregnancy, as it helps to stretch the piriformis muscle, and ease sciatic nerve pain, which is a common discomfort/pain for expectant mothers. The pain is experienced as a result of a growing baby putting pressure on this nerve. If you suffer from sciatic pain during your pregnancy, you can always turn to this pose to help ease the discomfort!
Opens hip joint.
Diminishes lower back pain and stiffness.
Opens hips and helps to release undesirable energy. (Tight hips are usually a result of stored negative energy, stress, trauma and anxiety.)
Begin seated in a chair, feet flat on the ground and spine lengthened and straight.
Bring your right ankle to rest on your left knee and keep your right toes flexed to protect your knee joint (instead of pointed toes, you flex your toes towards the right).
Inhale to lengthen your spine
Exhale then slowly lean forward with a straight back until you feel the stretch. Don’t force the stretch, go only as far as you can go. During pregnancy it is easy to overstretch, so just be careful here.
Hold for 5-10 breaths then switch sides.
To feel even more connected with your body and baby, give this pose a try! This pose will grant you the stillness and silence you crave during this transformative time in your life. Sitting in this posture combined with breath work (alternate nostril breathing, or simply deep inhales and long exhales), makes for the perfect connection between you, the vessel, and baby. Instead of traditionally placing my hands on my knees, I like to place my hands around my womb to enhance my connection with baby, to savour the moment of silence and stillness, and to truly appreciate this process of transformation.
Other Benefits of Easy Pose:
Opens hip joints.
Lengthens spine to help improve posture.
Provides a sense of inner calmness.
Find a comfortable surface to sit on and then enter a seated cross-legged position.
Rest your hands on your belly or in your lap.
Focus on your breath. You may choose to do alternate nostril breathing or simple deep inhales and long exhales.
Stay in Easy Pose as long as you’d like, and feel comfortable doing.
What are some of your non-negotiable prenatal postures? Leave a comment!