Pre-Natal

This 26 step sequence of yoga postures was designed to stretch and open the hips to prepare for an easeful birth and to relieve the common discomforts of pregnancy. Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
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1. Start in Easy Pose

yoga postureA. Inhale and press the hips down and reach the crown up to lengthen the spine. Roll the shoulders down and back to open the chest. Relax the face and rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth.

B. Lengthen the inhalation and exhalation by breathing deeply into the belly through the nose. Release any thoughts or distractions and let the mind be focused on the breath.

C. Breathe and hold for 10-30 breaths.

2. Come into Table position on your hands and knees

yoga postureA. Place the palms under the shoulders and the knees under the hips.

B. The back is flat and the gaze is between the hands.

C. Press back through the tailbone and forward through the crown of the head to lengthen the spine.

3. Inhale into Dog Tilt

yoga postureA. Reach the tailbone up towards the ceiling by arching the spine and letting the belly drop towards the floor.

B. Press down into the palms to drop the shoulders away from the ears and look up at the ceiling.

4. Exhale into Cat Tilt

yoga postureA. Tuck the tailbone under by rounding the spine and pulling the belly up towards the spine.

B. Press down into the palms to reach the middle of the back up towards the ceiling. Let the head hang from the neck.

5. Repeat #3 and #4 moving with the breath 3-6 times

6. From Table, exhale into Downward Facing Dog

yoga postureA. Tuck the toes under, bend the elbows and lift the hips up and back.

B. Press firmly into the hands and arms to press the hips back. Let the head hang from the neck.

C. Press the heels into the floor. The legs are straight or can be slightly bent to flatten the back.

D. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

7. Inhale and step right forward into Low Warrior

yoga postureA. Step the foot between the two hands with the knee directly over the ankle. Lower the back knee and top of foot to the floor.

B. Press the legs down into the floor as you lift out of the waist reaching the crown and fingertips up towards the ceiling. Relax the shoulders down from the ears and press the chest forward.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

8. From Low Lunge, exhale into Downward Facing Dog

yoga postureA. Tuck the toes under, bend the elbows and lift the hips up and back.

B. Press firmly into the hands and arms to press the hips back. Let the head hang from the neck.

C. Press the heels into the floor. The legs are straight or can be slightly bent to flatten the back.

D. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

9. Repeat # 7 through #8 on opposite side

10. Step the feet to the hands and inhale up to Mountain pose

yoga poseA. Place the feet together or a few inches apart.

B. Press the feet down and reach the crown up to lengthen the spine. Roll the shoulders down and back to open the chest. Inhale the palms together in front of your chest.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

11. Inhale and step or jump out into Five Pointed Star

yoga postureA. Step or jump the feet out wide apart with the arms out to the sides. Feet are parallel, directly under the wrists.

B. Press down into the feet, out through the fingertips and up through the crown of the head

C. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

12. Exhale into Warrior II

yoga posture A. Turn the right toes towards the right wall and the left toes slightly in towards center. Bend the right knee directly over the ankle into a deep lunge. Keep the hips and chest forward and look at the right middle finger.

B. Press down through the feet and out through the fingers and crown.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

13. Inhale and straighten the legs, exhale into Triangle

yoga posture A. Keep the toes facing where they are and straighten both legs. Press the left hip out and slide the arms to the right. Rotate just the arms, resting the back of the right hand against the inside of the right leg.

B. Press down through the feet and out through the fingers and crown.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

14. Repeat #11 through #13 on the other side

15. Inhale into Five Pointed Star

yoga postureA. Turn both feet forward with the arms out to the sides. Feet are parallel, directly under the wrists.

B. Press down into the feet, out through the fingertips and up through the crown of the head

C. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

16. From Five Pointed Star, exhale forward into Standing Yoga Seal

yoga postureA. Interlace the fingers behind the back. Inhale and squeeze the shoulders together, arch the spine and look up. Exhale and hinge at the hips rounding the spine forward.

B. Let the head hang from the neck and press the arms forward over your head.

C. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.

17. Inhale back up to Five Pointed Star and exhale into Goddess Pose

yoga postureA. Keep the shoulder blades squeezed together as you inhale and roll the spine back up, exhale and release the arms. Bend the elbows out to the sides with the palms facing each other, point the toes out 45 degrees. Exhale and bend the knees lowering the hips down into a squat.

B. Press the hips and chest forward, press the elbows and knees back.

C. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.

18. Inhale back to Five Pointed Star and exhale into Standing Angle

yoga postureA. With the toes pointing forward, exhale and fold forward. Interlace the middle and index finger around each big toe and bend the elbows to the side walls as you gently pull the head towards the floor.

B. As you pull the head down, press down into the feet to press the hips up, feeling a lengthening of the spine.

C. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.

19. Inhale back into Five Pointed Star and jump or step into Mountain pose

yoga pose A. Inhale the arms out to the sides as you lift back up into Five pointed star. Step or jump the feet hip width apart with the toes pointed forward.

B. Press the feet down and reach the crown up to lengthen the spine. Roll the shoulders down and back to open the chest. Inhale the palms together in front of your chest.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

20. Lower down on your back and inhale into Bridge

yoga postureA. Bend the knees and bring the feet hip width apart with the toes pointed forward, slide the arms alongside the body with the fingers lightly touching the backs of the heels.

B. Inhale and lift the hips and spine up by pressing into the feet and engaging the lower and core body. Press down into the arms and shoulders to help lift the chest up.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths. Exhale and roll the spine back to the floor.

21. Roll the hips back to the floor and pull the left knee into Half Wind Relieving Pose

yoga postureA. Interlace the fingers around the left knee. Tuck the chin into the chest with the head on the floor and pull the knee into the chest avoiding the ribcage to the left.

B. Press the low back, shoulders and back of the neck into the floor. Relax the legs, keep the elbows close to your sides.

C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

22. Exhale the bent knee to the right into Knee Down Twist

yoga postureA. Bend the left leg and place the left foot on top of the right knee. Slide the arms out to the sides in a T position.

B. Exhale and lower the left knee over to the right side of your body below, placing the leg below the abdomen. Turn and look at the left hand.
C. Breathe and hold for 2-5 breaths.

23. Repeat #21 through #22 on the other side

24. Bring the bottoms of the feet together into Supine Bound Angle

yoga postureA. Bring the bottoms of the feet together with the heels close to the hips on the floor. Inhale the arms over head with the palms together.

B. Relax and let gravity pull you into the posture. If the hips feel very tight, gently rock the hips from side to side.

C. Breathe and hold for 6-12 breaths.

25. Exhale and release into Shavasana

yoga postureA. Let the arms and legs flop out to the sides. The arms are 6-8 inches from the sides of your body and the palms are facing up.

B. Close the eyes and consciously relax the body from the toes to the crown of the head.

C. Breathe deeply through the nose into the belly and hold for 10-15 minutes.

26. End in Easy Pose

yoga postureA. Bend the knees and slowly roll over to one side. Press up into a seated position.

B. Inhale and press the hips down and reach the crown up to lengthen the spine. Roll the shoulders down and back to open the chest. Relax the face and rest the tongue on the roof of the mouth.

C. Lengthen the inhalation and exhalation by breathing deeply into the belly through the nose. Release any thoughts or distractions and let the mind be focused on the breath.

D. Breathe and hold for 10-30 breaths.

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Comments 4

  1. Not sure if number 22 is a good idea during pregnancy. All twists really should be open and not across the body.

  2. You are correct about the concern with twist in pregnancy, but this twist is easy to modify bringing the leg/knee below the belly. I will note this on the pose instructions above. Thanks!

  3. bridge pose is the pose of choice to turn a breech baby. Not sure if it’s good otherwise.

  4. I have not heard that Bridge pose would be contraindicated during pregnancy and a quick Google search didn’t turn up anything either. But as always it is better to be cautious and to not practice any pose that makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy during pregnancy.

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