Pregnancy is a truly magical time in any woman’s life, but adjusting to all those physical & emotional changes, can be quite challenging. Prenatal yoga is a wonderful way to help Momas-to-be, to find their zen whilst navigating their journey to motherhood.
It’s not all about the asana of course. Learn useful breathing techniques (pranayama), that can be taken with you in your labour bag, to pull out when the big day finally arrives.
Childs pose/ Balasana
From hands & knees, big toes touch, take knees out wide, sit back towards heels, whilst walking hands straight out in front, straight arms. Bring forehead down to rest on mat or support. Inhale walking finger tips away, exhale sitting deeper back towards heels. Repeat. Breathe.
Benefits: Resting pose. Releases lower back pain. Lengthens the spine, allowing energy to run more freely through the entire body. Encourages one to focus, reconnect with the breath & quieten the mind. One to use at any stage throughout pregnancy, labour & motherhood (we all need a little time out by times).
Bound Angle Pose/Baddha Konasana
From sitting, bring soles of feet together & draw them as close to the perineum as comfortable. Soften the knees out to sides. Can use props to support knees if hips are particularly tight. Lengthen spine, chin neutral, breast bone reaching forward. May gently press elbows to inner thighs deepening the stretch. Breathe.
Benefits: Lenghtens & releases hip & inner groin muscles. Stretches the lower back & thighs.
Stand with feet hip width apart (or wider in latter stages of pregnancy). Root down through 4 corners of feet, micro lift of kneecap, neutral pelvis, soft in tummy, long lift of spine, shoulders set, neutral chin, crown of head drawing up towards ceiling, arms extended away from body, palms facing ahead. Breathe.
Benefits: Strengthens the entire body. Opens the heart centre, stabilising the shoulder blades, encouraging good posture. It’s useful in releasing tension/tightness, especially from the shoulders.
Garland pose/ Malasana
Step feet out to mat distance apart pointing at 45-degree angles. Hands to heart centre. Inhale lengthen, exhale squat down, bringing elbows to inner thighs, heels may lift (can place blocks/supports under heels if lifted). Eye gaze straight ahead, chin neutral. Breathe.
Benefits: Hip opener, leg strengthener, encourages baby deeper into pelvis (particularly beneficial in the latter weeks of pregnancy/early labour).
Lie on left hand side, with support under the head to keep head & neck in line. Keep left leg straight & bend right knee at 90-degree angle, resting it on top of a bolster/support. Relax arms/hands in comfortable position. Teacher may assist by placing a support behind the back. Breathe naturally. Let go.
Benefits: Encourages deep rest & relaxation. Left lateral lying also encourages maximum blood flow to the uterus & baby.
*You can attend our Midwife led Prenatal Classes here in Personal Health with Cathy O’Grady on Tuesdays at 7pm and Saturday’s at 10.30am. Pre booking is necessary. €90 for 6 week course- 01-496 4002