Pregnancy is the perfect time to be practising yoga. The stretches help to release tightness and tension from the muscles and create space for your growing baby and the breathing techniques work on a deep psychological level to release fears, anxieties and bring a feeling of calmness and clarity to the mind.
Any number of pregnancy related conditions can be helped or even better, avoided. If you are suffering from insomnia, sciatica, hip pain, rib pain, back ache, pelvic girdle pain, headaches, anxieties and general discomfort then yoga may be just the thing you need. Pregnancy yoga can help you connect to your baby, feel more energised, sleep better and prepare you for the birth of your baby.
You can start the following exercises after 14 weeks of your pregnancy. If you have any complications or injuries please check with your doctor that it is safe for you to do yoga.
The exercises below are taken from the DVD ‘Pregnancy Yoga with Tara Lee’.
Breathing and connecting
Sit cross legged or kneel and use cushions if you want to for support. Rest one hand on your baby and the other hand in the centre of your chest. Take some deep breaths (in and out through the nose) with the eyes closed and sit as tall as possible.
Feel as though you can anchor down through your pelvis into the floor and feel more space as you lift through your spine. Feel the rise and fall of the abdomen, with the breath. Feel a connection with your baby. Stay here for a few minutes, feeling the calming effects.
Come onto all 4s and stretch one leg behind, tucking the toes under. Reach back through the heel, feeling the stretch down the back of the leg. Change legs.
Come onto all 4s with the knees under the hips, the wrists under the shoulders. Tuck the chin into the chest as you round the spine and inhale relax to the centre. Repeat hugging your baby in toward you on each exhale.
Opposite arm and leg stretches
Come to the hands and knees. Inhale lift the right arm and left leg and as you exhale release back to all 4s. Inhale lift the left arm and right leg and exhale release back down. Repeat 5 x each side keeping the hips in line.
This exercise helps to strengthen your back
On all 4s with the knees wider than the hips, bring the hips back towards the heels and rest the forehead on the floor. Stay here as long as you like, breathing deeply.
Tara Lee has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and has taught thousands of pregnant women over the last 12 years, guiding them through their pregnancies and births.
Tara ‘s yoga DVDs have sold over 125,000 copies and her boxset “Bump, Baby and Beyond” available from Amazon.
Tara is teaching a new pregnancy yoga class every Wednesday at Westbourne Grove church, Notting Hill from 9.30am-10.30am contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.