Prenatal yoga has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, support your changing body during pregnancy, improve connection to your pelvic floor and increase maternal comfort during labour and delivery.
If you are pregnant and looking for a safe way to move your body and prepare for labour and birth, give this gentle flow a try:
Reclined Cobbler with Jelly Fish Breathing
Lying on your back, use pillows to prop yourself up into a comfortable, semi-reclined position.
Let the bottoms of your feet come together and allow your knees to open away from one another.
Use pillows under your thighs to support your legs and allow your inner thighs and body to relax
Turn your awareness and attention to your breath, allowing your body to release and let go completely
Jelly Fish Breath
Close your eyes and imagine a jellyfish floating gently down to the bottom of the ocean as you inhale.
Notice how it opens wide and relaxes just as your pelvic floor relaxes, your ribs expand, and your diaphragm relaxes down.
With each exhale, visualize the jelly fish gently lifting up and closing, just as your pelvic floor and diaphragm lift and the ribs go back to neutral
Side Lying Quad to Hamstring Stretch
Lying on your side, use your arm or pillow to support your head comfortably, bend your bottom knee for support and balance.
Bend your top knee so that you can grab your ankle with your top hand.
Pull the knee back so that you feel a stretch in the quad region.
The top knee should be directly above the bottom knee, forming a parallel line (as shown in the picture).
Make sure to keep your pelvis leveled and lower back flat (do not arch the lower back).
Remaining on your side, let your top arm take ahold behind your top knee and encourage the foot up towards the sky
Relax your glutes, close your eyes and breathe
Position yourself on your hands and knees with your hands placed under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
Exhale and slowly round your back up towards the ceiling
Inhale and arch your back by lengthening your chest forward through your arms and encouraging your tailbone up towards the ceiling
Continue to flow through the movement with your breath
Bring awareness to your pelvic floor – inhaling feeling a release and lengthening, exhaling a gentle hugging up and in
In a 4 point position with your wrists beneath your shoulder and your knees beneath your hips, find a neutral pelvis.
As you inhale imagine your sitz bones spreading away from one another as your gently encourage your buttocks back towards your heels
Exhale and imagine sitz bones moving back towards one another as you come back to center.
Child's Pose with Side Stretch
Sink your buttocks back towards your heels.
Imagine breathing length and space into your low back and expanding into your back and side ribs with each inhalation.
If you need more space you can always use a pillow between your thighs and your calves as well as one under your head.
Stay low and walk your hands over to one side, hold and breathe
90/90 Back and Forth
Seated on your buttocks with your knees bent to about 90 degrees
Place your arms behind you for support
With each exhaled gently hug your pelvic floor up and in as you sway your legs over to the other side
Inhale relax, release let go
Repeat and continue to flow with this movement using your own breathe as your guide
Find a neutral pelvis in standing
With your rib cage stacked over hips, maintain a neutral spine
Inhale and bend knees visualizing lengthening your sitz bones back behind you while releasing muscles of the pelvic floor (drop the blueberry)
Exhale gently lift the blueberry and return to a standing position
Come onto your hands and knees.
Slowly bring your Right leg forward and rotate your leg outward as your knee moves out and foot moves in toward your opposite leg
Try to align your pelvic bones like they are square shape plates
If there is a gap between your right buttocks and floor, place a cushion, block or thick book under your bottom to help align your pelvis
You can also place a pillow under your head to allow the muscles of your neck and shoulders to relax complete
Squat Against Wall (knees to armpits)
Seated on your buttocks, lean against the wall and bring your knees as close into your armpits as you can
Your sacrum and back should remain against the wall as much as you are able to
If you are having hip pain or other trouble with the position, sit on a low stool or bolster
Be in your feet and relaxed in the pelvis and hips as much as possible
Focus on piston/jelly fish breathing down into the pelvic floor and finding ease
Find a comfortable supported position, side lying if pregnant
Close your eyes, allow your body and mind to relax completely
Rest for several minutes