Prenatal Yoga – Safe and Empowering Program
This Prenatal Yoga program has been prepared by Trimurti Yoga students @ Dharamsala, India 2014
One of the tasks given during our Yoga TTC is to prepare a program for special groups, such as pregnant women, kids, seniors, people after injuries… This time we present PRENATAL PROGRAM prepared by 4 students (Felipe Bascuñan, Julia Altenbrand, Deborah Marit Löffler, Mei van der Meulen)
Yoga during pregnancy can be not only useful for a Mum-to-be (to release her pains, to empower her body, to strengthen her back muscles, to relax and rest, and to support her mind), but also can benefit the development of the baby, especially in the third trimester, when all the senses and nervous system are being created!
We present a few easy asanas which can be safely performed everyday, with the assistance of pillows and bolsters, please remember to always stay safe and comfortable! No need of excessive effort or overstretch which might lead to injury and complications.
General notes for every posture:
• Contract Mulha Bandha in every posture, this is very helpful during the pregnancy and labour (don’t contract Mulha Bandha after 36th week!)
• Don’t contract your Uddhiyana Bandha – you don’t want to contract your belly muscles to much as they are now being stretched, let the nature do its job!
• Use only 70% of your flexibility from before pregnancy (you might feel more stretchable during pregnancy due to relaxin in your body, but don’t go too far – it may lead you to injury!)
• Don’t use too much tension in any asana, the pose should be comfortable and safe
• Avoid lying flat on your back, you don’t want to press your vena cava, so lift your back on the bolster or two!
• Breath naturally, don’t retain your breath!
• Don’t twist, replace twists with its opposite variations, and don’t lie on the belly – your baby doesn’t need the pressure!
• The asanas are chosen to gradually wake up the spine in the morning, to give you and your baby a save feeling and a nice start of the day!
• Enjoy your practice, Namaste!
1) resting butterfly (with bolster)
Relaxing / stretching the spine and back muscles
Opening chest and hips
Meditative pose (focus inward)
Ass extra bolsters underneath your knees to avoid the tension in your knees and hips
2) supported forward bend (with bolster)
Counter pose to resting butterfly
Relaxing the spine with the help of gravity
Relaxing the neck and shoulders
You can choose more active, YANG version if you contract your back muscles instead of passive support with the bolster
Engage your lower back to make sure there is no pressure on the lumbar spine
Opening the hips
3) crossed legs with “fake” twist
Strengthening and gentle stretching the spine
Here we do a fake twist in order to avoid to much engagement of the core muscle and pressure on the belly
4) cat and cow pose
Inhale – cow
Exhale – cat
Stretching and strengthening safely the core muscle
Remember about proper alignment of the wrists under the shoulders to distribute the weight properly
Don’t stay too long in this position if your wrists are sensitive, put a blanket underneath your knees if your knees feel discomfort
Options (if comfortable!): stretch one of the back legs and opposite arm to strengthen the muscles. Nice to work on the balance and grounding.
5) forward bend on the wall
Stretching and strengthening the spine
Opening the shoulders and releasing the stress
The gravity is an extra challenge to keep the spine straight but by pressing the wall you have a good support
Strengthening the spine, back muscles, core muscles.
Inhale up with straight legs
Exhale bend the knees and root down
Make free and graceful movements. Feel like a goddess
Keep a straight spine by tucking the tailbone under and engaging your core muscles (Transversus Abdominus).
7) repeat asana nr 1 resting butterfly to end of the practice.
This small set of asanas is a great and safe beginning for prenatal yoga! Remember, if you have never practiced yoga before it is the best to meet professional Prenatal Yoga Teacher, or consult your doctor or midwife.
Om shanti shanti (and little shanti)