Prenatal Yoga Poses You Can Do Daily
Pregnancy can really make you wonder whose body you’re living in because everything feels different almost immediately. Add that to the anxiety we feel when we know things will only continue to change and you’re basically living in this state ALL THE TIME: 😧
I’ve been supremely lucky to have had very few physical symptoms and aches and pains while pregnant. And I attribute part of that to luck, and part of that to my obsessive attention to a few key areas: shoulders (posture), pelvic floor, and hips. The other day I got the question on IG asking what I’ve been doing to stay pain-free, so I thought I’d share!
Here’s what I’ve been doing almost daily to keep my body as balanced as possible, for as long as possible…
1. Shoulder Opener on blocks.
I put one block lengthwise on the narrow side between my shoulder blades. The bottom starts approximately where my bra sits and goes straight up my thoracic spine to the top of my shoulder blades. Another block is propped under my head so my neck is supported. THIS. FEELS. GLORIOUS. The chest opens, the shoulders roll back, and it’s comfortable enough to stay here for a few minutes to reset your posture.
2. Shoulder “Flossing.” 😆
Take a strap or belt or towel and hold it in front of you nice and wide. Without bending the elbows or putting slack in the strap, reach it straight overhead and reach all the way back until the strap is behind you. Repeat this movement back and forth several times. This is another really important one to do. As we start to expand through the front, our shoulders will tend to round forward to accommodate the added weight. Doing something like this encourages your posture to stay optimized. You can do this 8-10 times.
Take Care of Your Pelvic Floor!
An old favorite and SO effective. I’ve read endless reports on Cat/Cow being something all pregnant women should do. It’s not only supposed to be fantastic during labor, but it’s also great for activating & releasing the pelvic floor as you flow between them.
Take a moment to find your true neutral pelvis.
We can talk about standing in a neutral way, but it can be difficult to find what your true “neutral” is. Here’s one good way of finding yours. ***Read all three steps before trying this!***
First, stand with your feet hip width apart. Tip your butt back and poke your belly forward. This puts your pelvis into an extreme anterior tilt. Stand here for a moment and notice how this feels. (NOTE: if your resting standing posture has your pelvis already in a slight anterior tilt, exaggerating this shape will feel somewhat difficult to do because it’s close to your “natural” stance anyway.)
Next, go the opposite direction! Tuck your tailbone way under and squeeze your butt cheeks together as you do. Think of scooping your bottom underneath your center of gravity. This will put your pelvis in an exaggerated posterior tilt. Stand here for a moment and notice how this feels. (NOTE: if your resting standing posture has your pelvis already in a slight posterior tilt, exaggerating this shape will feel somewhat difficult to do because it’s close to your “natural” stance anyway.)
Finally, find neutral. Your hip bones (the ones at the front, under your abs) should sit under your ribcage. You should see a natural, not over-exaggerated, curve in your lower back. Your ribcage should not be jutting forward. If you were to draw a line down the side of your body, your shoulder, ribs, pelvis, and knees would stack on top of each other.
1. Goddess Squats.
I’ve been loving Goddess Squats because they’re great for opening the hips while also strengthening the legs– two things you’ll definitely be grateful for when it comes time to give birth. Hold your squat for 10-12 breaths, stand straight to rest for a few moments, and repeat the 10-12 breath hold a few more times.
2. Double Pigeon.
Double pigeon is one of my favorite hip openers to relax into. I could sit here all day! Even if you struggle getting comfortable in this one, lean back and focus on letting your hips relax.
Over to you! These are just a handful of things I’ve been doing daily to keep my body feeling balanced during pregnancy and beyond. Do you have any go-to’s you’d like to share?