Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

The best yoga poses for pregnancy

This time of pregnancy is a time for incredible growth and transformation, both physically and emotionally. Each pregnancy is unique, whether it’s a woman’s first, second or fifth baby! With each pregnancy we’re carrying a different set of DNA, it’s a different time in our lives, and our physical, hormonal, mental, and emotional wellbeing can change throughout the pregnancy journey.

When practicing yoga whilst pregnant, we are looking to add space rather than compression. As your center of gravity shifts, we look to support the mother with yoga poses that lengthens and adds stability to her body. Minimise the lordotic curve through the spine and add in poses at the end of the day that lengthens the tailbone like a child pose.

Follow the below poses to start your yoga practice from home no matter which trimester you are in.

5 min Seated Meditation: Find a comfortable seated position. Feel the spine stack tall and rest your hands to your belly. Start to take 5 breaths in and out of your nose. Bring your awareness to your breath at this moment. Stay connected to your breath as you sit connecting in with your baby. Tip: sit on a bolster or straddle a bolster to help support your pelvis and spine.

Wide knee child’s pose: If you are familiar with yoga you may already know the deep restoration and grounding benefits of this shape. The bigger your belly grows the heavier you feel so anything to take a bit of pressure off is… well, lovely! Tip: Knees wide to the edges of your mat, Arms forward and pelvis heavy. Lightly rest your forehead to the mat. If you can’t meet your head to the floor, stack both fists on top and rest your forehead down. Stay for 4-8 breaths and feel the breath saturate the lower back and further tuck tailbone to find length.

Downward Facing Dog: Great to keep up your strength and stamina. Release tension in your neck and soothe the hamstrings. Tip: Press through your index and thumb knuckle as you lift knees off the ground ensuring feet are just beyond hip-width distance to provide comfort to your belly. If you suffer from heartburn or exhaustion you can do this at the wall.

Yogic Squat: Wonderful way to lengthen your tailbone and spine whilst opening your hips and supporting core and pelvic floor muscles. During early pregnancy, it is common to get contrisptated. Practicing a squat helps soothe the digestive tract. Tips: Sit on a bolster or block to help create length through the lower spine.

Legs up the wall: A remedy to alleviate swelling in the legs and calm the nervous system. There will be a point in your pregnancy where you will no longer feel comfortable lying on your back for longer periods. So to release the swelling in your legs you can increase circulation by adding massage to your self-care practice. Tip: add a blanket underneath your hips and head. If you suffer from heartburn, add a pillow underneath your head.

Eliza Hayward is a prenatal certified yoga instructor, mother of two, and owner of Divine Flow Yoga in Brookvale. Eliza regularly guides prenatal programs for expectant mothers.