Article by Eve Sengkeo
Prenatal yoga classes are becoming increasingly popular not only at yoga studios, but also at gyms and hospitals. These classes are even being integrated in various corporate wellness programs.
Many women who are expecting can testify that their hips and lower back feel the most tension during pregnancy. Many yoga poses help bring circulation to those tight hips and ease lower back tension. If anything, a well-sequenced asana can bring about an overall sense of well-being on the physical as well as mental level.
On the energetic level, yoga poses and sequences can open and align the chakras. A well-sequenced asana practice can free up energy and stimulate imbalances in the energy centers. This not only enhances the yoga practice, but also provides a sense of balance, grounding, and calmness in life off the yoga mat.
As each stage of the pregnancy is different, certain poses seem to be a favorite depending on the trimester of the prenatal yogi. After having taught a number of prenatal (and Hatha) yoga classes to pregnant women, the following three yoga poses have been an all-time favorite among my prenatal students.
These poses not only help to open up the hips, ease lower back tension, but also counter all the sitting during the day:
1. Resting half pigeon
Resting half pigeon increases the range of motion of the femur bone in the hip socket. It also lengthens the psoas muscle, a primary hip flexor connecting the torso and legs. This pose also helps to ease tension in the lower back. Placing a blanket below the sits bones can help to ease any pressure on the hips while holding this pose.
2. Runners lunge
Runners lunge stretches both the hips and glutes. This pose also increases the strength of hamstrings, quads, and legs. Deepen the pose by shifting the weight forward and back. Doing so helps to open up the hip flexors even further as well as challenge the balance. Placing a blanket below the knee helps to ease any pressure on the knee that is on the mat.
3. Butterfly pose
Butterfly pose, or Baddha Konasana, is also known as bound angle pose. It opens up the hips, stretches the inner thighs and knees. The pose also helps in smooth delivery if practiced regularly during late pregnancy. Placing a blanket under the outer thighs helps to support the knees. Placing a blanket under the sits bones helps to raise the hips and support the lower back.
Through consistent practice, prenatal yogis tend to notice more ease in the lower back when sitting, walking, and standing. This in turn creates space for a greater sense of peace and balance in life off the yoga mat.
Eve Sengkeo, RYT is a prenatal and Hatha yoga teacher. Her passion is helping busy women achieve holistic wellness through yoga and energy healing. You can read all about her setbacks, comebacks, and all the lessons learned in between on her website SilverLinedDays.com. Welcome to connect with her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/