As I reach the end of my pregnancy, I am in awe of all of the changes my body has gone through in order to grow another human. I was able to jog for a bit at the beginning of the third trimester, but now my belly has reached the point of being uncomfortable with that level of movement. So, I've continued to walk (almost daily) about a mile and kept up with specific yoga asana moves that keep the growing pains away for me.
Here are some movements that I do daily:
Keeping hands directly under the shoulders and knees under the hips...
Breathe in and drop the bell down toward the ground while pulling the shoulders back, opening up the chest toward the front, gaze up.
Breathe out and round the spine, drop the head and look toward the navel. These two poses should be alternated back and forth with your breath for up to 10.
Huge benefit: getting baby in the position for birth.
Modified up dog
I'm using yoga blocks, but you don't have to. I've noticed when I use yoga blocks, it allows me to get my hips lower to the ground.
Keeping hands under the shoulders, broaden the chest forward, open the heart and pull your shoulder blades back. Imagine you're trying to pinch a pencil in between your shoulder blades. The tops of your feet and hands are the only parts of your body touching the ground. Keep your gaze forward, drop your hips low. Stay in this pose for up to 5 breaths.
Huge benefit: opens up more space for baby in the belly to allow you to continue deep breathing until you're ready for labor. (By that time, baby should be low enough for you to labor using deep breathing)
This is another one I've been using to open up space in my body.
On your knees, knees directly under hips, grab ahold of your heels with your hands. You can have your feet flat or toes curled depending on your level of flexibility. Again, draw those shoulder blades together and if comfortable, drop your head back. Big breaths. Come up slowly out of this pose. It's easy to get light-headed coming out of the pose.
Huge benefit: Stretching the diaphragm. I stay in this pose between 3 - 5 breaths. If it isn't a pose you've done before, a couple breaths may be enough.
After these two poses, I do a counter pose to ease my low back. Still on my hands and knees, I bring my knees far apart and toes together then drop my hips back toward my feet in child's pose. Arms are straight with hands out in front. Bring the head to rest on the mat or a block. Stay in this pose as long as you're comfortable. Child's pose is a fantastic pose any time for easing the low back or just relaxing. I even do this pose in bed with a pillow under my head.
I truly believe it was my yoga practice before pregnancy and continued practice during pregnancy that has kept me healthy and centered. These poses I mentioned can be done at any point in your practice - pregnant or not and at any time during your pregnancy.
I wish you all the best in your pregnancy and life.
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