Start by sitting cross-legged on the floor. Bring the focus inward and connect with your breath. Place one hand on the belly and one hand on the chest to witness the rhythm of your breath. Notice how the belly inflates and the chest rises with each inhalation. Feel how the belly deflates and the chest falls as you exhale.
Move on to cat/cows to warm up the spine and release lower back tension. Begin by getting on all fours. Then alternately arch and round the back. Repeat at least 5 times. Next, stay on all fours and stretch the right leg back while flexing the foot for a spinal balance. If you feel steady, reach the left arm forward. Repeat on the opposite side. This pose stretches the back of the legs and can relieve fatigue.
Another great pose to alleviate lower back pain is a right angle pose to the wall. Perform this posture by pressing the palms against a wall with straight arms and back parallel to the floor. Feet should be hip width apart and heels directly under the hips.
Try a triangle pose to ease backache, strengthen legs, and stretch the outer hip and inner thigh muscles. Step feet apart about 3 ½ feet. Turn the right foot out 90 degrees and the left foot in to a 45 degree angle. Extend the right arm down to the floor. Reach the left arm in to the air, keeping the left-hand directly over the shoulder with palm facing the front. Gaze up to the raised left thumb. Repeat pose on left side.
A warrior II pose is a way to open the groins and strengthen the legs in preparation for birth. Stand with feet approximately 3 ½ to 4 feet apart from each other. Turn the right foot out to a 90 degree angle so that toes face the short end of the mat. Turn left foot in to a 45 degree angle. Extend arms out to the sides until hands are at shoulder height. Palms are turned down to the ground. Gaze out over right hand. Repeat pose on left side.
The tree pose improves balance and strengthens the legs. From a standing position, pick up the right foot and place toes on the floor. Turn the right knee out to the right side. Keep gaze focused on a single point. Repeat pose on left side. If you are steady in this pose, try placing the raised foot on either the side of the calf or inner thigh. Avoid placing the foot on the side of the knee.
A very practical pose to practice during pregnancy is garland pose as it aids in childbirth. The pose strengthens the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles while providing a deep stretch to inner thighs and lower back muscles.
Increase hip flexibility and stretch inner thigh muscles with bound angle pose. Sit on the floor with soles of the feet pressed together and knees jutting out to either side. Stay in the pose for several breaths.
Conclude the practice with savasana to relax the body and calm the mind. Lie on your left-side with a blanket or pillow under the head and another blanket in between the legs to keep the spine straight. Close the eyes and allow your body and mind to rest for a few minutes.
Additional Resources: Shiva Rea's Prenatal Yoga
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