Angelina. Halle. Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani. Is it just me or do Hollywood's Mommies-to-be look fabulous throughout their ENTIRE pregnancy? One secret to that glow is staying active and fit during pregnancy and many stars turn to yoga. (I know I did!)
YogaWorks Senior Instructor Patti Asad shares some quick and easy poses for moms-to-be to keep their bodies toned and strong for labor and motherhood.
POSE #1 - PICKING UP BABY PUSH UPS
Why It's Great: This push up is an amazing way to tone the muscles in your arms and your chest. This is important for pregnant women in preparation for motherhood. It will help strengthen arms in preparation for picking up your baby, as well as help support growing breasts and posture.
How to Do: Start by coming into 'childs pose' by sitting on your knees with chest resting on the floor. Create a pillow with your hands for your forehead to rest on. Open your knees a bit wider than your hips and sink your hips down toward your knees making space for your belly. On your inhale shift forward so that your shoulders stack over your wrists. Make sure you root through all ten fingers equally. Keeping the elbows in by the ribs, lower slowly on the exhale until your shoulders are elbow height. Pause there and press back up to straighten the arms and shift back into childs pose. Do this 5-8 times following the breath.
POSE #2 - MAMA SQUATS
Why It's Great: This is an excellent way to stimulate the heart rate and strengthen quadriceps and glutes. It also tones the pelvic floor and can be practiced in conjunction with kegel exercises.
**Note: only do half squats after 36 weeks
How To Do: Stand with your feet a little wider than hip distance apart and your heels on a folded blanket so that they are slightly elevated. On an inhale extend your arms above you then as you exhale join hands together and lower down center line as you squat down. Be sure to spread your toes and use the muscles of your legs to press back up always following the breath. Do this for 1-2 minutes going moving slowly and rhythmically.
POSE #3 - TRIANGLE PREGNANCY POSE
Why It's Great: This pose is the true space maker - it tones the muscles of your waist and spine while stretching hamstrings and releasing the lower back. It also helps tone the triceps and biceps through the isometric action of hugging the muscles to the bone.
How To Do: Start with your feet about two and a half to three feet apart and turn the right foot out and the back foot in slightly so that your front heel draws a line to your back arch. Firm your thighs to straighten your legs and extend your arms out to the sides. Shift to the right as you exhale and place your hand on your shin or on a yoga block behind your shin. Draw your right hip into your midline as you firm your back thigh toward your hamstring. Extend through your arms so that they stack over your right shin and radiate the breath through the arms, legs and the crown of the head. Take 5 breaths and on your next inhale rise to standing. Switch sides.
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