Home » Features » Pregnancy & Fitness: Prenatal Yoga- It can help keep the body limber, tone muscles, and improve balance and circulation with very little impact on your joints

Pregnancy & Fitness: Prenatal Yoga- It can help keep the body limber, tone muscles, and improve balance and circulation with very little impact on your joints

Yoga studio: beFree Yoga

Styling and Photography: Elisabeth Ashley, Eforfashion

Maternity Model: Rebekah Cummins

Yoga Wear: Snap @ Studio B Pilates+Barre

Private Yoga Instructor: Taylor Clark

Contact: taylorteachesyoga@gmail.com

See class schedule at beFree and

The Windhorse

STORY BY HALEY HOLCOMB | PHOTOS BY ELISABETH ASHLEY | Small Town Kids Jan-Mar 2017

Keeping the body active and in shape helps with the changes that a mother experiences during pregnancy as well as preparing the mothers-to-be for birth.

According to babycenter.com, prenatal yoga can help keep the body limber, tone muscles and improve balance and circulation with very little impact on joints. It also teaches the woman breathing and to consciously relax, which is helpful during the physical demands of labor, birth and new motherhood.

It is important to keep in mind that during pregnancy the body cannot take too much exercise so it important to lead with caution.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS DURING PREGNANCY

Information posted on babycenter.com.

• Avoid lying on your back, especially after the first trimester. Lying on your back can put pressure on your inferior vena cava (the vein that returns blood from the legs to the heart) and reduce blood flow to your uterus. It can also make you feel dizzy and cause shortness of breath and nausea.

• Skip headstands and shoulder stands.

• Skip positions that require extreme stretching of the abdominal muscles.

• Avoid doing yoga in hot, humid conditions.

• Avoid positions that require twisting.

Safe Yoga Poses DURING PREGNANCY

Information posted on yogabasics.com.

Garland

1. From Table position (on your hands and knees, hip width apart, with the feet directly behind the knees and palms directly under the shoulders with the fingers facing forward), tuck the toes under and walk the hands in towards the feet, keeping the knees bent and bringing the hips pressed down towards the heels in a squatting position.

2. Walk the feet a little further apart until the torso is not resting against the thighs. The feet can either be flat to the floor or the toes can remain tucked under.

3. Slowly bring the palms together in front of the heart with the elbows pressing against the knees. Use the arms to press the knees apart, deepening the stretch in the hips. Stare at one point on the floor for balance.

4. Sink the hips down towards the floor and reach up through the crown of the head to lengthen the spine. Roll the shoulders down and back and press the chest towards the thumbs.

5. If possible, close the eyes and look up at the third eye, the point between the eyebrows.

6. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.

7. To release: A) bring the palms to the floor and straighten the legs, pressing the hips up towards the ceiling into a forward fold. B) inhale and press into the feet, slowly straightening the legs lifting up to standing. C) bring the palms to the floor, walk them forward and lower the knees to the floor coming back into Table pose.

Goddess

1. From a standing position with the feet 3 feet apart, bend the elbows at shoulder height and turn the palms facing each other. Turn the feet out 45 degrees facing the corners of the room, and as you exhale bend the knees over the toes squatting down.

2. Press the hips forward, press the knees back. Drop the shoulders down and back and press the chest toward the front of the room. Keep the arms active, as if they were holding a big ball over your head. Look straight ahead with the chin parallel to the floor.

3. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

4. To release: inhale and straighten the legs, reaching the fingertips to the ceiling, then exhale the arms to the sides.

Warrior 2

1. From Five Pointed Star (feet wide apart, with the arms out to the side), turn the right toes to the right wall and bend the right knee directly over the right ankle.

2. Turn the hips and the shoulders towards the front and reach out through the finger tips, reaching towards the side walls. Turn and look at the right middle finger.

3. Press into the feet, keeping the legs strong. Sink the hips down towards the floor, and reach the crown of the head up to lengthen the spine. Relax the shoulders down and back, pressing the chest forward.

4. Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.

5. To release: straighten the legs and turn the feet forward coming back into 5 pointed star.

Tree

1. From Mountain pose (feet hip-width apart, hands can be together in center palms touching, parallel up in the air with palms facing body, or parallel down by your side with palms facing body), bend the right knee shifting all the weight into the left leg. Turn the right knee to the right wall resting the heel against the left leg.

2. Look down at the floor and stare at one point. Slowly slide the right foot up the left leg, only as high up as you can maintain your balance (to your ankle, calf or thigh). When you are balanced here, slowly bring the palms together, prayer position in front of the heart.

3. Keep staring at your focal point on the floor. Keep the left leg strong pressing the foot into the floor. Keep the right knee bent 90 degrees towards the side wall. The shoulders are down and back and the chest is pressing forward.

4. If you are very balanced here, try the next stage by inhaling the arms over the head. The arms are in an H position, or the palms are together with the thumbs crossed, or the fingers are interlaced with the index finger pointed up. The fingers are reaching up and the shoulders are down and back.

5. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.

6. To release: slowly exhale the arms down and then release the legs back into mountain.

7. Repeat on the other side..

Bound Angle

1. From a seated position, bring the bottoms of the feet together with the knees bent out to the sides.

2. Inhale and press the hips down and reach the crown of the head up towards the ceiling. Drop the shoulders down and back and press the chest towards the front. Press the knees down towards the floor to open the hips.

3. Keeping the back flat and the chest open, exhale and close the eyes and stare up at the third eye / sixth chakra.

4. Breathe and hold for 3-8 breaths.

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