In the run up to the birth of your baby it can be easy to put fitness to the back of your mind, but have you considered yoga? Practicing this ancient Indian practice throughout your pregnancy can not only improve your health but may also help you prepare to give birth. If you find the idea of a pre-natal yoga class scary, don’t worry, we’ve found four pregnancy yoga positions that are safe for you to practice at home. These moves will help relieve pain and strengthen your core, as well as help relax your hip muscles in preparation for labour.
Cat / Cow poses or Marjaryasana / Bitilasana
The yoga poses all teachers will recommend for pregnant women are the cat/cow sequence. The cat part of the routine is great for safely toning abs and relieving tension in the back while the cow pose will open up the chest and boost energy levels. Some women swear by practicing these positions daily in the run up to labour but even once a week should show you some benefit.
Child’s pose or Bālāsana
As your belly gets heavier you’re going to look for any position that takes the pressure off, and this restorative pose is perfect. It’s easy to do and ultra relaxing. If you feel like you need extra support you can adapt it by putting a bolster under your torso. This position will come in handy when you’re in between contractions during labour, so it’s great to start practicing now. Focus on relaxing your face and taking deep breaths.
Triangle pose or Trikonasana
This pose is perfect for improving balance as your body changes and your centre of gravity shifts. It can also help with reducing back ache as it lengthens your side and opens your hamstrings so they can support your lower back. Modify this position slightly when pregnant by resting your front elbow on your front knee rather than reaching for the floor for some extra stability.
Goddess pose or Utkata Konasana
In preparation for childbirth you’ll want to create space in the pelvis, and this pose can help make that happen. The aptly named Goddess pose opens up your hips and groin as well as tones all of your leg muscles. When practicing this position be sure to line your knee up with your second toe to prevent it collapsing and causing injury.
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