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Working the Bump: Pre-Natal Yoga

I tried pre-natal yoga for the first time last week, and let’s just say… I’m going to need a lot more sessions pre-due date. My attempt to stretch and move and BREATHE wasn’t stellar at seven months pregnant. Fortunately, I still have time to prep for the big day.

Instructor Chelsea Rothert is a pregnancy pro. She patiently guided me through yoga positions I can do from home… (PS. these are super good for you even if you’re not pregnant). The moves open both your mind + body, and encourage strength and patience. We can all use that! Below are moves you can do everyday…

MOVE  1 | MODIFIED PRE-NATAL CAMEL | This move lengthens the spine while creating space in your chest. Hold this position for a few minutes, while taking deep breaths. You’ll build strength in the thighs and arms, while promoting good posture.

MOVE 2 | TREE POSE | This leg-strengthening position is used to build stamina and determination because of its focus on balance. Hold this pose for 30-seconds to a minute on each side, while setting your mind on a goal.

MOVE 3 | TEMPLE POSE | This position opens your pelvis in preparation for labor. It encourages balance, strength, and patience, while strengthening thigh muscles. Hold this position for a couple of minutes, while taking deep breaths.

MOVE 4 | BALANCING CAT | Work on building strength in your back muscles as your belly grows! This move significantly helps increase balance. Hold for 1-3 breaths per side, then switch. Note: It should be right hand forward, left leg back (and vice versa). 

MOVE 5 | SUPPORTED SPINE BUTTERFLY | This position opens the hips to create space in the lower back and pelvis area. It also opens your chest to counter the rounding of the belly. I’ve used this position for deep breathing while visualizing a peaceful birth (and baby)! Hold the position for an amount of time that feels comfortable.

MOVE 6 | TADASANA – MOUNTAIN POSE | Wrap up your yoga session by standing tall, while breathing deeply and calming your mind. The heaviness on your frontal body during pregnancy pulls the back body out of alignment. Standing tall helps to release minor aches and pains in your hips and back.

ABOUT CHELSEA | Chelsea is an LA-based doula and yoga teacher. Her methods are designed to help women strengthen, lengthen, and prepare the mind and body for birth. You can read more about her practices (and sign up for classes!) on her website. 

Photos by Annie Shak