Yoga By The Bay | Fit Pregnancy

Yoga By The Bay

Mom-to-be Gena Lee Nolin prepares to give birth to her own “Baywatch babe.

Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
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The exercises Do these poses in the order listed. You can do this routine every day.

1. Cat/Cow Pose   Get on all fours, wrists below shoulders and knees underneath hips, spine in a neutral, non-arched position. Spread fingers out wide so palms are in full contact with the floor. (If wrists hurt with palms flat, make a fist and rest on knuckles.) Inhale as you round spine upward as far as you can go, relaxing neck and head [A]. Exhale as you return to just beyond a neutral spine (there should be a slight arch in lower spine). Lift your head and look up at a point about 3 feet above eye level [B]. Repeat for 4-5 breath cycles, coordinating your breathing and movement. Strengthens abdominals; relieves aches in the lower back.

2. Tailor Sitting Pose   Sit erect with knees bent and the soles of your feet together. Focus on your breathing, imagining that you’re inhaling from your feet to the base of your neck. Exhale, feeling a release of tension in your groin area, and continue this breathing rhythm for 3–4 cycles of breath [A]. On an exhale, lean forward slightly from the hips, reaching out and touching the ground in front of you gently with your hands [B]. Focus on your breathing, feeling your spine slowly lengthen. Walk your hands back toward your legs and push yourself upright. (For a more supported stretch, do the Tailor Sitting Pose with your back against a wall. Use your hands and gently massage and release your calf muscles, if needed.) Relaxes the pelvic area and inner thighs. Improves circulation to the area.

3. Child’s Pose   Kneel on the floor with your knees widely separated, and place your palms on the floor in front of you, keeping arms straight and spine in a neutral position. As you exhale, bring your chest toward the floor; as you inhale, elongate through your fingertips and spine. Release your chin slightly toward your chest to keep the back of your neck relaxed. If you need to, lie forward on a long cushion for support. Make sure there is no strain in your back, and continue breathing and releasing your spine. After 3–4 breath cycles, come up slowly to a sitting position, walking your hands toward you, lengthening and releasing the spine. Your shoulders should feel light, your weight settling into your pelvis. Tilt your chin slightly downward to center your head and relax the back of your neck. Do a few easy shoulder circles. Relaxes back and inner-thigh muscles.

4. Squat   Stand with feet slightly wider than hips, toes turned out. Inhale; raise your arms above your head and look up at your hands [A]. On the exhale, bend your knees, slowly bringing your arms down and lowering yourself toward the floor into a full squat position, shoulders relaxed. You should bring your buttocks as close to your heels as possible without feeling any strain or losing your balance. Keep your heels flat on the floor, relaxed. (You can hold on to a chair for support if you like.) Once in position, bring your hands to a prayer position in front of your chest, letting your elbows widen your knees [B]. Hold while breathing softly for about 30 seconds. To stand up, roll on to your knees. Place one foot flat on the floor, knee bent and hands on thighs, and push yourself up to standing position. Gradually work up to holding the squat for 5 minutes. Strengthens legs and increases mobility of hip and pelvic joints, preparing you for a natural birthing position.
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