3rd Trimester Do the same pose, but rest left hand on a chair seat (with extra towels, if needed). Bend your left knee if necessary. Benefits: leg strength and flexibility; may bring better blood circulation and delivery of nutrients to fetus.
1st Trimester Chair Twist Sit on the edge of a chair with knees and feet together. Place the back of your right hand on the outside of your left knee and left hand on the back of the chair seat. Keeping torso erect and hips square, rotate torso (moving ribs, baby and shoulders) to the left. Hold for 5 breaths, switch hand positions and repeat to the other side.
2nd & 3rd Trimesters Open-Leg Chair Twist Sit on the edge of a chair and extend your right leg out to the side, keeping it fairly straight, toes and knees open and on a diagonal. Place left foot on floor facing forward, left knee bent and in line with left ankle. Place right hand lightly on top of left thigh just above knee and left hand on the back of the chair seat, arms straight. Keep torso lifted, shoulders and neck relaxed. Inhale; then exhale as you rotate torso and shoulders to the left. Maintain pose for 5 breaths, switch leg position and repeat, rotating in the other direction.Benefits: torso and shoulder flexibility and mobility; muscle toning to support weight of the fetus; relief of stress to lower back, hips and legs.
1st & 2nd Trimesters Seated Cobbler Sit on a bolster or 2 or 3 blankets about 2 inches from a wall so your tailbone drops between the wall and the blankets, legs lifted off the floor. Press soles of your feet together. Place fingers behind ankles or calves, using forearms to spread groin. Bring shoulders in line with hips. Maintain pose for at least 5 breaths.
3rd Trimester Lying Cobbler Place blankets behind you on the floor to support your upper torso and keep your head higher than your abdomen when you lie back. Sitting with soles of your feet together, place a strap around your ankles, across hip flexors and around hips and lower back. Once secure with firm tension, lie back so the blankets are at your lower back and your pelvis is free. Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height, palms up. Maintain pose for at least 5 breaths.
Benefits: hip flexibility; preparation of pelvis for childbirth.
1st Trimester Downward-Facing Dog From an all-fours position, hands under shoulders and knees in line with hips, lift heels and hips upward, straightening legs as much as you can to form an inverted “V,” heels still lifted. As your tailbone lifts upward, press your chest toward the floor, keeping your back long and your shoulders and neck relaxed. Your body should be one straight line from head to hips. Keep arms straight, widen shoulders and look back at your thighs so your head and neck are aligned with your arms. Maintain pose for 5 breaths; then lower yourself back down to your hands and knees.