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Features: Yoga, stretching, breathing; bonus prenatal massage segment
Run time: 60 minutes
Highlights: This easy-paced program features creative, flowing prenatal yoga postures. Instructor Shiva Rea demonstrates the first-trimester modifications, while two pregnant women demonstrate those needed in the second and third trimesters. The use of props helps make the program easy to follow and adaptable to your growing belly.
Recommended props: Sturdy chair or stool; yoga mat, carpet or rug; yoga strap or towel; blankets; pillows; yoga block
Why we like it: The set and music are beautiful, Rea's voice is very calming, and she shows you how to modify the poses to meet your specific needs.
Real mom's comment: "I loved the slow, flowing movements and Shiva's calm, encouraging voice. I also liked the fact that there are women in all three trimesters doing the moves--it gives me more options." -- Erica Long, Valley Glen, Calif.
Our favorite move: Supported Side Angles
Sit erect on an armless chair or stool with your feet farther than shoulder-width apart, abdominal and pelvic-floor muscles drawn in. Turn your right foot out and bend your right knee until it's over the ankle. Straighten your left leg and turn your left foot out at a comfortable angle, keeping it flat on the floor. Reach your left arm up and over to the right, placing your right forearm on your right thigh and leaning your torso to the right (shown). Hold for 3 full breaths, then return to starting position. Switch sides and repeat. Stretches torso and strengthens abs, relieving lower-back discomfort.
Gaiam, 2004; gaiam.com