Calm Mind, Strong Body
Our prenatal workout combines tai chi, yoga and pilates to help you relax and stay fit.
3. Moving Child's Pose From Embrace the Moon, kneel on the floor, then sit back against your heels, knees separated enough to make room for your belly. Bring your forehead to the floor and place your hands, one on top of the other with palms up, at the base of your spine (A). Inhale, rising up onto your knees as you lift your arms above your head, forearms parallel, with palms facing in (B). Exhale and return to starting position. Strengthens thighs, back, shoulders and abs.
Yoga Thought: Feel the strength in your legs and torso as you fold and unfold your body.
4. Tricky Cat Get down on all fours with your wrists under your shoulders, arms straight and knees under your hips. Inhale, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and extend your left arm in front of you and right leg behind you so your body forms a straight line (A). Exhale, placing hand and knee back down on the floor as you round your spine up toward the ceiling. Let your neck lengthen as you look down between your hands (B). Inhale, lifting your right arm and left leg to complete the move. Strengthens abs, back, buttocks and shoulders.
Yoga Thought: Create your longest body, from fingertips to toes.
This workout should be complemented with cardiovascular exercise—walking, light hiking, stationary bicycling, low-impact aerobics or swimming. Aim for 3–5 times a week for 20–30 minutes. (Remember to check with your doctor before undertaking any exercise program while you’re pregnant.)
5. Modified Saw Sit erect with your legs separated wider than hips in a “V,” toes pointing up. Open your arms out to the side at shoulder height, palms facing forward (A). Using your abs, inhale, then exhale, reaching the back of your left hand toward the little toe of your right foot (B). Do not lift your hips off the floor. Inhale as you return to the starting position. Repeat, reaching your right hand to your left foot. Strengthens abs and stretches hamstrings.
Pilates Thought: As you do this move, imagine your hamstrings stretching and lengthening as you reach forward.
6. Round And Release Sitting erect with your ankles crossed, place your hands underneath your knees (A). Inhale, then exhale, pulling your navel toward your spine as you curl your back into a “C” (B). Inhale and return to the starting position. Strengthens abs and back.
Pilates Thought: In this exercise, use the strength within your body to find your belly muscles.