Hilaria Baldwin: 8 Easy Prenatal Yoga Poses

Yoga instructor and wife of Alec, Hilaria Baldwin is known for striking yoga poses anywhere and everywhere—and often with her 20-month-old daughter Carmen in tow. Now pregnant with a baby boy, due in July, the 31-year-old snaps her 8 go-to prenatal moves for Fit Pregnancy.

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Foot, Quad & Chest Opener

Hilaria Baldwin

Foot, Quad & Chest Opener

How to do it: Come to a kneeling position with legs together. Curl toes underneath you. Interlace your fingers behind your back. Slowly sit back towards your heels, bringing your chest towards the ceiling and your hands towards the floor.

Hilaria says: "In pregnancy we can suffer from a lot of foot pain. This posture will open up your toes and strengthen your arches. Due to the added weight on our feet, the arches fall a bit—this is how the feet spread and grow. It is extremely important to stretch and strengthen the feet while we carry this extra weight. My feet didn't swell or grow in size while pregnant with my daughter ... and so far so good with my son!"

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Wide-Legged Forward Bend

Hilaria Baldwin

Wide-Legged Forward Bend

How to do it: Sit upright with your feet wider than your belly. (You can prop yourself up on a blanket, pillow or block to help your back lengthen.) Flex your feet hard and reach toward your legs and feet. Don't worry about touching your feet if you don't have the flexibility; you will get just as good of a stretch holding on to your knees, legs, or ankles. Keep your shoulders released down your back and your chest open. Breathe deeply and hold posture for 10 long breaths.

Hilaria says: "Restless leg syndrome, tightness and swelling of our legs is a common pregnancy ailment. So is a lot of lower back pain. This stretch will thoroughly lengthen the backs of the legs—promoting circulation—and open the lower back, relieving the pressure that occurs from carrying extra weight in the tummy."

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Hip & Glute Opener

Hilaria Baldwin

Hip & Glute Opener

How to do it: Sit upright with your legs extended out in front of you (if it is uncomfortable to sit up straight, place a pillow or blanket, or block underneath your seat). Cross the left ankle over the right knee—just above it on the quad. If this is enough of a stretch, remain here breathing. If you want more, bend the right knee in so the foot is on the floor and the left leg is butterflied out and into your chest. Plant hands behind yourself firmly to press the chest into the stretch. Think about drawing the left knee away from the chest as the right leg encourages the left ankle in. Hold for 10 breaths.

Hilaria says: "The hips get very tight and uncomfortable in pregnancy. This stretch will not only alleviate the discomfort, but will also open the hips up, preparing for labor."

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Supported Backbend

Hilaria Baldwin

Supported Backbend

How to do it: Lay on your back with your knees bent in and feet planted hips-distance on the floor. Reach for your heels. You should be able to graze the backs of them with your fingertips. Press into your heels and pop your hips up towards the ceiling. Place a block underneath your pelvis at a height that feels appropriate for you. This should be a relaxing stretch, so don't overdo it. Let your arms relax and feel your tailbone lengthening away from the lumbar spine. Hold for 10 breaths.

Hilaria says: "The compression we feel in our lower backs and tailbone can be quite painful in pregnancy. This stretch is designed to create space between the muscles and bones that are getting crunched, especially as our babies and bodies get bigger."

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Squat

Hilaria Baldwin

Squat

How to do it: Position your feet so they are wider than hips-distance with your toes slightly turned out (if you are advanced, your toes can be more parallel). Lower your seat down so you are squatting in between your feet. If your heels do not touch the floor, either make your feet wider, place a rolled-up blanket under your heels for support, or sit on a block. Place your hands to heart center, pressing them in towards each other so your elbows become as wide as possible. The elbows should be positioned inside your legs to open the knees wider, increasing your stretch. Try to sit up as straight as possible, using your pelvic floor to do kegels. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

Hilaria says: "This pose is great for opening hips, strengthening the muscles used for pushing during labor, and stretching the calves. Some women even find this pose useful during labor and delivery."

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Side Angle A

Hilaria Baldwin

Side Angle A

How to do it: Come to a standing position and separate your feet about 3 1/2 feet apart. Turn the right toes out, and bend deeply into the knee so it's positioned directly over the ankle; turn the back toes into a 45 degree angle. Back leg is strong and straight. Gently place the right forearm on the right thigh (not too much weight should be resting on the leg). Reach the left arm and hand towards where the ceiling and the wall meet. Tilt the pinky finger slightly towards yourself so the shoulder blade rests on the back, causing no tension in the neck and shoulders. Rotate the upper body towards the ceiling so you get a gentle, safe twist. Hold for 5 deep breaths.

Hilaria says: "Maintaining strength and flexibility while pregnant is extraordinarily important. This pose will strengthen the legs and stretch the upper body and hips."

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Side-Stretching Low Lunge

Hilaria Baldwin

Side-Stretching Low Lunge

How to do it: Come to all fours and step your left leg through your hands. Settle into the front hip, and feel a deep stretch through the back hip. Place your left hand on the floor or a block beside your left hip. Reach the right arm up and over your head so you feel a stretch through the right side body and rib cage. Plug the right shoulder down the back by tilting the pinky finger slightly towards yourself. Gaze either up at the right fingertips, or down at the floor if this is too much on the neck. Hold for 5-10 breaths.

Hilaria says: "Preparing the hips for labor is just as important as keeping them pain-free throughout pregnancy. This stretch will do both, targeting the hip flexors. Also, the side stretch that you will get will relieve upper body tension."

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Seated Butterfly

Hilaria Baldwin

Seated Butterfly

How to do it: Sit upright with your feet together. Butterfly the knees open. Open the bottoms of your feet and toes to the ceiling like you are reading a little book. Sit up super straight, pressing into your sit bones. If this is uncomfortable, sit on a blanket, block or pillow. Breathe here, actively pressing your knees to the floor, the feet open, and the spine lengthening. You should feel this deep into the groin, glutes and hips. Hold for 10 long breaths. Use kegels here while you stretch.

Hilaria says: "Preparing for labor is vital during pregnancy. This stretch with allow you to create strength and flexibility in your groin and hips, allowing you to push better while delivering."

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