POPSUGAR Fitness

Bye-Bye Lower Back Pain: Yoga Sequence For Mommies-to-Be

Jan 13 2014 - 2:08pm

It may not be the safest idea for an expectant momma to train for a marathon, but she can and should still do moderate exercise. Prenatal yoga will be your saving grace to keep your muscles strong and supple, improve the flexibility and balance you often lose as your belly grows, and as a bonus, it'll also mentally and physically prepare you for labor. If you've already tried this sequence to open tight hips and hamstrings [1], here's another one that will stretch your hips and back, which should alleviate some of the lower back or pelvic pain many pregos complain of.

Goddess

Stand at the front of your mat in Mountain [2] pose. Step open to the right, bringing your legs about three feet apart. Turn your heels in. Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Lift your arms up, bending your elbows so they are at 90-degree angles, holding Goddess [3] for five breaths.

Side Goddess

Lean over to the left, resting your left elbow on your left thigh. Raise your right arm overhead, gazing up at the ceiling, stretching through the right side of the body. Keep your thighs lowered, holding Side Goddess for five breaths. Then rise up and do this pose on the right side.

Wide-Legged Forward Bend

Lift your torso back to a neutral position, and straighten both legs. Inhale as you turn your toes in and exhale to slowly bend forward, folding at your hips. In this variation of Wide-Legged Forward Bend [4], hold on to opposite elbows and allow your torso to hang. Try to shift your weight forward into your toes, holding here for five deep breaths.

Wide Squat

Press into your feet and rise up to standing. Walk your feet in so they are about hips-distance apart (or slightly wider to make room for your baby bump), and lower your hips down as far as you can. Press your elbows against your inner knees, straightening through your spine, and enjoying Wide Squat [5] for five breaths.

Prep For Bound Squat

Bring your left arm between your knees, and place your left palm flat on the floor. Lower your left shoulder and reach your fingers as far as you can out to the side, underneath your left shin. Reach your right arm up toward the ceiling, holding Prep For Bound Squat [6] for five breaths. Repeat this pose on the right side.

Tabletop

Sit down and turn your body so it's parallel with your mat. Place your hands behind your hips, so they are directly underneath your shoulders. Place your feet in front of you, about a foot away from your hips. Make sure they are hips-distance apart. Inhale and lift your hips off the ground, coming into Tabletop pose. Relax your head behind you and lift your hips so your thighs are parallel with the floor. Hold for five breaths.

Camel Variation

Lower your hips to the floor. Lean forward, briefly coming into a Wide Squat, and then lower your knees, shins, and the tops of your feet to the floor. Sit on your heels and place your palms on the ground behind your toes. Inhale to lift your hips up, arching your spine, coming into a variation of Camel [7]. Relax your head behind you to stretch through your chest, holding for five deep breaths.

Butterfly

Sit your tush on the floor, bend your knees, and bring the soles of your feet together for Butterfly [8]. Stay seated for five breaths, or fold forward to deeply stretch your hips and lower back.

Seated Straddle

Extend both legs out wide with your feet flexed. Press your pelvis and hamstrings into the floor to help straighten the spine. Stay here if this is enough of a stretch for the backs of your legs, or walk your hands out in front of you, folding forward into Seated Straddle [9].

Double Pigeon

Bend your left knee, so your shin is parallel with your body. Bend your right leg and stack your right knee on top of your left ankle, and your right ankle above your left knee. The shins should be parallel. Flex both feet. Sit up tall or fold forward to increase the stretch. Hold Double Pigeon [10] for five breaths on this side, and then repeat this stretch with your left shin on top.

Modified Seated Spinal Twist

Bend your right knee and place your foot in front of and just to the outside of your right hip. Straighten your left leg in front of you. Press your right elbow to the inside of your right knee and plant your left palm behind your hips. Gently twist to the left, gazing over your left shoulder. Hold this variation of Seated Spinal Twist [11] for five breaths, then release. Straighten your right leg, bend your left knee, and repeat this pose on the other side.

Happy Baby

Lie flat on your back. Bend both knees and hold onto the outside edges of your flexed feet with your hands. Keep your arms on the outsides of your legs. Gently use your upper body strength to equally press both knees to the floor below your armpits. Enjoy Happy Baby [12] for five breaths and then release.


Source URL
http://www.fitsugar.com/Hip-Back-Yoga-Stretches-Pregnancy-8215608