Sun Salutations for Pregnancy (Video)
If you enjoy a yoga practice but are beginning to feel the changes of pregnancy, it can be a challenge to continue comfortably and safely.
As your balance shifts and your blood volume increases, it is helpful to widen your stance in tadasana (mountain pose), uttanasana (standing forward fold), utkatasana (chair/fierce pose), and adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog), to name a few. Conversely, it is advisable to narrow your stance for lunges, virabhadrasana (warrior) I and II, utthita parsvokonasana (extended side angle pose), and the like. Always work toward grounding and stability, making space for baby’s home, but not extending the stance so far that it compromises balance. Back bends and twists are best left to wait until after your baby is born and you are cleared to commence exercising again.
We begin with a basic sun salutation, modified for the pregnant body. Here you will notice the healthy stance previously mentioned, and the importance of keeping the hands inside the knee when moving through a lunge. You will also notice we do not lie on our stomachs, and we trade cobra or upward facing dog for a cat/cow breath.
When moving through your practice, always be mindful of your edge and your body’s signals. If something hurts or feels uncomfortable, safely exit the pose. Everyone’s body is different, which means some things that are comfortable for other pregnant women may not be comfortable for you. Be kind to yourself, and work toward sustainability. And remember to make sure you are given the go-ahead by your doctor or midwife before you begin!