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Yoga Poses

A Prenatal Chair Sequence to Ease the Discomfort of Pregnancy

A chair practice offers the pregnant body support and helps to create the space it so desperately needs. This sequence feels so good that you will want to continue with it—even after baby.

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I often described pregnancy as “uncomfortable bliss.” With all of the changes constantly happening in my body from one day to the next, I could never predict how I would feel in life or in my yoga practice. With each of my three pregnancies, there were days where everything from forward folds to supported backbends felt difficult. On those days, I would opt for a chair practice.

Chairs offer the pregnant body support and help to create the space that it so desperately needs. If you’ve never tried using a chair in your home practice, you are in for a treat! This sequence feels so good that you will want to continue with it even after baby.

YOU WILL NEED your yoga mat and a sturdy chair without arms
GETTING STARTED Place the mat’s short edge at the wall and the chair on the mat, facing away from the wall.

Downward-Facing Dog

Downward-Facing Dog with chair, prenatal, karly treacy

Either place your hands on the sides of the chair or line the heels of your hands up with the front edge. Walk your feet back to Downward-Facing Dog. Hold for 6-8 full, long, smooth inhales and exhales. Imagine you are filling the back body with your breath creating more space between every back rib.

See alsoPrenatal Yoga: 6 Vata-Balancing Poses for Pregnancy

Plank-Down Dog

Plank-Down Dog chair, karly treacy, prenatal

Shift your body forward until your shoulders are aligned over your wrists as you breathe in. Shift back to Downward Dog as you breathe out. Repeat for 5 breaths.

See alsoPrenatal Yoga: An Imprint Flow for Strength and Space

Three-Legged Dog-Plank with Side Crunch

Three-Legged Dog-Plank with Side Crunch, chair, prenatal, karly treacy

From Downward Dog, inhale and stretch the right leg to the sky. Exhale and bring the right knee toward the right outer upper arm. Repeat 3 times on the right and then switch to the left side.

See alsoPrenatal Yoga: 5 Psoas-Releasing Poses to Relieve Low Back Pain

Modified Sun Salute A

Begin in Downward-Facing Dog. Inhale and float forward to Plank. Exhale as you bend the elbows to Chaturanga. Push your hands into the chair as you inhale and lift your chest for Upward-Facing Dog. Exhale and lift hips back and up to Downward Dog.

See alsoPrenatal Yoga: 6 Feel-Good Backbends Safe for Pregnancy

Crescent Lunge

Crescent Lunge, chair, prenatal, karly treacy

Place your hands on the back of the chair and walk your feet back. Step your right foot onto the chair. And lift the back heel up. Keep the right knee aligned over the ankle as you drop the front thighbone toward the ground. Imagine you could suck the back thighbone up into the hip socket and firm the outer thighs to center. Hold for 6–8 full breaths and then switch sides.

See also Prenatal Yoga: The Secret to Preventing Postnatal Saggy Butt

Dynamic Warrior II

prenatal yoga with chair warrior II karly treacy

From the Crescent Lunge position, spin the back heel to the ground, lift the torso and spread the arms wide. Making sure that the front foot is securely planted on the chair, inhale to straighten the front leg and exhale to bend it back into Warrior II. Repeat for 8 breaths then hold Warrior II. To open up the side body, add Parsvakonasana, by taking the forearm to the thigh and reaching the top arm all the way overhead toward the wall. Hold for 4–6 breaths and then switch sides.

To finish the sequence, sit in the chair, letting your hands rest in your lap, close your eyes and notice the effects of this short chair practice.

See alsoPrenatal Yoga: A Pelvic Floor Sequence for an Easier Labor + Delivery

About Our Expert
Los Angeles-based yoga teacher Karly Treacy began her practice more than 20 years ago. A student of Annie Carpenter, Karly understands the awareness of body and strength that comes from precise alignment. A mother of three, Karly credits yoga for teaching her that all of life is a practice, especially motherhood and that our children, our bodies, and our environment all are our teachers.

Follow her on:
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Twitter: karlytreacyyoga
Facebook: karly.treacy