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You might be breathing a huge sigh of relief once you reach the second trimester of your pregnancy. By this time, most morning sickness has faded, you may feel less tired, and your belly starts showing the presence of the life growing inside of you. Prenatal yoga teacher Allie Lindenmuth shares a few simple yoga poses that can help you navigate the amazing changes you’re experiencing.
Seated Open Twist
Find a comfortable seat on the floor or on a blanket or bolster. Start with your right shin parallel to the top of your mat. Bring your left ankle in front of your right ankle. Bring your left hand to your left ankle and your right hand behind your right hip on the floor. Gently twist your torso to the right. Switch sides when ready. Deep twists are to be avoided during pregnancies, but open twists like this pose can be very helpful.
Benefits: This posture is great for creating space through the back body and into the shoulders and can aid in digestion.
Marjaryasana-Bitilasana (Cat Pose-Cow Pose)
Start on your hands and knees, with your toes tucked or untucked. Use a blanket under your knees if they are tender. You can also place blocks (not shown) under your palms for a little relief on your wrists. On an exhalation, round your spine as shown, drawing your chin in toward your chest. On an inhalation, pull your chest forward while softening your belly toward the ground and hugging your thighs toward one another. You can explore side body movements and/or create figure eights by moving your hips in circles and side to side. Play around with the shape for 1 to 2 minutes.
Try this organic wool blanket to pad up your knees in yoga poses during and after pregnancy.
Uttana Shishosana (Extended Puppy Pose)
From all fours, place your elbows down and a few inches ahead of your shoulders. Drop your forehead to the floor or to a blanket and let your neck relax. Keep a slight curve in your lower back. To feel a nice long stretch in your spine in Puppy Pose, press your hands down and stretch through your arms while pulling your hips back toward your heels. Breathe into your back, feeling your spine lengthen in both directions. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release your buttocks down onto your heels.
Benefits: This pose releases tension in you upper arms, shoulders, and neck. It offers your abdominals a gentle stretch. It’s a slight inversion, and can help you feel calmer.
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