A year ago, my body could do all sorts of wild and wacky yoga poses (some of them probably not such a good idea, in retrospect). My flexibility changed significantly post-surgery, and now that I’m pregnant a whole new batch of changes have come.
The Jill Michael’s workout regimen I’m doing to prepare for childbirth consist of a lot of squats and lunges which strengthen (pro) and tighten (con) my hip flexors and glutes, which leaves me in need of some serious stretching! The heavier weight pulling on my middle causes a sway in the lower back, which could all be a recipe for disaster. This is precisely why I’ve started taking prenatal classes at Kava Yoga in Long Beach. The armbalances and inversions I worked so hard to learn are on the backburner!
The poses I am LOVING lately (with photos from Yoga Journal) are:
- Low Lunge or Crescent Lunge: this is my hip-flexor-helper
- Baddha Koṇāsana: with heels drawn in, or pushed further out in a diamond shape
- Goddess Pose: I put my hands on my inner thighs to help draw my knees further apart
- Cat/Cow: don’t underestimate this amazing back stretch!
- Warrior II: Another great hip stretch
A word of caution: During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is released which increased flexibility and loosens up the joints of the body in preparation for childbirth (source). Sometimes you CAN stretch too much so don’t push yourself to your limits and risk over-stretching and injury.