8 Easy, Feel-Good Yoga Moves for Expecting and New Moms
Yoga is a great form of exercise during and after pregnancy. It can help you to stretch, strengthen, become more aware of your body and connect with your breathing. Try this simple yoga flow to strengthen and tone all the major muscle groups, including the core! The complete flow will take you about 5 minutes. Try to do it 3 times in a row and work up to 5 or 6 for a great full-body workout.
1. Chair pose. Standing with feet hip-width apart, bend your knees to weight your seat as if you are going to sit in a chair. Lift your hands to reach forward and upward. Keep your weight back on the heels. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
2. Goddess pose. Step your feet open wide and turn toes outward, bend knees deeply to make thighs parallel to floor. Lift arms to shoulder height with elbows bent and palms facing forward. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
3. Bird dog. on hands and knees, lift the left leg back behind you so it is parallel with the floor; find your balance then lift the right hand forward to make the arm parallel to the floor. Hold for 2 breaths. Repeat on opposite side, for 3 reps on each side.
4. Downward facing dog (hiking a leg). From hands and knees, tuck your toes under and lift the knees, rolling the “sit bones” upward as you take the knees toward straight. Relax the neck and shoulders and let the head hang toward the floor. After 3 breaths, inhale to lift one leg up behind you, exhale to bring the foot back to the floor. Repeat on opposite side for 3 reps each side.
5. Child’s pose. From hands and knees, spread your knees open wide if you need to make room for a bump, then sit back toward your heels. Keep hands on the ground and arms outstretched. Breathe 5 resting breaths.
6. Plank. From hands and knees, step one foot then the other back to the plank position (just as you are at the top of a push-up). Hold for 3 deep breaths.
7. Modified push-ups. From plank, drop your knees and left your feet. Keep your hips down in line with your body. Inhale deeply and draw your belly button in toward your spine. Exhale to bend your elbows to lower down toward the floor. Inhale back up. Repeat for 5 reps.
8. Child’s pose (again). Finish with one more rest of 5 breaths in everyone’s favorite yoga position.
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