Calling all pregnant yogis! Here’s a great 10-minute sequence of the best yoga poses for pregnancy. Health contributing editor Kristin McGee designed the workout for expecting mothers of any level. In the video, Kristin demonstrates modifications for familiar poses and adds in asanas that are especially helpful to practice during pregnancy. It’s a great way to keep in shape and prepare your body for birth, both physically and spiritually. Watch the video and follow along at home or the gym for the full vinyasa flow.
Don’t have time to watch? Read the full transcript:
Hi, I'm Kristin McGee. Today I’m going to take you through a nice prenatal yoga flow that you can do in your first trimester, second, and third trimesters. As an expecting mom myself, I find yoga so beneficial for every phase of pregnancy. In the beginning, it helps with the nausea and fatigue. In the second trimester, when you have more energy, it's a great time to focus on strengthening exercises. Finally, in the third trimester you want to get the hips and the pelvic floor region more released and open, which yoga is great for. So let’s get started and be sure to repeat all the poses you do on the right side on the left as well.
Vinyasa: When a teacher says, “Take a vinyasa,” they normally mean flow through the transitional sequence starting from plank to chatarunga dandasana, then to upward facing dog and downward facing dog.
Start standing at the front of the mat with your feet hip-width apart. Inhale the arms up overhead. As you exhale, swan dive over the legs. Inhale as you look forward and lift to a flat back and then step your right foot back into a lunge. Press through the heel, open up through the chest, and then step the left foot to meet the right foot in a plank pose. Drop the knees to the floor as bend the elbows and take a mini chatarunga. Next, place the tops of the toes flat on the mat, lift up through your heart into an upward-facing dog. Exhale as you come into a downward-facing dog.
Side Stretch: Come to stand at the front of the mat, floating the arms up toward the ceiling. Grab hold of your left wrist with your right hand and lean the body slightly to the right. Repeat on the other side.
Chair: From standing, bend the knees deeply and sit back into a squat. From chair pose, swan dive forward, bringing the hands to the floor as you come into a forward fold. Step the feet back into a plank.
Lizard (Right Side): From downward-facing dog, lift your right leg up in the air, and bend the knee to open up the hip. Next, step your right foot up outside your right hand and lower your elbows to the floor or to a block to come into lizard pose. Feel free to drop the back knee as you breath into the hips. Then walk the hands back, tuck the back toes, lift the back knee and return to your downward-facing dog.
Yogi Squat: From lizard pose on the left side, come off of the forearms and press the palms into the mat, keeping the left foot at the outside of the left hand. Lift the right leg and try to step the right foot to the outside of the right hand to come into a squat. Press the palms together at the heart. If you can't get the heels to the floor, come up onto the balls of the feet or roll up a yoga towel or blanket and place it under the heels. From here, come into a forward fold and roll the body up to stand. This squat can also help aid in digestion.
Triangle (Right Side): Open the legs wide to come into a standing straddle-like position on the mat. Turn the right toes out and the left toes in. Stretch the arms out to the sides, reaching the right arm as far as you can and then dropping the right hand to the shin, the ankle, or a block. Look up to the left hand to come into triangle pose. Inhale as you come up to stand and exhale as you come into a warrior II pose.
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Extended Side Angle (Right Side): In warrior II, place the right elbow above the right knee. Use the elbow to slide the knee open to the right and extend the left arm up overhead to come into an extended side angle pose.
Straddle Twist: Come up to stand in a straddle position with hands on the hips, then drop the hands to the floor. Look up to a flat back and then fold into a straddle forward bend. This is great for letting tension out of the head and neck. Breathe through the nose. Next, place your right hand in the middle of the body on the mat. Turn the left arm open, so you get a nice shoulder stretch. Switch sides.
Lateral Lunges: Return to a forward fold in a straddle position. Bend the right leg, keeping the left leg straight, then switch. Repeat 3 lateral lunges on each side.
Pigeon (Right Side): Come into a downward-facing dog. Lift the right leg up in the air and bend the knee to open up the hip. Bring the right knee forward into pigeon. You can either stay upright or place a block under the hip. Lift the chest to open the heart and then walk the hands forward to bring the upper body closer to the mat. Take a few breaths here, then walk the hands back, tuck the toes, and return to your downward-facing dog.
Baddha Konasana: Sit tall on the mat with the soles of the feet pressed together, knees wide apart to come into baddha konasana. Press the upper body forward towards the mat to open up the inner thighs and hips. Take three deep breaths here before slowly sitting up.