The aches and pains of pregnancy are enough to keep any new mom searching for some relief. The answer to relieving all that back and hip pain? Stretching! More specifically, a few specific yoga moves can help ease the sore and tense muscles AND help get your ready for an easier labor.
Of course, if your not use to stretching or moving do be careful! The last thing you want to do is injur yourself.
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Seated Side Bend
Side bends are great for lower back pain. Start in a seated position with your legs crossed. Rest your right hands on the ground. Now stretch your left arm up straight above you, and then bend toward your right side. You want to keep your body facing forward and open, as you look up toward your left hand. As you bend, use your right arm for support. Repeat on your other side.
The yoga squat can help open up your hips, and help loosen them when they are feeling tight.
Start by sitting with your legs extended out in front of you. Bend you knees and place feet close under your bottom, slightly wider than hip width. Putting your weight on to your feet, your bottom up and come into a low, wide squat. Keep your back straight and bring both hands together between knees in prayer, pressing elbows into inner thighs.
If this feels uncomfortable for you or causes too much pressure in your pelvic area make sure to stop, or try a variation where you are supported by an object under your bottom, like a yoga block.
The childs pose is a restorative pose that feels amazing. This is one I do anytime I’m feeling stressed or a little tight. Doing this pose while pregnant will help take the pressure off of your growing belly and help your back and stomach feel amazing.
Start by kneeling on the ground with you butt on your heels and the top of your feet against the floor. Keep your big toes touching, and knees wider than hip-width apart. Next, slowly bring chest to the mat, placing your body in between legs. Extend your arms in front of you, touching your forehead to the floor.
Wide Standing Forward Bend
A great way to relieve lower back tension is with a wide forward bend.
Start by standing with your feet about 3 feet apart, knees slightly bent. Bend forward at the waist, allowing your head to drop toward the floor. Hold onto your elbows with opposite hands, which will help stretch your spine. After a few deep breaths, switch arm grips, so the opposite arm crosses on top.
Extended Triangle Pose
Another great stretch to ease pregnancy related back pain!
While standing, spread your feet 3-4 feet apart. Raise your arms out parallel to the floor. Reach down on your left side with your left hand, while extending your other arm straight up toward the ceiling. Turn your left foot out pointing fully to the left, and your right foot at a 90-degree angle facing in front of you. Keeping your chest open, focus on reaching up toward the ceiling with your raised arm. After a few deep breathes, switch sides.
Modified One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
This pose is amazing for stretching and opening the hips. It can also help stretch some very important muscles that will help ease childbirth. It’s definitely a more challenging pose so take it slow, and get help if you need it.
Start on your hand and knees. Bring your right knee in between your hands, placing your right foot near your left wrist. Extend your left leg behind your knee and foot facing down. Bring your left foot up towards your shoulder and grab with your left hand. Hold for a few breathes, and switch sides.
*I am not a doctor. Make sure to consult with your medical provider before embarking on any new fitness or exercise routine. Always use caution, especially while pregnant.
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