An adapted yoga routine for pregnant women
Desi Bartlett, founder of the ‘Mothers Into Living Fit’ programme and author of ‘Your Strong, Sexy Pregnancy’ combines yoga, resistance training, cardiovascular training and nutrition into her fitness philosophy for pregnant women.
She says ‘I believe you need a bit of everything. It’s not just about a single fitness regime, you need muscular strength and flexibility combined with regular cardio exercise and none of it will work without good nutrition. My view is that great abs are created in the kitchen!’
The sun salutation is a key yoga routine and Desi has adapted it for pregnant women. The sequence warms the entire body, providing an effective warm up for upper body, lower body and core.
Desi says, ‘Inviting the feelings of warmth, radiance and strength can help bring in the energy that the name of the sequence implies.’
This is a great sequence to start the day – or to prepare for your pregnancy workout. Roll out your yoga mat, have some yoga blocks to hand and salute the sun.
a – Begin with your feet hip width apart, standing tall in Mountain Pose with your hands at your heart
b – Inhale and squat into Chair Pose, lifting your arms to the sky and aiming to have your arms parallel with your ears
c – Exhale and come into a gentle forward fold, hands supported by your blocks
d – Inhale and lift your torso halfway up so that it’s parallel with the floor. Feel the strength in your lower back
e – Exhale and step back into Downward Dog
f – Shift forward to Plank Pose, dropping your knees to modify the pose
g – Exhale and bend the elbows straight back to move into a modified Chaturanga pose
h – Inhale and take a soft Up Dog, with knees on the floor and your belly off the floor
i – Exhale and return to Downward Dog. Remain here for three deep breaths
j – Inhale and rise up to Warrior One, facing to the right, arms up to the sky. Feel the power.
k – Exhale and step back to Downward Dog
l – Shift forward to modified Plank pose, knees to the floor
m – Exhale and bend the elbows back to move into modified Chaturanga, knees still on the floor
n – Inhale and take a soft Up Dog, belly off the floor, knees still on the mat
o – Exhale and return to Downward Dog for three breaths
p – Inhale and rise up to Warrior One, facing to the left, both arms to the sky.
q – Exhale and return to Downward Dog
r – Step both feet forward and squat into Chair Pose, feet hip width apart
s – Inhale and rise to standing with your hands at your heart
Need to adjust?
If there is any pulling on your abdomen, omit the soft Up Dog and replace with Cat and Cow pose, which will help to strengthen and maintain flexibility in your lower back and abdomen.
Begin on all fours with hands shoulder width apart, knees hip width apart. Inhale and gaze to the sky, lifting the breastbone and tailbone as you softly contract your lower back. Exhale and round the spine in the shape of a rainbow. Take it easy with the pelvic tuck in the second and third trimesters, focusing more on the curve in the upper body.