Prenatal Yoga is one of the best ways for a woman to prepare herself for childbirth. It is safe to take prenatal yoga classes even if you have never done yoga before. There are three trimesters during a pregnancy. In the third trimester, the belly is very large and many postures aren’t as accessible. However prenatal yoga for the third trimester is filled with plenty of poses and breathing exercises that are highly beneficial.
Prenatal Yoga for the Third Trimester Focuses on Subtle Movements and Breath
There are several poses that are ideal for this time of pregnancy. Strength is just as important as flexibility. Balance between the two is key for a smooth labor and delivery. Whether you hope to have a natural childbirth or end up having a C-Section, you will most likely spend some time in labor. Labor can be very intense and challenging. Having a connection with the breath and awareness of the body will make the labor process much more enjoyable. Yes, I said enjoyable! Childbirth is a rite of passage. Prenatal yoga can prepare you for this life changing experience so that you are able to surrender to the flow rather than fight against it.
Three Great Exercises For Prenatal Yoga for the Third Trimester
You will need a yoga mat, a folded blanket or towel and two yoga blocks.
Goddess Squat Pulses
- Bring the feet about two shoulder widths apart.
- Turn the toes out 45 degrees.
- Bend both of the knees toward 90 degrees, aligning them above the heels.
- Place the hands on the thighs and gently push them apart, relaxing the hips toward the earth.
- Inhale float the hips up about six inches, slightly straightening the legs. As you inhale, relax the pelvic floor.
- Exhale melt the hips toward the earth, bending the knees deeper. As you exhale, draw the pelvic floor up, like a gentle kegel exercise.
- Use the wall for support if you have trouble balancing. Press the sacrum gently against it.
Low Lunge Flow
- Step one foot forward and release the back knee down on to the folded blanket.
- Place the yoga blocks on the inside of the foot
- Reach both arms to the sky as you inhale. Lengthen the spine and lift the heart for a gentle backbend.
- Exhale the hands to the blocks inside the foot
- Inhale rock the hips back to a half split, keeping the hands on blocks to maintain length in the spine.
- Exhale bend the knee forward to the lunge.
- Repeat from beginning: inhale the arms to the sky.
Flow through this sequence several times with the breath. Take your time, breathing deeply so the transitions are slow and deliberate. After flowing, take a few breaths in each pose.
Baddha Konasana with Counting Breaths
- Sit on a yoga mat with a folded blanket underneath you to elevate the hips.
- Place the soles of the feet together.
- Hold on to the feet, ankles or shins.
- Inhale for five counts. During the inhale, lengthen the spine by pressing the hips into the floor and reaching through the crown of the head.
- Exhale for five counts. Tilt forward gently into a forward fold and keep the spine long. As you exhale, press the soles of the feet together to activate the legs.
- If the five count is easy, increase it to 6, 7 or higher. If it’s difficult to sustain, try a 3 or 4 count. Never hold the breath in prenatal yoga.
Prenatal yoga is designed specifically for pregnant women. It is safe to do even if you have never done yoga before. However, as with any physical activity during pregnancy, it is best to get permission from your doctor before doing online prenatal yoga classes.