Prenatal yoga for labor and delivery – ½ Sun Salutations

Preparing the body for labor and delivery - prenatal 1/2 sun salutations

Prenatal yoga for labor and delivery

Prepare the body and mind for labor and delivery with prenatal ½ Sun Salutations.

This variation of ½ Sun Salutations is a great way to practice prenatal yoga for labor and delivery. It includes a Yogic Squat Modification to help tone and strengthen the thighs, while opening the hips. Moms get the same benefit of a full body stretch and movement in the joints, with the additional benefits of a deep hip stretch and toning. This sequence can also be practiced as a warm-up or transition between standing poses.

While practicing this flow, you stimulate circulation and establish a rhythmic, meditative breath that can set the tone for your practice, similar to ½ Sun Salutations. It’s perfect to get the body ready for the day or to surrender remaining tension before bed. And practicing this version is especially useful in the third trimester, as baby’s arrival day gets closer. You may even want to challenge yourself and add in the full expression of Yogic Squat or hold the squat modification for additional deep breaths. By doing so, not only will you better prepare the body for labor and delivery, but you will also prepare and calm the mind. Breathing with intense sensation during pregnancy is a useful practice for those that are planning an un-medicated birth.

Instruction

  • Begin in Mountain Pose, firming a sturdy base. Strong legs, feet hip width apart and soft knees
  • Inhale and float the arms out by your sides up toward sky. Shift the gaze up if that’s okay for the neck
  • As you exhale, press the palms together, draw the hands threw heart center, bend the knees and come into Yogic Squat Modification
  • Stay in the squat for an inhale
  • Exhale into a forward fold, straight legs, hands on the earth. Bend the legs as much as needed to rest the hands on or close to the earth. You can use blocks under the hands if the hands don’t reach the floor
  • Inhale, lift and lengthen to a flat back. Legs are straight. Hands rest on the shins, thighs or fingertips on blocks if you are using them. If the hands reach the earth and there is more flexibility in the hamstrings, line up the fingertips with the toes
  • Draw the ribs forward, neck is an extension of the spine, gaze is down, shoulders are soft
  • Exhale, release and fold down, allowing the arms to hang and bend the legs as much is needed
  • Inhale, bend the knees and come into Yogic Squat Modification. Stay here for the exhale, sinking down
  • Inhale, ground down to come all the way up, lengthening the arms toward sky, gaze up if the neck is okay. Press the palms together
  • Exhale hands to heart center in prayer pose
  • Start the sequence over using your next inhale
  • Suggested practice for 5-10 rounds

MY BOOK: YOGA FOR A PEACEFUL PREGNANCY

Yoga For A Peaceful Pregnancy by Cyndi RobertsThis sequence is from my book, Yoga For A Peaceful Pregnancy. It’s a comprehensive guide to prenatal yoga for each trimester.

The yoga we learn and practice during pregnancy gives us clarity, presence and strength to find joy on this journey—especially when we are most challenged and uncomfortable.

What’s in the book?

  • 366 pages of in-depth and appropriate instruction
  • 10 pranayama and visualization techniques
  • 16 standing and balancing poses
  • 7 vinyasa modifications
  • 23 poses to open the hips and shoulders
  • 16 restorative and gentle yoga poses
  • 16 practical and unique sequences
  • Includes over 300 high-resolution images to help you along