34
EARLY PREGNANCY
1
2
The “queen” of classic yoga postures is adapted here so that
pregnant women who are new to yoga can receive its benefits
without strain. Even if you are an experienced practitioner, it
is best to use these easy variations to rest and deepen your
abdominal breathing in early pregnancy. Each variation develops
your awareness of the connections between your lower back
muscles and abdominal muscles. Use a support to allow for a wide
range of supported inversions to suit your individual needs.
SARVANGASANA
ADAPTED SHOULDER
STANDS
Position a beanbag or pillow
against a wall to support your hips,
and rest your upper back and
head on the floor. Place both feet
against the wall, keep your knees
bent, and rest your arms on the
floor. Breathe deeply and relax.
This stretch complements Step 1 by allowing you to
open your chest and abdomen fully. Press your lower
back onto your support and stretch into your heels.
Extend your arms out along the floor behind your
head and stretch into your fingertips. Then practice
inhaling lightly, gradually lengthening the time you take
to breathe out. Continue for six breaths or more.
BENEFITS
Inverted poses such as these
stimulate blood circulation in the
pelvic area and the legs. Use these
supported adaptations:
To help you rest in the evenings.
If you work standing up.
If you have varicose veins or wish
to prevent them. Deep breathing
in restful poses also helps
calm the emotions.
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35
ADAPTED SHOULDER STANDS
4 5
Bend your legs and draw your knees up on
either side of your chest. Place your hands
gently on your shins. Inhale. As you exhale, draw
in your pelvic floor muscles. Relax with a normal
breath cycle in this position, then slide your hips
down onto the floor.
Relax your arms by your sides and place your
legs on the beanbag. To finish, roll to one side
and rest for a moment before moving into an
all-fours position to get up without strain
(pp. 50 51).
ADVANCED MOVE
If you are familiar with
the classic pose, place a
folded blanket under your
shoulders, lie down, and lift
your legs on an exhale.
Rest your feet against the
wall and support your back
with your hands.
3
If you feel confident, push yourself up into an
easy Bridge shoulder stand by pressing your
feet against the wall and raising your hips as
you inhale. If you feel comfortable, hold the
lift for a few breaths, but make sure you don’t
strain your neck or eyes at any time. Lower
down onto the beanbag as you slowly exhale.
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