These dynamic, flowing diagonal movements utilize all your torso
muscles from the hips to the shoulders, taking pressure off your
lower back. Such movements are most effective in building strength
in the transverse abdominal muscles that support your quickly
expanding uterus. According to your mood, alternate rhythmical
swings with relaxed stretching from your lower spine up to your
fingertips. Both will energize you in different ways, stimulating your
breathing as well as your physical and mental coordination.
Stand in Mountain pose with
your knees slightly bent. Breathe
freely and twist loosely from
side to side, swinging your arms
in turn across your body and
back behind you.
Move your feet farther
apart and extend the
twist into a long standing
stretch of your whole
body. As you rotate
to the right, raise
your left arm up
and extend your
right arm down
behind you. Feel
the stretch through
your body from your
left heel to the
fingertips of your left
hand. Bend your knees
before you rotate to
the left and repeat
the stretch on the
other side.
Look back at your heel
to gain further stretch
across the shoulders
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Stand firm with your
feet wide apart and facing
forward. Press the palms
of your hands together and
twist your torso around to
the right, pushing your right
elbow back as you rotate
both your shoulders.
Breathe easily throughout,
stretching further on
each exhalation. Repeat
alternately on each
side four times.
As a counterpose, stand
in a semi-squat with your
feet parallel and your knees
bent. Press your elbows
onto your knees and relax
your head down. If you
wish, join your hands
and point your fingers
toward the floor.
Keep your feet facing
forward and twist your
body around to the right
while simultaneously raising
your left arm out in front
and your right arm behind
you. Bend your knees and
exhale as you lower your
arms down and return to
the center. Repeat on the
left side. Gradually lift your
arms higher and higher in
semicircles of opposition
until your hands meet
above your head. Breathe
energetically throughout.
There are many possible
ways of breathing in these
movements. As a rule, inhale
on the upward stretches and
exhale when you bend your knees
to change sides. However, when
you hold poses, you may wish to
exhale in the stretch and then take
a new breath before exhaling as
you release out of the pose.
Bending your knees is essential
for twisting your whole torso as
opposed to just twisting your
shoulders, which would result
in weakening the lumbar
spine during pregnancy.
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