Here’s the sequence I came up with for my first prenatal yoga class a week and a half ago. It’s a perfectly fine series for anyone to practice – it’s an active sequence with some good emphasis on thighs, hips, and pelvic floor. It just doesn’t involve any deep forward folds, twists, or poses lying on the belly.
- child’s pose
- leg and arm extensions from neutral all-fours
- downward dog
- step up to gentle forward fold
- 4 half sun salutes
- 2 (or 4) modified full sun salutes (modified to omit chaturanga and up dog: fold, high or low lunge, step back to down dog, lunge on the other side, up to fold)
- mountain pose
- standing sequence:
- warrior 1
- warrior 2
- wide-legged forward fold
- goddess pose
- crane/squat dynamic balance pose (this is great but a little hard to describe, I need to shoot a video or something)
- repeat standing sequence other side
- if time permits, tree pose
- squat/malasana at the wall
- modified cobbler pose (instead of bringing feet tight toward the body, extending legs a bit into a diamond shape, leaving more room for the belly)
- happy baby (mostly because I can’t hug my knees in to my chest anymore)
- legs up the wall or other inversion depending on student’s ability
- savasana (for students later in pregnancy, savasana should be taken while lying on one side, instead of lying flat on the back)
After practicing this sequence, the only thing I felt was missing was some sort of neck stretch. In the future I’d work that in either while standing in mountain pose or while seated, after cobbler pose. Just some gentle neck circles would fit nicely into this routine.
beautiful sequence! You could add a neck stretch at cat/cow with a side bend or “ear to hip” stretch taking right ear toward right hip… love that one.
Good thought, thanks!
Just for clarification — For the modified sun salute, then, do you mean that you’re going straight from high plank to down dog? That’s how I envision it when you say “to omit chaturanga and up dog,” but I just wanted to make sure.
I skipped high plank entirely and stepped straight from high lunge to down dog. I think for me, high plank is harder to get into and aligned than down dog is, and if I’m going to spend the time to get myself aligned in plank, then I want to do the pushup, which is less advisable these days because my belly doesn’t like being flat on the floor. I personally can still get away with it by hovering in chaturanga then pushing through to up dog, but even for me that’s more challenging some days than other days, and I wouldn’t want to expect it of my students. So, I figure, skip the whole bit and just hang out in down dog a few extra breaths.
Love your blog! I teach prenatal yoga and I think your sequence is really nice. There’s also a twist you can do for the bigger bellies. While sitting on the mat, bend the right leg and keep the left leg straight. Keep the right arm straight and place it inside of the bent knee as you twist into the left side (so the flat leg is where your larger belly twists into). Repeat on the opposite side. It’s a nice twist.
Thank you, Jasmin! I tried that twist out this morning and it was fun–I haven’t done any twists in recent months, since most twists just don’t feel right, but this was gentle enough to do. Thanks!
Oh Good! I am so excited you used it! I also will get my students in table and then they grind their hips (we do this in our regular Hatha yoga class too, but the pregos really seem to like it). Keep blogging… very nice stuff!
By grinding the hips, do you mean grinding around in a circle then switching directions? Just trying to picture what you mean – I usually start off my classes with some cat/cow and I’m always looking for a new stretch or two that I can add there. Thanks!