By Laura Jones-Miller
During the second trimester your center of gravity starts to shift. The tiny embryo is now starting to create a bit of a belly for you. During this time it is really important to keep a chair close by to assist in maintaining balance. You’re most likely dealing with some equilibrium adjustments. Falling can cause you, the baby, or both of you injury. You may not feel the support is necessary but you know what they say …better safe than sorry.
As in the first trimester, strong twisting should be avoided. Regular twists should be done with movement from the shoulders and neck… not the waist. This is to avoid excess pressure on the abdomen.
Exercises to Increase Circulation
Yoga is one of the most recommended programs for keeping your body flexible and strong during pregnancy. Yoga poses stimulate the body and calm the mind. It can also help you to feel more invigorated.
Using a form of Yin yoga is advisable during pregnancy. Holding postures for approximately 10 seconds…or even for several minutes. If you are new to yoga, make sure you are familiar with all of the postures and how to execute them properly before beginning to practice. You can rest for a few minutes between postures as your body adjusts to the new activity. Don’t over tax yourself. It isn’t necessary to do so in order to benefit from the activity.
Yoga can be performed once a week or every day. The duration can range from 5 minutes to 60 minutes per session.
Good poses for the Second Trimester
1. Side bends and stretches
This pose stretches and strengthens the torso.
Stand tall and raise your arms overhead. Now stretch slowly and gently to the right and then the left repeating several times. This will also assist in warming the body up.
2. Modified Triangle Pose
Stand with your feet wide apart and arms extended at shoulder level parallel to the floor.
Stretch your left hand overhead and bend down to the right side and touch your knee. Look up at your left hand. Return to starting position and switch sides.
3. Modified Forward Bend
Reach forward with your hands and stop when your hands are extended straight in front of you. Your body will be forming an upside down letter L. If this is too tiring you can rest your hands on a chair placed with the back of the chair directly in front of you. Hold for 10-30 seconds and return to standing position.
Benefit: This pose stretches the back and legs.
forward bend modifications
4. Seated Twist 1 – In a chair
While seated in a chair twist to the right and then to the left. Carefully twisting from the shoulders and not the waist. If you place your hands, with a bent elbow (obviously… : O ) on the shoulders while twisting it will decrease the distance you can twist and also remind you to twist only from the shoulders. The range of motion need not be a lot to benefit this spinal twist. This twist is done to improve the mobility of the spine, improves digestion and relieves constipation.
5. Seated Twist 2 – On the floor
Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your right knee and take the right foot over the left knee. Bring the left arm and elbow over the right knee. Keep your right hand behind you on the floor for support. Now twist your torso to the right and turn your head back. Return to starting position and switch sides. This pose stretches the lower portion of the spine.
6. Cat-Cow Pose
Inhale and arch your spine like a cat…exhale and then lift it up like the back of a cow. Repeat 5 -10 times. Use this pose anytime you back is tired…it is wonderful for reliving back and abdominal pressure.
7. Butterfly pose
Sit with your legs stretched out on the mat. Bend your knees and bring your feet in as close as possible. Bring the soles of your feet together. Maintaining the natural curve in the back, with a SLIGHT pelvic tuck, gently move your legs down and up imitating the movement of a butterfly as it flaps its wings. This pose assists in increasing mobility of the hip joints and stretches the inner thigh.
8. Savasana – The modified corpse
Lie on your left side and place a pillow between your legs and below your head for support.
Close your eyes and relax your mind. Breathe gently in and out and relax into your breath. Remain in this pose for as long as you’d like.
9. Modifications for cobra and chataranga
Any posture that cals for you too lye on the belly can be modified by simlpy holding plank for the duration and then pushing back into a Downward Facing Dog as in a normal sequence.
10. Bow Pose Modification
Take table top on your hands and knees. Extend and stretch the right arm forward and the left leg back. Keep to spine as straight as possible with a slight tuck in the pelvis. Switch sides.
Ali yoga appropriate for pregnancy
These classes are suitable for pregnant women with the reminder not to lay flat on the belly (Please note all modifications above)…keep knees on the floor and hold yourself aloft with the arms, or lay on the back and do postures like pigeon by pulling the knees in toward you gently……no strong twists at the waist…twist gently from the shoulders…do not do full forward bends…only go halfway down like an upside down letter L. Exchange cobra and chatarangas for cat cow or plank pose to Downward Facing Dog. Keep a chair by your in case of a balancing mishap…and do savasana on the side with a pillow between the knees.
These classes will give your a good example guide of what to look for in a class that is suitable for pregnancy… Please make sure and apply all modifications and never over extend or over tire yourself.
To make the poses more comfortable, use blankets, pillows, cushions and chairs for support if you need them. Using a folded blanket under your bum during seated positions can help you maintain a straight spine and will make you more comfortable. If maintaining an erect spine is still difficult (it is in a bit of a competition with your baby belly), lean against a wall for support.
The second trimester, for many women, is a time of wonderful peace and contentment. Enjoy the yoga as a supplement to this amazing time…and to better strengthen and relax you rapidly changing body. Blessings and love to you…enjoy the magic. xoxox, Ever, L