Yoga Mama Series – Prenatal Sun Salutations

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The fluidity of the Prenatal Sun Salutation is designed to respect the physical limitations a woman faces in exercising during the 3 trimesters of pregnancy while continuing to offer the benefits of traditional yoga practice. The physical benefits of yoga practice include increased circulation, muscle tone and flexibility as well as strengthening a women’s mind-body connection. Pranayama is the breath work that is performed during every yoga class. Deep, Ujjayi, breathing is practiced in rhythm with each movement. This deep breathing calms the mind’s brain waves and the soul, bringing the practitioner a true state of clarity and relaxation. Pregnancy is a time of constant change for a woman and this breath work aids in relieving stress. Becoming aware of your breath and learning how to use it to calm and relieve stress, tension and physical discomfort is a beneficial tool during labor and childbirth.

I currently sub & take prenatal yoga at Yogawood in Collingswood, NJ. Such a great group of mommies-to-be. They also offer baby & me yoga as well as mama workshops.

Prenatal Sun Salutation
•Stand at the front of your mat in Tadasana (mountain pose) with palms together at your heart (Anjali mudra) to begin. Feet may be hip width to mat width apart, depending on comfort and belly size.
•Inhale and sweep the arms out and up above your head, draw your palms together, into Urdhva Hastasana. Keep your neck long as you slide your shoulder blades down your back and draw your gaze towards your hands.
•Exhale, swan dive leading with your heart out and over your lower body. Knees can be bent as you place your hands onto blocks or thighs.
•Inhale ripple your spine up to a flat back, maintaining one long line thru the crown of your head thru your sacrum. Shoulders remain peeled away from your ears.
•Exhale back to a forward fold.
•Inhale to bring your palms to the inside of your left foot as you extend your right leg long into a runner’s lunge (right leg can remain long or lower knee to mat). Focus on stretching thru your right heel as you sink your hips down. Heart energy is shining forward; shoulders remain back, chin and gaze slightly up. 3-4 breaths.
•Inhale as you draw your left foot back to meet the right in modified plank (knees on the mat, hands under shoulders).
•Exhale to a modified Chaturanga (hugging the elbows into your sides), lower your chin & chest towards the mat. Inhale press up to all fours & exhale as you press your hips back to your heals into balasana (child’s pose) for 3-5 breaths.
•Inhale to all fours (tabletop).
•Exhale to step one foot at a time up to meet your hands and make your way back to Urdvha Hastasana.
•Inhale return to Tadasana Anjali mudra.
•Repeat sequence with lunge to other side.

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