The second trimester of pregnancy is a great time to practice prenatal yoga. If you’re like I was, this is when you might get that bounce back in your step after a rough first trimester and feel ready to get back to your mat. There are a ton of awesome free prenatal yoga videos on YouTube, most of which are most likely geared at the second trimester. Here are five poses that I liked to practice when I was pregnant. Once you learn the poses, pair them with some nice yoga music and enjoy some “you” time with your growing baby! (Just a note: If you’ve never done yoga before, find an in-person prenatal yoga class in your area with a qualified teacher to learn these poses.)
This was by far my favorite pose to use to warm up. As I moved my spine back and forth on my hands and knees, my belly hung down and it gave baby a little room to move around. I’d inhale when looking up to fill my heart, and exhale when looking down. Before I was pregnant I would round my entire spine to the ceiling for cat, but during pregnancy I’d keep my lower body fairly level and just focus on rounding my shoulders. This prevented me from crunching my belly and kept baby safe. I also modified cow pose – I would avoid dropping my belly too low which could aggravate my lower back and instead would focus on strength, lifting my heart and finding length through my body. Here’s one video that shows how to do this pose while pregnant:
Standing Pose – Warrior I
What most yogis don’t realize is that Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I) is a backbend. For moms who have low back pain, take notice of how practicing this pose feels for you. To take some of the backbend out of the pose, you can place your hands on your leg or even on a wall and tilt your body forward a little bit. I like the variation she offers in the video below, she bends her top elbow against the wall and reaches one arm long.
Seated Pose – Baddha Konasana
Otherwise known as butterfly pose or cobbler’s pose, Baddha Konasana Pose felt great on my hips during pregnancy. On days when my hips were tight, I used blocks under my knees to prop my legs up for an easier stretch. Another way to modify this pose is to move your feet away from your body. A fun tip—if you can reach your feet give yourself a little foot massage while relaxing in this pose! Here is one video explaining how to do Baddha Konasana:
Seated Pose – Ankle to Knee
One area that tended to get tight in when I was pregnant was the gluts. Ankle to knee pose helped me stretch that area. In this video the teacher performs the pose in the middle of her yoga mat–when I used to do this pose I would lean my back against a wall. To make the stretch easier, I would walk the foot planted on the floor away from my body; to increase the intensity I would walk it toward my body. When I got bigger and even that was difficult I would practice this pose while sitting upright in a chair.
Pelvic Floor Exercises – Kegels
If you haven’t heard of kegels, it’s time to get familiar with how to exercise your pelvic floor. You could learn how to do these in yoga class, or you could ask your health care provider. Here’s a basic tutorial video, but I suggest meeting with a prenatal yoga teacher to get a more detailed exercise sequence that works for you.
Second Trimester Prenatal Yoga
The second trimester of pregnancy is a special time of growth and the perfect time to enjoy the introspective practice of yoga. There are some great prenatal classes in Seattle and the surrounding area, and in many cities and towns across the country. Enjoy this time with your baby and have fun with these yoga poses!