Standing Forward Bends for Pregnancy

Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend

Standing forward bends are one of my favorites poses. It gives us a chance to “look inward'“, both physically and metaphorically. On a physically level, this pose helps to stretch the hamstrings and calves. It may also help to relieve tension in the upper body, headaches, insomnia, and reduce fatigue. Emotionally, forward bends may help with mild depression and anxiety.

Pregnancy tips:

  • Take a wider stance to make space for baby.

  • If hamstrings are tight and/or there is a lot of roundness in the spine, bend the knees.

  • Use blocks or a chair to create more space.

  • Play with the pose! Postures do not need to be static. Walk out the feet, sway the upper body, find movement and play!

  • Caution: If you feel light headed or dizzy, come out of the pose.

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1. Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend. Take a wider stance to make space for baby.

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2. Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend with blocks. Use blocks to support the hands or arms in your forward bend. Adjust the blocks to a height that feels comfortable for your body and stage of pregnancy.

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3. Downhill Skier - Knees bent generously, forearms on thighs for support. This pose is great if you are in your 3rd trimester, have tight hamstrings or want a more supportive bend.

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4. Prasarita Padottanasana - Wide Legged Forward Bend. During pregnancy, you may opt to choose to have feet slightly closer together. This is to help maintain stability while create space in the hips and hamstrings. Hand/arm variations, place on: mat, elbows, outside feet (as pictured), on blocks.

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5. Prasarita Padottanasana - Wide Legged Forward Bend with chair. This is a great supportive variation. Use a chair to rest your forehead and/or arms for full upper body support.

Open Mind, Open Heart

Throughout your motherhood journey, I cannot stress enough to keep an open mind and open heart. During each of my prenatal and postnatal yoga classes each student has the opportunity to share a little bit, or a lot. This is not something that is forced but happens naturally. After a few classes and a few familiar faces, people start to open up.

You don’t know who struggled with fertility and/or loss.

You don’t know if that mom who came in late just got into a fight with her partner, is sleep deprived and crying her eyes out because her baby won’t sleep.

You don’t know who is struggling to breastfeed.

You don’t know if the pregnancy was planned.

You don’t know if parenting has triggered past traumas.

You just never know what another fellow mom/caregiver is going through.

Don’t assume.

Don’t fix.

Don’t judge.

Keep an open mind and open heart.

We’re all just walking each other home.
— Ram Dass