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Prenatal Yoga Poses Perfect for Your Second Trimester of Pregnancy

Welcome to your second trimester. Baby is growing hair (yes, really!) and even doing his or her own exercises in your belly. Although your body's a little more acclimated to carrying an extra passenger, that passenger is getting big! (Not quite there yet? Try this first trimester prenatal yoga flow.)

While exercising during pregnancy is totally safe and has tons of benefits, there are some perks to adjusting your yoga flow to best suit your changing mom-to-be body. This flow, courtesy of Shape's resident yogi Heidi Kristoffer, incorporates poses that are perfect for helping your body manage the joys (and, TBH, struggles) of pregnancy—as well as prep for the big day coming up.

How it works: Follow along with Heidi through the flow, or take it at your own pace with the step-by-step instructions below. Don't forget to repeat the flow on the other side. Looking for a more intense workout? Take it to the next level with this safe-for-pregnancy prenatal kettlebell workout.

Open Chair Twist

A. Stand in mountain pose with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides, palms facing forward.
B. Exhale to sit hips back and bend knees to lower into chair pose, keeping knees from going forward over toes. Reach arms overhead, biceps by ears.
C. Inhale, then exhale to twist torso to the left, extending right arm forward and left arm back, parallel to the floor. Keep hips and knees square.
D. Inhale to return to center, then repeat the twist on the opposite side.

Repeat for 3 breaths on each side.

Tree Pose

A. From mountain pose, shift weight onto left foot.
B. Lift right knee out to the side and use hands to place right foot against left inner thigh wherever comfortable.
C. Once stable, press palms together in prayer pose in front of chest.

Hold for 3 breaths.

*Beginners should practice any balancing poses against a wall or with a chair for safety.

Standing Hand-to-Foot

A. From tree pose, lift right knee to grab hold of right big toe with the right forefinger and middle finger.
B. Once stable, press into right foot to kick it out to the side until right knee is straight but not locked.
C. If comfortable, extend left arm out to the side. Keep chest lifted and reach crown of head toward the ceiling.

Hold for 3 breaths.

Warrior II

A. From standing hand-to-foot, slowly bend right knee and bring right foot back to center.
B. Without touching down, take a big step back with the right leg, foot parallel to the back of the mat to enter warrior II. Left toes are still pointing forward with front knee bent at a 90-degree angle.
C. Open chest to the right and extend left arm forward and right arm back, parallel to the floor. Gaze over left fingertips.

Hold for 3 breaths.

Reverse Warrior

A. From warrior II, flip front palm to face the ceiling, then reach it up and overhead. Lean torso back, resting right hand on right leg.
B. Spiral chest open toward the ceiling and gaze up under left arm.

Hold for 3 breaths.

Triangle

A. From reverse warrior, straighten front leg and lift torso to stand upright, arms extended like in warrior II.
B. Shift hips back over right foot and reach torso forward over the left leg, opening chest to the right.
C. Rest left hand on left shin, block, or floor, and extend right arm straight overhead, fingertips toward the ceiling.

Hold for 3 breaths.

Triangle Oblique Challenge

A. From triangle pose, extend right arm forward, biceps by ear.
B. Lift left arm to be parallel to the right arm, holding torso in the same position.

Hold for 3 breaths.

Downward Dog

A. From the triangle oblique challenge, inhale to reach back and bend front knee to flow through reverse warrior for 1 breath.
B. Exhale to cartwheel hands forward to frame the left foot, then step the left foot next to right.
C. Press into palms and lift hips up toward the ceiling, pressing chest towards shins to form an upside down "V" shape for downward dog.

Hold for 3 breaths.

Cat-Cow

A. From downward dog, lower knees to the floor for tabletop position, balancing on hands and knees with shoulders over wrists.
B. Inhale and drop belly toward the ground, lifting head and tailbone toward the ceiling.
C. Exhale and round spine toward the ceiling, dropping head and tailbone toward the ground.

Repeat for 3 to 5 breaths.

Modified Chaturanga Push-Up

A. From tabletop position, slide knees back a few inches until body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees to start.
B. Inhale to bend elbows straight back next to ribs, lowering chest to elbow height for a Chaturanga push-up.
C. Exhale to press into palms to push chest away from the floor to return to starting position.

Repeat for 3 to 5 breaths.

Side Plank Knee-to-Elbow

A. From modified push-up position, shift weight onto the left palm and left knee, extending right leg long with right foot pressing into the floor.
B. Keeping hips lifted, extend right arm overhead, fingertips toward the ceiling, opening chest to the right and gazing up toward the ceiling.
C. Inhale to extend right arm forward, biceps by ear, and lift right foot to hover off the floor to start.
D. Exhale and bend right arm and right leg to draw elbow and knee together.

Repeat for 3 to 5 breaths, then do 3 to 5 modified Chaturanga push-ups.

Child's Pose

A. From tabletop, shift hips back to rest on heels with knees wide, lowering torso toward the ground between knees.
B. Extend arms forward, palms pressed into the floor.

Hold for 3 to 5 breaths.

Kneeling Bow

A. From tabletop, kick right heel toward left glute and reach back with left hand to grab the inside edge of the right foot.
B. Inhale to kick back through right foot, opening chest and extending higher toward the ceiling. Keep gaze forward.

Hold for 3 to 5 breaths.

Hero Pose

A. From tabletop, shift hips back onto feet and sit up tall.
B. Rest hands wherever comfortable.

Hold for 3 to 5 breaths.

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