Keeping the lower back healthy is essential for being able to carry the extra weight of your growing baby. Asymetrical exercises strengthen each side of the back independently. Being on all 4s is a great position for pregnancy as it allows your baby to lie in the hammock of your belly with plenty of space to move around.
Before I qualified as a pregnancy yoga teacher, my lovely yogi friend Louise aka The Yoga Cook created a series of prenatal yoga poses or breathing exercises to help connect with your chakras during your pregnancy and help you feel more balanced and in alignment physically and emotionally.
Chakras are thought of as powerful energy centres and the second chakra – known as the sacral chakra and found around the base of the spine– focuses on self worth.
Pregnancy yoga for the sacral chakra
Come into all 4s with the hands under the shoulders and fingers spread wide, middle finger facing forward. Place the knees under the hips. Lengthen the spine feeling the sit bones drawing back evenly and spine lengthening right up to the crown of the head. Keep the neck in alignment with the spine, shoulders drawing down the back and the hips level.
Cat stretch – Round the spine up keeping the belly relaxed on the exhale, lengthen to straight spine and move the chest forward on the inhale keeping the arms and legs still. Repeat 6 times.
Diagonal stretch– Keeping the pelvis stable, slide the left leg behind you until it is straight. Have the toes tucked under and press through the heel of the foot. Then slowly lengthen the right arm forward keeping both shoulders down away from the ears. If you have your balance you may be able to lift the back leg off the floor but no higher than the hips. Feel the diagonal stretch through the body. Keep the breath flowing.
Gently place the knee back under the hip and the hand on the ground coming to all 4s and repeat on the other side. Do 4 on each side or as many as you are able to do comfortably.
To make this less challenging it is possible to just lift alternate arms and then alternate legs from all 4s. The important thing is to keep the pelvis stable.