Downward Facing Dog
Aim: mild inversion; lengthen back and release pressure from low back; strengthening; posterior chain stretch
Concerns: avoid inversion if issues with blood pressure (try at the wall or chair modification); could cause/exacerbate hot flashes, heartburn, nausea (try less inverted variations); tight hamstrings/calves (keep bend in the knees); wrist pain (use variations 2-5; number 5 has no weight on hands)
Caution: move to this posture on exhale from hands and knees; stay for 3 breaths or less; pedal feet if it is your first downward dog of the day; watch out for lordosis (arching your back) try to hug onto baby and focus on pushing your hips away
Prenatal modification 1: Wide Stance
Prenatal modification 2: Hands-on-Block
Prenatal modification 3: Chair
Prenatal modification 4: At the Wall
Prenatal modification 5: Dolphin Pose
Aim: complete relaxation; hip opening; pelvic floor isolation; helps relieve backache; improves circulation
Concerns: knee pain (use blanket under knees); ankles (roll up mat to support ankle or use rolled up blanket); space for baby (use variation with elevated head or puppy pose)
Caution: You should be able to completely relax in this pose; if any part of your body feels tension, use additional props to support yourself.
Prenatal modification 1: Wide-Legged
Prenatal modification 2: Elevated Head (arms or block)
Prenatal modification 3: Supported (need bolster/pillow and blanket/block)
Prenatal modification 4: Puppy Pose
Aim: complete relaxation, restores and balances the body's systems.
Concerns: Hip ache (in side lying, use reclined version)
Caution: Do not overarch the back in the reclined position as this could exacerbate diastasis recti and make sure to roll over to the side to come back up by pushing yourself up using your hands.
Prenatal modification 1: Reclined
Prenatal modification 2: Side-Lying