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Prenatal Yoga Sequence: Pregnancy Yoga Flow

(Tummee Reference Yoga Sequence)

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Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans

Overview

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Prenatal Yoga Sequence: Pregnancy Yoga Flow: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions

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  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
    A. Begin to stand at the center of the mat with feet together; spine extended, shoulders straight, chin up, and chest out in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).

    B. We begin with relaxing the breath, trying to focus more towards the loosening of the body muscles.

    C. Stand in Moutain Pose for about 6 breaths or more. With each exhalation relax the body, free the body and the mind of stress.
  • Waist Rotating Pose (Katichakrasana)
    A. Begin to work with the upper body that includes the arms, shoulders, chest and the neck.

    B. From Tadasana (Mountain Pose), go to Katichakrasana (Waist Rotating Pose). Here, move the torso in a full twist turning towards the left as you inhale.

    C. Once there, exhale completely. Stay here in this twist for about 6 breaths, and move deeper behind with every exhalation.

    D. Release and come to the center. Inhaling turn towards the right side, exhale completely. Stay here in this posture for about 6 breaths.

    E. Watch the shoulder, arms, upper body, and neck stretch and open up as you exhale.

    This posture is more to help with opening the muscles and increasing the blood circulation with the twist around the upper spine and chest. As you progress in pregnancy, the spine takes a lot of stress. The body weight pushes the muscles around the spine creating tightness. Therefore working with these muscles from the beginning will ensure the muscles support the spine through the entire pregnancy.
  • Standing Twist Against Wall
    A. Moving with the upper body, come to the wall to stand with your back towards the wall. Keep three-foot distance and stand in front of the wall.

    B. Inhale and twist towards your left side just like in Katichakrasana (Waist Rotating Pose), but, with the wall behind you. Placing the palms on the wall, use this support to help you twist further.

    C. Exhale completely. Ensure the feet are firm on the floor and make sure the twisting of the torso is done within your comfort. Stay in this posture for about 6 breaths.

    D. Release and repeat with the other side to remain for 6 breaths.

    Note: This variation of the twist using the wall for support is a great option for the second and third trimester. But make sure that the practice should be done with care if one is diagnosed with Diastasis Recti, as one does not want to put pressure on the abdominal muscles.

  • Palm Tree Pose (Urdhva Hastotanasana)
    A. Continuing still with the upper body, practice Urdhva Hastotanasana (Palm Tree Pose), stretching the arms above the head as you inhale.

    B. Stay in this posture deepening the stretch as you exhale. Focus and stay for about 6 breaths.

    C. The upper movement of the arms help in breathing deep, which is essential as you progress through pregnancy. Deeper breathing using the upper body must be encouraged in the initial stages of pregnancy.
  • Palm Tree Pose Side Bend (Parsva Bhanga)
    A. As your arms are above your head in Palm Tree Pose, inhale and take the interlocked palms and upper body towards the right in Parsva Bhanga or Palm Tree Pose Side Bend.

    B. Complete exhalation, and stretch slowly towards the right while watching for the stretch at the left lower side back.

    C. Ensure not to overstretch here, and watch for any communication from the body with any excess stretch or aches and pains in the abdomen.

    D. Remain here in Parsva Bhanga for about 6 breaths if possible making sure the feet are firm on the floor.

    E. With every exhalation watch the breath and the movement of the body.

    F. Release and repeat with the other side, holding the posture of about 6 breaths.
  • Shoulder Stretch Hands Behind Back Interlaced Fingers
    A. Release the arms from Palm Tree Pose Side Bend, and relax again in Tadasana.

    B. Make yourself comfortable while closing your eyes to relax the breath.

    C. Inhale and take the arms behind you and interlock the fingers stretching the shoulders and elbows.

    D. Inhale again and take the interlocked fingers upwards moving the shoulder blades carefully while slowly throwing the chest outwards in Shoulder Stretch Hands Behind Pose.

    E. This pose will not only reduce the stress around the neck and the shoulders, but help to open the chest and the diaphragm to bring in more oxygen.

    F. Bringing in more oxygen is essential here to help gain better breathing pattern as you go through pregnancy.

    G. Remain in this posture for about 6 breaths or more and make sure it is not beyond your body comfort.
  • Standing Backbend Pose (Anuvittasana)
    A. Release from Shoulder Stretch Hands Behind pose and come to stand in simple Tadasana taking a few breaths relaxing the breath.

    B. Inhale and place the palms on the hips close to the lower back while bending the elbows, and push the lower back in and stand to take a few breaths.

    C. Inhale again and extend the upper body upwards taking the lower back inwards. The hips move inwards and with exhalation bend the upper back backward in Anuvittasana.

    D. Here, make sure you have a good sense of balance of the body while taking the back in a slight backbend. Remain here in Standing Backbend for about 6 breaths.

    E. As an alternative method, one could increase the distance between the feet more; one could hold the wall from the front for support or, one could practice it with a partner.

    F. Anuvittasana helps stretch the lower back a bit, reducing the stress around the lower back and hips, and also helps to expand the chest deeper for taking in more oxygen into the lungs.

    G. Release a relax in Tadasana taking a few breaths to connect.
  • Standing Pelvic Circles
    A. Moving towards the lower part of the torso, come to stand in Tadasana with feet apart.

    B. Begin the Standing Pelvic Circles moving clockwise 6 times and anti-clockwise 6 times. Go slow and steady co-ordinating the breathing as the rotation happens.

    C. A great way to open the tightness around the hips, the lower back, and around the upper hamstrings.

    Note: Not to be practiced when in the third trimester, as one could have cramps around the upper abdomen.
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Note: Above yoga sequence is for educational purposes only. Please consult a medical professional and/or a licensed yoga teacher or yoga therapist before starting any exercise regime, including yoga.

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