Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Prenatal Yoga Sequence Second Trimester
Pregnancy is usually divided into three trimesters- the Second Trimester comprises the time span from Week 13 to Week -28. Around the 21st and 22nd weeks, movements of the fetus may be felt and though the risk factor is comparatively less than the first trimester, care should be taken to not exert the body too much. The overactive hormones, slow weight gain, strain on the lower back and spine and nausea are some visible changes during the second trimester.
In the second trimester, the joints begin to loosen up along with the muscles and the ligaments. Hence, the Prenatal Yoga Sequence for Second Semester given below includes yoga poses that help keep these soft joints fit and tight. It is important to focus on keeping the breathing going while maintaining the pose with balance, as the body gets a bit heavy.
Guidelines: Move slowly from one pose to another. Understand the body and listen to it while holding a pose. Breathe evenly throughout the practice without pushing yourself deeper into a pose. Focus on stability and stamina throughout the practice.
Although the body is slightly heavy, yet it is safer to practice yoga in the second trimester as compared to the first trimester. The Prenatal Yoga Sequence for Second Trimester involves some poses that help to gain stability with balance and strengthen the legs and the hips. Focus is also maintained on improving the pelvic floor muscles with very low key yoga poses.
Prenatal Yoga Sequence Second Trimester: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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A. From Tadasana, inhale and turn the torso towards the left holding the left shoulder with the right hand and bringing the left hand around the waist from back towards the right side of the hip.
B. Twist the torso here in Katichakrasana or Waist Rotating Pose, with very slow movement and try and also gaze behind turning the neck.
C. Remain here in this pose taking 3 breaths and make sure the twist does not bring any discomfort to the lower or upper abdomen.
D. This pose helps to relieve stress around the shoulders and the neck, and with the slight twist the lower back too eases. The twisting also helps to tighten the abdominal muscles gently, keeping it maintained.
A. Moving further into the sequence is giving attention to the hips and the legs.
B. From Tadasana, stand bringing the feet at hip distance. Place two yoga blocks in front of you on the floor away from the feet. Now standing in Tadasana, inhale and bend the torso forward, taking the tailbone out first, then the tummy and then the chest and coming parallel to the floor. While exhaling bring the hands on the yoga block extending the arms completely.
C. While going down in Intense Leg Stretch Pose Variation Blocks, or Prasarita Padottanasana Variation Blocks, make sure not to hold the breath or even pull in the belly.
D. Remain here in this pose for about 6 breaths making sure the abdomen is comfortable and at ease.
E. This intense leg stretch pose helps to tighten the hip muscles giving the pelvis a good support for the months to come. It also reduces any kind of uneasiness at the legs or the feet keeping the blood circulation going.
F. The forward stretch also gives a gentle massage to the abdomen, ensuring better digestion and reducing nausea.
G. Placing the hands on the blocks, gaze up expanding the chest a bit. If looking up is not easy then look down at the blocks, making sure the breathing is smooth.
A. Releasing from the forward bend above, come to relax in Tadasana and take a few breaths here.
B. Then taking support from a partner or the wall, inhale and use your hands and raise the right leg and place the right foot on the inside of the left thigh, while bending the right knee.
C. Pressing the left foot firm into the floor/ mat, stand here in Tree Pose of Vrksasana bringing the arms raised above the head in Namaste, or at the chest in Namaste.
D. Maintain balance here using support if necessary either close to the wall or with somebody's help.
E. The practice of Vrksasana, gives the women a sense of confidence and self respect. Maintaining the balance here, while focusing on breathing could be a challenge, but if done this pose brings in a boost of energy which is much needed.
F. Apart from the benefit of gaining balance and stability, this pose helps to bring blood in the leg that is holding the pose, thus reducing cramps or sciatica discomfort.
A. With confidence after the practice of Vrksasana, stand in Tadasana to go deeper into the practice.
B. Bring the left leg forward towards the short side of the mat pointing the feet completely 90 degrees, and take the right leg slowly behind you placing the foot at 45 degrees inwards.
C. Inhale and make sure the placing of the feet are perfect and comfortable. Take a few breaths here to relax before going into the pose.
D. Inhale and slowly bend the left knee taking the torso gently down pushing the left thighs and raise the arms above you over the head in complete exhalation.
E. Standing here in Virabhadrasana I, extend the arms up only if you are comfortable. Remain here for about 2 breaths and avoid looking up and take the focus in front of you.
F. This pose builds self confidence and opens the hips while giving a gentle stretch to the lower abdomen. The opening of the hips plays a crucial role giving a great support to the pelvic floor muscles at the time of delivery.