Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Prenatal Yoga Sequence Third Trimester
Although a beautiful experience, pregnancy, in its third trimester, brings hormonal and major physical changes, bringing in significant amounts of heaviness and discomfort. No two women will have the same discomfort or symptoms related to pregnancy, but a few common traits are the physical changes and mood swings. Breathing becomes heavy with the added physical weight and eating habits play a great role here.
Given the heaviness of the body, the abdominal muscles are very tender and sensitive. Through the practice of yoga during the third trimester, the need to understand the phrase "listen to your body" becomes crucial. Watch the movement of the muscles here with every pose, taking it slowly with the breathing and listen to the body. If other women around in the yoga class are able to go deeper into a yoga pose, it is important that the practitioner doesn't push herself. Each body is made differently and respecting the limits of one's body is more important.
Guidelines: Yoga during pregnancy should not be practiced if the practitioner has:
Blood Pressure Problems
Premature rupture of the membrane
An previous episode of miscarriage
It is very important to get a health care provider's permission before starting yoga during pregnancy.
The heaviness of the body makes bodily movement slow and breathing is fast. Hence, in the below Prenatal Yoga Sequence Third Trimester, the yoga poses are done with support from the wall, blocks, blanket or partner. The idea here is to make gentle movements to keep the circulation going that helps in keeping oneself energetic. Breathing plays an important role in managing mood swings and hence, relaxing breathing with simple breathing techniques is suggested.
Prenatal Yoga Sequence Third Trimester: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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A. From the simple stool support in Tadasana, take another variation of Tadasana here.
B. While placing the left foot on the stool and balancing the body on the right leg, inhale and bend the left leg at the knee while raising the arms above the head and maintain balance in Prenatal Tadasana Pelvic Alignment.
C. Here go slow with the hand stretch above the head, as the idea of this pose is to work on the hips and the lower body to gain stability and open the hip muscles with gentle movement.
D. Remain here for about 4 breaths and slowly release the leg and repeat it with the other leg taking it to 4 breaths.
E. Make sure the stool is not too high and is stable. While bending the knee go careful taking good support of the wall. Here this pose, keeps the hip joint along with the knee joint active and fit.
F. Release and relax standing in simple Tadasana against the wall and take a few breaths.
A. From Tadasana variations, now turn around and face the wall keeping a decent distance from the wall.
B. Bring the feet a bit away from each other for better support and stand to take a few breaths here.
C. Inhale and slowly stretch the spine upwards without putting pressure to the lower abdomen, and as you exhale, go forward with the torso, and take support of the wall placing the palms on the wall.
D. Here while exhaling, try and bring the arms and the torso almost parallel to the floor. Make sure the breathing is smooth and slow in Ardha Uttanasana Wall, and don't ever pull in the belly. If for want of better comfort, holding the belly below with one hand will help connect with the fetus.
E. Make sure the feet are firm on the floor and don't put the entire body weight on the wall. If looking down in this pose causes uneasiness, then go slow and look slightly up or avoid bending the torso so much.
F. One can remain here, in Ardha Uttanasana Wall, stretching the lower back and feeling the stretch at the hips, calves and hamstrings, for about 4 breaths.
G. Release slowly moving the torso upwards while releasing the hands from the wall. Relax and repeat again for 4 more rounds of breathing if possible.
H. The forward bend will help reduce stress around the hips and the lower back and with the opening of the hips it will help protect the pelvic floor muscles during delivery.
A. Releasing from the standing poses, come to sit comfortably on a cushion on the floor if possible and placing the stool behind you, lean back and take support with the bend arms in Virasana Blanket and Stool Pose.
B. Seated on the cushion or blanket, while taking the legs behind and sitting on the thighs and the hip, incline the back slowly resting behind on the stool.
C. This pose in the variation of Virasana, helps to open the hips and the inner thighs also giving a slight contraction to the pelvic floor muscles.
D. Sit here for about 6 breaths if possible, and if the knees feel uncomfortable, stretching the legs out and keeping the legs wide apart should be easy.
E. Release and relax by stretching the legs out completely in front of you and keep the back straight.
A. While seated on the blanket or the cushion, try and spread the knees apart to your comfort and sit in Prasarita Balasana, while resting the torso or the head and the arms on a chair in front of you.
B. The forward bend here will ensure a good opening to the lower back muscles giving a slight contraction to them, and reducing stress and lower back pain. It also helps in flexing the hips, gently giving the pelvic floor muscles room to contract, keeping them fit and ready for childbirth.
C. If one is comfortable in this pose, remain here for about 8 breaths, else one could stretch the legs out completely while the head and the arms rest on the chair in front of you.
A. Moving from Chair pose for Prasarita Balasana, inhale and slowly raise the hips taking support of the chair, and place the right foot on the floor bending the right knee and rest the left knee on the cushion or blanket.
B. Here with one leg supported on the cushion and the other on the floor in Labour Preparation Squat Chair Pose, remain placing the arms and the face on the chair.
C. Take the breathing in control and don't hold the breath. Remain here for about 4 breaths and balance the body with the support of the chair and the cushion carefully.
D. The widening of the thighs here, slowly helps to open the pelvic muscles getting ready for childbirth. Make sure the distance between the legs are not to far and the stretch is not too deep bringing discomfort to the knee and the lower abdomen.
A. A prenatal class with your partner can be very encouraging and one pose that comes to mind is the Assisted Squat Pose, with partner support.
B. Seated on a cushion comfortably, take support from your partner while he is seated on a chair against his body.
C. The time of childbirth, the pelvic muscles will open up helping the lady to push the baby out and while this pose can be practiced close to the time of delivery too, it becomes essential to master this practicing it repeated number of times.
D. Here, with legs wide apart, go slow with breathing and without putting too much pressure on the pelvic floor, continue for about 12 rounds while connecting the breath and the movement.
E. Make sure the seating is comfortable and breathing is slow and smooth.