A Prenatal Yoga Routine

A Prenatal Yoga Routine

By Brittany Zis PT, DPT 

Pregnancy changes our bodies in so many ways; it’s a beautiful and amazing process. But as our body grows our proportions change, altering our center of gravity. Simultaneously, we produce relaxin, a hormone that makes our ligaments more lax. While all this helps us to grow and birth our precious little miracles, these changes have the potential to lead to pain and discomfort. Moving our body is an important way of keeping our joints healthy and our muscles strong, while preventing pain in the neck, low back, hips, pelvis, knees, and ankles during pregnancy. Starting your day with movement is so beneficial for working out the stiffness that comes after a night of sleep, plus it primes our joints and tissues to handle the stress our bodies go through throughout the day. Movement really is medicine!

I love to start my mornings with a cup of warm (not cold) water and a gentle yoga flow to lubricate my joints as well as stretch and activate my muscles. Afterwards, my body feels refreshed and ready to handle my daily activities. Moms and moms-to-be, you owe it to your body to nurture it with movement too! Try this morning routine to do just that, and jumpstart your day in the process.

*For all seated exercises, sit on a soft surface such as a meditation pillow or folded blanket.


First Sequence:
Flow through 3-5 times, holding each position for 2-3 breaths.

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1. Left Lateral Trunk Elongation
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2. Right Lateral Trunk Elongation

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3. Overhead Reach
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4.Right Gentle Seated Twist
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5. Left Gentle Seated Twist
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(*all twists should be gentle during pregnancy)

Second Sequence:
Flow through 3-5 times, holding each position for 2-3 breaths.

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1.Gentle Right Hip Flexor Stretch with Overhead Reach
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2. Lunge with a Twist - Left Foot Forward
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3. Gentle Left Hip Flexor Stretch with Overhead Reach
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4. Lunge with a Twist - Right Foot Forward

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Third Sequence:
Flow through 3-5 times, holding each position for 2-3 breaths.

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1. Malasana (Garland Pose)
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2. Wide-Stance Forward Fold (Straight from Malasana) [grid action="end column"] [grid action="end row"]

*Avoid if you tend to become dizzy with head-down activities during pregnancy*

  Fourth Sequence:
Flow through 3-5 times.

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1. Puppy Pose - Hold 2-3 breaths.
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2. Bird Dog - Hold 1-2 Breaths. Switch Arm and Leg. Alternate 5 times.
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Brittany Zis is a Doctor of Physical Therapy in Atlanta, Georgia. She and her husband, Andrew, are expecting their first child in June of 2019. Brittany is passionate about women's health and wellness through all stages of life, especially prenatal and postnatal. Brittany strives to teach women how to care for themselves through these crucial stages in life through movement and exercise, nutrition, and self-care practices.

Her goal is to share tips that can be easily incorporated into busy family life to help women reach their highest potential of health and wellness.

You can find Brittany's tips shared regularly at @dr.brittany_pt on Instagram.