Glowing mama Cristina Meloy has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. Here she shares the pre- and postnatal poses that “remind women of how glorious they are. How sexy they are even with a big belly. And, once baby arrives, these are poses they can return to with baby (which also comes in handy when time is limited.)” Disclaimer: It is important to note that Cristina is not a yoga instructor nor is she a physician. Consult your doctor before trying these poses or before any physical activity before, during or after pregnancy.
The truth is that when you are pregnant people expect you to glow and feel happy all of the time and when you’re a yogi people think you go through your days sprinkling fairy dust everywhere – the combination of the two creates a lot of pressure! I can tell you ladies that squatting and hip openers are good during pregnancy, but that’s a little boring. So, why not keep it more real? The below are yoga poses that are good for the heart, mind and self esteem while “big” with baby. I hope you enjoy!
This pose honors the sacred feminine through embracing wholeness and the many life-giving aspects of the divine. In my opinion this pose will make you feel beautiful and strong! It allows you to hold your baby bump with both hands and feel the life inside of you; or you can extend your arms up in a spirit of gratitude and spreading (onto the universe) the amazing energy of the life growing inside of you.
Once the baby is born, you can hold your baby and get into the pose. It’ll help strengthen your lower body and find balance.
Benefits: against a wall it can help you rest and relax, strengthen legs and thighs and help you learn to find balance between opposites.
How to: Stand with your feet slightly wider that your hips. Inhale. As you exhale, bend your knees and lower yourself so that your thighs are straight and parrallel to the ground. Keep your heels on the ground and your tailbone down.
During pregnancy, balance shifts and you feel more or less “out of it” a lot. Tree pose really helps me feel rooted, beautiful and strong. I like to imagine myself as a tree, spreading my toes to firmly grip the earth like roots. When I was pregnant, I would rub my belly in tree and visualize transferring that sense of grandness and stability to the baby, taking deep breaths and finding calm.
Benefits: Tree Pose can also work to stretch and open the hips, and can help with pain and discomfort in the hips.
How to: begin standing, feet flat on the floor, with arms by your side. Inhale; stand tall, stretch the spine and straighten the back. Lift the right foot and position the sole of your foot on your left leg. Exhale. Stretch the spine and straighten the back, repeat using the opposite leg.
I don’t think there is anything more empowering during pregnancy, really. It allows you to open your hips and legs while relaxing and not have to use too much leg strength. If balance is tricky, you’re close enough to the ground to keep one or both hands on the ground. In this pose, the baby bump “pops” out and you have space to rub and feel how beautiful you are! You can also extend your arms up to the sun and again, spread your beautiful mommy energy to the universe. It’s empowering and sexy! Once baby is born, you can get into this pose while nursing or holding your baby.
Benefits: hip-opener, helps strengthen the lower back and abdomens. When practiced with arms up, it gives a deep stretch in the shoulders and back. Some say that during labor it can help with dialation.
How to: Begin on hands and knees. Inhale; bring your right leg forward and place your foot on the outside of your right hand, to allow more space for your belly (or in between your hands if you’re in the first trimester). Your knee should not extend past your ankle. Stretch your torso up and extend your spine. Repeat the lunge using the opposite leg.
Bio: Born and raised in Costa Rica, Cristina Meloy has been practicing yoga for over 10 years and has loved her yoga journey during pregnancy and motherhood. Follow her on Instagram at @Cristica_Yogi