Today we are looking into sun salutations. If you have ever taken a yoga class, you most likely have encountered sun salutations, and for a good reason. Sun salutations are a great base for any type of yoga. It is a thorough way of preparing the joints and muscles for asanas or as a stand alone excercise to prepare for meditation. As with asanas (yoga poses) it is possible to adjust sun salutations, to suit different levels of flexibility.
During pregnancy there are so many changes going on, some more obvious than others. One thing to be mindful of, is of course the growing belly. But other changes occur too, that we need to be aware of. The hormonal changes cause the joints to become more soft and for some can even cause nausea or dizziness. Blood pressure can change and the position of the fetus in the belly, may also cause changes in your mobility.
These changes can at times be both exciting and overwhelming. That is why we have made this guide to help ease and adjust sun salutations for the pregnant body.
Breathe normally throughout the movements, do not hold the breath, nor use retention during pregnancy, as this may induce dizziness.
For all poses it is important to listen to your body. Come out of the pose if you feel any discomfort. Be kind to your body, this is not the time to push yourself, there are so many processes happening during pregnancy already.
Always consult your health care professional before you start a new practice, including these12 exercises. Stop if you feel any discomfort or pain at any point, as this may harm you or your child.
Come to the front of your mat. Stand with your feet hipwidth apart and exhale as you place your palms together, thumbs touching the sternum.
Step 2: modified
Inhale, support your lower back with both hands and gently bend backwards. Gently bend your knees.
Lift you chin up and look towards the ceiling.
Exhale and release your hands, gently come back to the middle.
Inhale as you lift your arms up, keep your back and legs straight.
Widen your stance, to make room for the belly, as you exhale, slowly bend forward and place both hands on the ground between your feet.
Move your right leg back, whilst bending your left leg at a 90 degree angle. Keep your knee above the ankle, be careful not to bring your knee too far towards your toes, as this puts too much strain on the joints. Lift your chin up and look straight ahead.
Bring your left leg back and come to the plank.
Exhale and bend back to the child’s pose. Keep your palms on the ground as you stretch your back and place your knees wide apart, to make room for the belly.
Inhale and come to all fours in the cow pose
Exhale and come into the downward facing dog pose; heels on the ground or stretched as far towards the ground as possible, arms straight, biceps by your ears and back straight too. Press your shoulder blades back and your chest towards the ground, to make sure you have a good stretch.
Inhale and bring your left leg forward, like we did in step 4.
Exhale, bring your right leg forward, so your hands are on the mat between your feet. Make sure to have enough room for the belly.
Inhale and slowly stand up, stretch your arms above your head, straighten your back and chest and remember to lift your chin up, so your breath is easy and not constrained.
Exhale, place your palms together in front of your heart and start again, this time with the left leg at the back in steps 4 and 9.
One round of sun salutations consists of steps 1-12, times two : first with your right leg back and the second time with your left leg back. It is important to always do both sides, to keep the balance in your body.
You can start by doing one round and graudally add more. Though no more than 7 rounds to begin with. Remember to take your time and allow your body rest when needed. After you have finished your rounds, meditation is advisable, to allow the energy to settle in your body.