9. shoulder stand
One word of caution: if you have not done shoulder stand before and you are pregnant, you don’t want to start now when your balance is a little bit iffy. Practice legs up the wall pose instead. You don’t want to lie on your back for too long when you are pregnant, so limit shoulder stand or legs up the wall to 10 deep breaths to avoid putting too much pressure on your vena cava.
To begin shoulder stand, lie on your back, then bring your feet close to your buttock, feet on the floor. Use your core strength to lift your feet and your butt off of the floor, so your legs are pointing to the sky and allow your chin to tuck into your chest. Do not turn your head in this posture, because you could hurt your neck. Just gaze at your navel and engage your abdomen. Use your hands to support your lower back in the posture, which you can stay in for as long as is comfortable, up to 5 minutes.
Every yoga practice should end with savasana. If you are pregnant, modify this posture by laying on your side rather than on your back. You can also put a small cushion between your knees to help make you more comfortable. If you can, lay on your back, with your feet slightly apart and your arms by your sides.
In either postition, focus on relaxing your body, beginning with your feet and working your way up to your face and the top of your head. Think about letting go of tension in each extremity, in your buttocks and groin, and in your abdomen. Relax here and breathe for as long as you like. You may even fall asleep, and that’s fine!
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.