In this episode Lana Masor, MS, 500-RYT, guides mothers-to-be through a modified version of a Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) in her prenatal yoga class. By stretching the muscles in your chest, shoulders and belly you will not only improve your health during pregnancy, but also provide better outcomes for your baby.
Lana: We're going to begin with some simple exorcises just to help warm up the body, and then were going to go into part of a modified sun salutation using blocks. So were going to begin on our hands and knees, we want our hands flat on the mat and our knees at least belly width apart, we want to make sure that our shoulder is stacked over our wrist. And if we need to turn the hands out slightly just to help open through the chest thats ok as well. And on the inhale were going to tuck the toes and bring our gaze and tailbone to reach slightly, and exhale drop the tops of the feet down to the mat, let the head release, easy neck, easy spine. Inhale, tuck the toes the gaze and tailbone reach, exhale drop the tops of the feet down to the mat letting the head and the neck release. Staying in this arched position, we're going to rock back and forth as if we were scratching our spine on the ceiling, always remembering to breathe. Inhale and exhale, inhale and exhale, and then slowly coming back to a neutral spine so we're neither tucked nor arched, and we're going to walk our hands out in front of us just slightly and were going to do some body circles here, so just inhaling here towards the right as we come up, exhaling dropping back towards the hips, inhaling towards the right, exhale and release. And one more time in this direction, inhale towards the right, exhale and release. And slowly coming back to center, and now towards the left, inhale and exhale as we come back up, inhale and exhale, one more time like this, inhale and exhale. Coming back to center, we're going to bring our hands to the top of the blocks, and we use the blocks here as an extension of the arms so it really helps to make space for the pregnant belly. Taking a deep inhale here as we lift the right foot and exhale placing it between the blocks, tucking the left toes under on the mat, and we come into a low lunge. Again it's important to remember about the joints to protect the knee and the ankle, so you always want to make sure that the front knee is stacked directly over the ankle. Pressing back really nice and strong through the back leg, we don't want to let the leg get lazy and dropping it down towards the floor, so really pressing actively out through that left heel. If it's necessary, you can take a moment to heel toe your right foot towards the right, again that helps to make room for the belly, and also keeping in mind that during pregnancy there might be more of an issue with balance, so the wider your stance, the easier it will be for you to balance. Taking a moment here, slowly walking your hands up to the top of your right thigh. And on the inhale, bringing the arms out and up reaching all ten fingertips up towards the ceiling; so we're creating a nice, 90 degree angle with the front leg. On the inhale, sweeping the fingertips down towards the floor, straightening the front leg, and exhale re-bending the front knee. Good, melting the shoulder blades down and into the back, inhale straightening the front leg, and exhale release. One more like this, inhale straightening the front leg, and exhale re-bend, and slowly bringing your hands down to the blocks, and the left knee comes down and the right knee comes down to meet it. We're just going to move the blocks out of the way for a moment, hands come to the mat and they're going to be slightly in front of us, a little forward of the wrists and in front of the elbows, and knees again are belly width apart. And slowly we're going to tilt the pelvis down towards the floor, we want the eye of the elbow to be facing forward, so you're going to be hugging the elbows in towards the midline of the body. From here taking an inhale, exhale were going to bend at the elbows, good and then push the floor away, releasing hips to heel, so we're doing a nice tricep dip here. Inhale to all fours, and exhale bending at the elbows, inhale pushing the floor away, and exhale releasing hips to heels. Good, one more time, inhale to all fours, exhale bending at the elbows, inhale to all fours, and exhale hips to heels. Slowly making our way back to all fours, so hands and knees, taking the blocks once again on their highest height. Taking an inhale here as we lift the left foot and exhale stepping it between the blocks, tucking the right toes under on the mat, and again making sure of the placement that the knee is stacked over the ankle. And here you can heel toe the left foot towards the left to make more space for the belly and also to help with balance pressing out nice and strongly through the right heel keeping the back leg nice and strong, and slowly bringing your hands to the top of the left thigh. Keeping your gaze focused, your back leg nice and strong, inhale bringing the arms out and up, and exhale melting the shoulder blades down and into the back, inhale straightening the front leg the fingertips sweep down towards the floor, and exhale and re-bend. Inhale and straighten, and exhale and re-bend, and slowly bringing your hands down to the blocks, and we're going to bring the right foot forward to meet the left. Good, inhale here look up with a flat back, and exhale forward fold over the legs, bending the knees slightly slowly roll up, the head being the last thing to come up. Inhale the arms out and up, and exhale hands to prayer at the heart.