pregnancy yoga

Yoga pose for pregnancy

Top 3 Yoga Poses for 3rd Trimester

Cervical checks aren’t quite the crystal ball some providers make them out to be.  The truth is, we don’t know how your birth will unfold. But by preparing your body you are creating balance in your pelvis and enhancing your baby’s chances of a smoother, more efficient birth! As a labor doula and prenatal yoga teacher I have witnessed how effective body balance work is for my pregnant clients. 

Here are my 3 favorite yoga moves to do to get your body balanced for birth:

Thoracic movement with 360 breathing:

Yoga poses for third trimester

Super simple and often overlooked. Opening the ribs makes space for baby and organs to move up which releases tension in the pelvic floor, the back, and ultimately helps the sacrum have mobility to move out of the way during delivery. Breathing down feel baby lift, ribs expand, heart space lift, and back body widens. 

Rocking Cat / Cow with a kickstand:

Yoga pose for pregnancy

These poses can release tension in the lower back and help maintain mobility of the spine and pelvis. The extended leg is gaining length through the adductors which connect to the pelvic floor – lengthening and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. From a table top pose extend one leg to the side, rock forward into cow, inhale, and back into cat (almost childspose) exhale. 

Leg Dangling:

You can do this with a book, yoga block, and even a curb. This pose helps release tension in the psoas muscle. The psoas plays a big role in how labor can progress. Since the psoas runs behind and cradles the uterus, tightness can cause an imbalance of the uterus and encourage pelvic misalignments. This would interfere with the baby’s position and descent, and could possibly lead to a longer and more challenging labor. Standing with one foot on an elevated surface, allow your free leg to swing back and forth gently and dangle. Allow the hip to drop. 

You will never regret doing the work that may give you and your baby the best chance at a more functional birth with less interventions. Where do you want to spend your time and energy- in the delivery room or in the yoga studio? 

Heidi McDowell



Heidi is a yoga teacher, a doula, a wife, and most importantly, a mama.

Her goal is to create a community space for you that feels safe, supportive, and empowering. She holds certifications in Fertility Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, Postpartum Yoga, and Children’s Yoga. She is also a certified Postpartum and Infant Care Doula and a Labor Doula. She is one of two Yoga Alliance Certified Registered Prenatal Yoga Teachers in all of West Michigan. This is the highest credential in the field of Prenatal Yoga.

IG & FB: @mindbodybabyyoga


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pregnancy yoga

9-Pose Pregnancy Yoga Sequence

9-Pose Pregnancy Yoga Sequence

by Deb Weiss-Gelmi, founder of Sing Song Yoga® for kids.

Pregnancy is an exciting and sometimes intimidating time of a woman’s life.  There is endless information available for newly pregnant woman that it can be overwhelming trying to decide what is best for you.

As a mom of three kids, a yoga instructor and one who did everything in my power to enjoy healthy pregnancies and natural births, I will share a simple yoga sequence ideal for the healthy pregnant mom.

Below are some of the poses I did nearly every day of my pregnancy with twins.  Even though I had already been doing yoga for 10 years, I took it more seriously during these 9 months than I ever had before. I knew that yoga would improve my chances of having a smooth healthy pregnancy and delivery. And with my daily practice I felt better able to adjust to my drastically changing body as well as remain calm and positive in each moment, and about my upcoming delivery. I carried my twins full term and had a natural delivery.

This sequence will run about 30 minutes. If you have any questions please connect with me through my website.

reclined bound angle small

Reclined Bound Angle Pose — Supta Baddha Konasana (5 minutes)

  • Sit with soles of feet together with your knees out to the side just in front of the bolster (or folded blankets) with a blanket for a pillow.
  • For a deeper sense of relaxation, either belt your legs as in the photo or rest your toes against a wall.
  • With the support of your arms and elbows, begin to lean back while lifting your ribs up and place them down on the bolster. Support your head with the extra blanket.
  • Prop your knees with blankets as in picture if they’re off the floor.
  • Shoulders are turned under slightly with palms of your hands facing the ceiling.
  • Begin to let go of tension throughout your body and relax in this lovely supported pose for about five minutes or until you would like to come out.
  • To come out use your hands to support bringing your knees together. Remove belts. Role to your side while allowing your head to gently settle on the floor. Lie on your side for a few moments. Use both arms to push yourself up to seated.


Mountain w/ Arms up — Urdhva Hastasana

  • Stand upright in Mountain (Tadasana) with feet hip-distance apart.
  • Balance weight equally in your feet, firm your knees and thighs while gently lifting your abdomen in and upward.
  • Lift your sternum and take your shoulders away from the ears.
  • Stretch your hands downward, palms facing your outer thighs.
  • Stretch your fingers and arms forward in line with your shoulders, then upward toward the ceiling alongside you ears.
  • Breath normally, keep your shoulders away from the ears and hold the pose for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Maintain the space you have created while you lower your outstretched arms back to your side.


Triangle — Utthita Trikonasana

  • Stand upright in Mountain (Tadasana) with feet hip-distance apart.
  • Step your feet apart about 3 feet and spread your arms out to the side in line with your shoulders. Palms face the floor.
  • Turn your right leg 90 degrees to the right and your left foot slightly inward.
  • Bend your torso sideways to the right and place your hand on a block or a chair, or hold your shin or ankle.
  • Raise your left arm straight up in line with your shoulder, with palm facing forward.
  • If it’s comfortable, turn your neck and look up at your left thumb.
  • Breathe normally and hold for 20-30 seconds.
  • To come out, press through your outer left heal and lift your torso back to upright. Turn your feet straight ahead and continue the pose doing the same thing on the other side.

warrior 2

Warrior Two — Virabhadrasana 2

  • Stand upright in Mountain (Tadasana) with feet hip-distance apart.
  • Step your feet apart about 3 feet and spread your arms out to the side in line with your shoulders. Palms face the floor.
  • Turn your right leg 90 degrees to the right and your left foot slightly inward.
  • On an exhalation, bend your right leg. Be sure your knee is directly over your ankle and keep your torso upright – not leaning toward the bent knee.
  • Turn your head to the right and look over your right fingertips.
  • Breathe normally and hold for 10-15 seconds.
  • To come out, straighten your right leg. Turn your feet straight ahead and continue the pose doing the same thing on the other side.

wide leg forward bend

Wide Leg Forward Bend — Prasarita Padottanasana

  • Stand upright in Mountain (Tadasana) with feet hip-distance apart.
  • Step your feet apart about 3 feet with the outer sides of your feet parallel to each other (might seem a bit pigeon-toed).
  • Distribute your weight evenly throughout your feet. Lift and firm your kneecaps and thighs and gently press your thighs back.
  • Move your tailbone down and in.
  • Gently lift your abdomen and sternum while taking your shoulders away from your ears.
  • Put your hands on your hips, thumbs point toward the spine, elbows point back, broaden across your chest.
  • Bend forward stretching your sternum away from your firmed thighs, place your hands on blocks on the floor under your shoulders.
  • Take your shoulders back toward your hips.
  • Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds or longer if you feel comfortable. If you tire or lose focus come out earlier.
  • To come out, return your hands to your hips, elbows point toward the ceiling and lift with your chest while lengthening your torso.
  • Step your feet back to hip-distance and stand upright in Mountain.

bound angle

Bound Angle — Baddha Konasana (five minutes)

  • Sit upright on narrowly folded blankets (3-4 inches thick) at the wall with your legs outstretched hip-width apart. Be sure your buttocks are higher than your feet.
  • Bend one leg at a time to bring the soles of the feet together with the outer edges of your feet resting on the floor in front of your pelvis.
  • Hold your feet or shins. Lift your sternum while taking your shoulders toward your hips.
  • Relax your groin and inner thighs out toward your knees.
  • Maintain the lifted sternum and shoulder work while relaxing your head, jaw, face, throat and inner thighs. You may place your hands on your thighs.
  • Breathe normally and hold this pose for as long as you feel peaceful in doing so.
  • This, as well as the reclined version, were two of my favorites while I was pregnant with twins. It has the capacity to lessen the strain on abdominal organs and relax your muscles around your baby. Enjoy!


wide angle


Seated Wide Angle Pose — Upavistha Konasana (five minutes)

  • Sit upright on narrowly folded blankets (3-4 inches think) at the wall with your legs outstretched hip-width.
  • Gradually spread your legs apart increasing the distance as much as you can while maintaining your lifted torso.
  • Keep your toes and kneecaps pointing toward the ceiling.
  • Using the support of your hands behind your thighs, lift sternum and take shoulders toward your hips while maintaining firm knees and thighs.
  • Relax your head, throat, jaw and face.
  • Use the wall for support. Breathe normally and hold this pose for as long as you feel peaceful in doing so. Be sure to come out before you lose focus on maintaining lift.
  • To come out, maintain the lift and bend legs and bring them back to center. Do so without strain to the groins or inner thighs.

legs up the wall

Legs Up the Wall — Viparita Karani (five minutes)

  • Arrange a bolster or folded blankets at the wall (about 10 inches thick – see pic).
  • To get into in the pose sit with your back to the wall with your right hip just at the outer edge of the blanket.
  • Roll your hips onto the bolster focusing first on taking your right shoulder to the floor and keeping your buttocks at the wall. Finally rolling your left shoulder down to the floor and your left hip onto the the bolster.
  • Adjust yourself so that your buttocks and legs are touching the wall and your shoulders are close to the bolster and slightly turned under (in order to raise the sides of the chest up) with your palms facing up.gentle coming out of legs up wall
  • Keep your feet hip-distance apart and legs firmed and straight, extending through your inner heals and balls of the big toes. Move the pinky side of the feet down toward your hips. Relax your whole baby belly allowing your muscles to let go.
  • Relax your entire head and face and remain in this position for as long as it’s comfortable for you – about five minutes and you can work up to ten.
  • To come out, slowly and gently roll to your side leaving the weight of your head on the floor or propped on your arm. Relax for a few moments and then push yourself up with both arms to a seated position.


Savasana (with support – not flat on your back when pregnant)

  • Use a bolster or arrange folded blankets as seen in this pic – three narrowly folded blankets stacked with a stagger to form ascending steps at the end closest to your body. Have extra blankets around in case you need to support more.
  • Use a folded blanket under the head and a rolled blanket or bolster under your knees. Though it’s not shown in this photo, it is also nice to put blankets under your arms to lift them up a bit.
  • Relax your entire body from your head to your toes – including the lovely space around your baby. Remain in Savasana for as long as it’s comfortable for you – about five to 10 minutes.
  • To come out, bend your legs and arms one at a time. Roll to your side for a moment allowing the weight of your head to be supported by the floor or your arm. Use both arms to push yourself up to a seated position.



G.S. Iyengar, R. Keller, K. Khattab (2010) Iyengar Yoga for Motherhood, New York, NY, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

G.S. Iyengar, C. Saudek, (2008) Yoga During Pregnancy.

C. Saudek, (2006) The Yoga Place LLC General Pregnancy Sequence. La Crosse, WI


Deb Weiss-Gelmi, founder of Sing Song Yoga®, is a yoga instructor for adults and children. Her company has published a kids’ yoga DVD, an iOS App, and a workbook for use in schools. Her passions include yoga, child development, healthy living, family, education and self-growth. She IMG_8661seeks to better her life and the world at large by fully living each of the small moments within them. She believes in the human spirit and expects to draw out the best in each individual, organization, and business with whom she engages. Deb‘s formal education includes a Master’s in Reading and Literacy and a Bachelor’s in Education and Child Development. However, her desire for growth drives her to incessantly gather and absorb information in whatever her current life or business needs implore.

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