Back pain is quite common during pregnancy for a number of reasons. In addition to increased pressure on your back as a result of the additional weight of the baby, your body releases “muscle-loosening” hormones which cause instability in the pelvis and can lead to significant back pain.
Thankfully, yoga can provide much needed relief!
Sit comfortably. This can be cross-legged (prop yourself up on a block or blanket so your spine is long), on a chair, or on an exercise ball. Place your hands on your baby belly. Inhale, expand your belly, ribcage and chest, exhale and draw your navel to your spine.
Repeat 10 times
Bringing awareness to your breath promotes greater relaxation of the muscles as you practice yoga. Make sure to breathe consciously throughout the rest of the sequence.
Stand with your feet parallel and hip distance apart. Press your feet firmly into the ground, without scrunching your toes. Contract your thigh muscles. Draw your tailbone down towards the ground and hug your belly towards your spine. Relax your shoulders, gently lift the chin and chest.
Hold for 10 breaths.
Being aware of your posture, in everyday life as well as while practicing yoga, can greatly reduce back pain. When doing household chores or working at your desk, make sure that your standing or sitting tall, with relaxed shoulders and a lift in your chest.
On all fours (optional: a folded blanket under your knees) start by inhaling and lifting your chin and chest, while tilting your pelvis forward. To avoid over-stretching the abdominals, draw them in towards your spine. As you exhale, round your back, bring your chin towards your chest.
Repeat 5-10 times.
Wide Legged Child’s Pose
From all fours, widen your knees as much as you need to in order to accommodate your baby belly. Bring your toes together. Sit back towards your heels and bring your head down to the mat or to a block/bolster. If sitting back all the way is uncomfortable, keep the hips in the air. Make sure you are not compressing the belly. The further along you are, the more support (blankets or blocks under your head) you will need to make space for baby.
Hold for 10 breaths.
Extended Side Angle
From mountain pose, step your left foot back. Keep your right foot and knee pointing forward, while your left foot is parallel with the back of the mat. Bring either your hand or elbow to your right thigh, and extend your left arm up towards the ceiling.
Hold for five breaths. Repeat on the left side.
Lie on your left side, with a blanket or bolster between your knees and a blanket under your head. (Much like a sleeping position) Stay for at least 5 minutes. When you are ready to come out of the pose, remove the blanket between your legs, and use your arms to press up to sitting once again.
You may also consider taking a warm bath, having your partner to give you a massage or going for a prenatal massage from a trained specialist to help relieve your back pain.