The Prenatal Chandra Namaskar

Posted by on Jun 15, 2012 in Pre/Post-natal Yoga | Comments Off on The Prenatal Chandra Namaskar

The Prenatal Chandra Namaskar

When you enter your second trimester, you often feel as if you’ve turned some sort of a magical corner into health again.  No longer dealing with the incredible fatigue and sometimes nausea that often plagues the early weeks, many women suddenly get the urge to get moving again.  If you have a prenatal yoga program in your area, it is definitely recommended.  Teachers study ways to get you into poses safely, but we also construct classes that benefit the particular aches and problem areas of the pregnant body.  Add into this the labor/delivery prep work, and you’ve got yourself a well-rounded hour of exactly what you need!

For those of you looking to add in a bit of home practice as well, one of the easiest ways to keep active and to keep aligned with the breath, is to move through some cycles of moon salutations.  They are repetitive, but therein lies the magic.  Close your eyes, lose yourself and allow the breath to become the primary focus.  Each inhale and exhale moves your body in a new way, stimulating and stretching, strengthening and toning.  Here is a basic moon salutation with particular modifications for the growing baby you’re carrying out in front!  Be sure to follow up cycles that begin with the right foot stepping back with cycles that begin with the left foot stepping back.  In other words, each cycle is really 2 full salutations.  Moving slowly and giving your body time to adjust to the stretches, taking care in transitions, aim for 3 full cycles (6 single sides) to start.

1)  Stand with feet hip width apart at the head of your mat.  Inhale raise the arms over head but lower the shoulders away from your ears.

2) Exhale, gently fold forward, drawing baby down towards the thighs.  Bend the knees slightly to avoid straining the hamstrings.

3) Inhale, extend the crown of the head away from you as you extend the back out 90 degrees from your legs.

4) Exhale, step the right foot back into a high lunge, lower the knee to the mat (pad with blanket for extra comfort).

5) Inhale, open the arms up overhead and back slightly as you move the left knee forward deepening the stretch through the hips.

6) Exhale, place the hands down on the mat and draw the left knee back beside the right.  The hands are at the head of the mat as in downward dog (wide fingers, hands at shoulder width).

7) Inhale, dive the heart forward through the arms and open through the shoulders as you modify your cobra/downward dog by staying on your knees.

8) Exhale, press back into downward facing dog from your knees.  Keep a slight bend in the knees if you need to, and don’t worry about elevated heels, just continue to open through the shoulders, press the tailbone up and back.

9) Inhale, look forward, step the right foot forward into high lunge, lower the left knee down, open the heart into crescent lunge.

10) Exhale, step the left foot up to meet the right at the head of the mat and fold forward, once again keeping feet at hip width to accommodate for the baby bump.

11) Inhale, rise up, arms reach overhead.

12) Exhale, hands to the heart.  Pause here for a few natural breath cycles before beginning the other side.

* After moving through a few cycles, cool down by taking a nice, deep hip-opener such as badha konasana (sit up straight, draw soles of the feet together and move them in towards the pubic bone.  Inhale as you grow tall, exhale as you begin to fold forward from the pelvis, eventually rounding through the back, relaxing through the head and neck), and then viparita karani (legs up the wall pose) if you are still feeling okay spending a few moments on your back.


All content by Lisa Veronese. Please do not publish or copy my material without my consent.