After 3 months, start to incorporate the pregnancy modifications into your Bikram practice. The breathing stays the same, however some may find keeping the feet separated slightly provides more stability.
Starting Breathing Exercise: Standing Deep Breathing Pose, Pranayama *No Illustration
No alternatives to instruction.
Standing Half Moon with Hands-to-Feet
Chandrasana with Pada Hastasana
Back bend: Keep your feet separated hip width distance apart. Go only as far as you’re used to with the back bends.
Forward bend: Separate your feet 12 inches apart. Because you will have less abdominal support to protect the lower back, consider bending the knees on the way up and down.
Separate your feet as much as you need to make room for the belly, keeping parallel alignment. You may find that you can squat down much lower than before due to the relaxin affecting hip joints, but do not go lower than thighs parallel.
Awkward (part 2)
Your balance may be tricky. Keep your heel hidden behind your toes to protect your ankle joints, which may have less support due to the relaxin. Strengthen up your arms since you’ll be using less abdominal strength. You may find that you cannot come down as low – no problem.
Awkward (part 3)
Focus on your leg strength. You may need to separate your knees on the way down and up. Use your fingers tips on the floor balance if needed.
Keep your feet separate hips width distance. Eventually, you may not be able to cross the legs, so keep focusing on the arms, shoulder and the upper body stretch. Build the leg and lower back strength from the squatting position.
(Standing Head-to-Knee, Dandayamana Janushirasana *No Illustration)
– We recommend resting during this posture.
Enjoy and keep your hips in one line. As you move further into your pregnancy, avoid lowering your upper body down too low in the pose.
Accommodate for using less abs and having less balancing strength by moving into this pose slowly and with plenty of awareness.
Standing Separate Leg Stretch
Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Paschimottanasana
You may need to bend your knees, especially when lowering into the pose. It is safe to grab your heels, but eventually, you can place your hands on the floor in front of you, bend your elbows straight back, and lift your hips up for a nice stretch.
You will probably find your hips are more open making this posture actually easier. Remember not to sink into this flexibility. Eventually, you may not lower down as much. Lift pelvic floor, like you’re trying to lift a feather.
(Standing Separate-Leg, Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana *No Illustration)
– We recommend resting during this posture.
Stays the same. Find a nice opening for the hip joint and avoid sinking into the lower spine. Stay in Tree, do not go into Toe Stand Posture.
Ahhhhh…lie comfortably on your left side, breath deep, eyes open, keep neck level with spine by resting on arm or extra towel. Support weight and balance of body with upper arm and upper leg.
Flex and ground the right leg. Raise the left leg away from the abdomen.
Flex and ground the left leg. Raise the right leg away from the abdomen.
Wind-Removing Both Legs
Bend knees, bring soles of feet together. Separate knees wide to avoid abdomen.
(Yoga Sit-Ups *No Illustration*)
– Alternatively, roll to the side for sit-ups. Lay on left side always, not right.
To avoid lying on the belling during pregnancy, replace the postures in the spine strengthening series with these alternatives. Instead of Cobra posture, work in Fish posture. Lie on your back and keep the arms stretched along side you, palms facing down. Squeeze your legs together, engage your buttocks, and press down into the forearms, palms, and elbows to arch your back up. Keep using your arm strength to arch the chest high enough to slide to the top of your head, looking to the front of the room. (For a more advanced Fish posture: bring the hands together into prayer position at the chest, or working with the legs in lotus position.)
Instead of locust pose, work in a kneeling locust. Come to all fours, placing the hands underneath the shoulders, knees underneath the hips. Stretch the right leg straight back and lift the leg, keeping it parallel to the floor. Repeat for the left side. If you want more of a challenge, lift and stretch the opposite arm forward, keeping it inline with the shoulders. Rest while other students are practicing both legs or work in cat/cow posture.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Work in Bridge pose here, rather than Full Locust pose. Bend your knees bring heels to the hips then grab your ankles from the outside, or palms flat on the floor. Lift hips towards the ceiling keeping head, neck and shoulders on the floor. Helps with elasticity of rib cage/lungs/breathing improves.
Instead of Full Bow, work in Wheel Posture. Wheel is a more challenging posture than the previous Bridge and requires strength in the upper body and wrists. First set up for Bridge, then place the hands by the ears. Use the legs and arms to lift the hips and torso up and off the floor, creating a deep backward bend. If wheel feels too strenuous, plead do Bridge twice or Kneeling Locust.
To avoid compressing the belly when lowering into the posture, open your knees as much as needed to make room. You may feel like you are toppling forward once gravity takes over, so place your hands on the floor and walk the upper body forward if needed.
Help your self up with your arm strength rather than your abs.
Be careful going in and out of this posture, always place your hands at the lower back for support. Place the hands on the heels if they reach easily without compressing the lower back.
To avoid compressing the abdomen, replace Rabbit with Kneeling Locust. This will feel great and helps to move the baby into the ideal position.
Head to Knee with Stretching, Janushirasana with Paschimottanasana
Avoid compressing your belly into your leg when working separate legs. If need be, avoid bending forward and simply lengthen the spine up as you flex your toes back to you, bringing the heel up off the floor. If you have the flexibility, you may work in full splits instead of keeping your legs together.
Separate the legs out to the side into wide angle stretch and lengthen the spine forward. Keep your hands on the floor to avoid a belly compression.
Be careful with twisting, as you want to avoid compressing the abdomen. You may find it more comfortable work with your legs crossed. Sit up tall bring the hand behind your back to keep supported.
Final Breathing Exercise: Blowing-in-Firm, Kapalbhati-in-Vajrasana
*No Illustration, No Alternative to Instructions.