Reduce Pregnancy Swelling With These 3 Simple Yoga Poses
During pregnancy, the body produces more blood, which along with water tends to collect in certain areas. This pooling of fluids results in the swelling of certain joints, making swollen feet and hands all too common for moms-to-be. FitBump’s yoga expert Sarah Walsh shares some gentle stretches to help reduce water retention and discomfort in these swelling-prone areas.
1. Hands and Wrists
a) Stretch 1:
-Come to your hands and knees in a tabletop position with the shoulders over the wrists and the hips stacked on top of the knees.
-Instead of the fingers pointing straight ahead as you would in tabletop, turn your hands one at a time so your fingers point toward you with the palms facing down.
-Bring as much weight into your fingers as you can, finding your edge without straining.
-Stay here for at least five breaths.
-To come out of the stretch, slowly turn your hands outward until fingers are pointing away from you.
B) Stretch 2:
-Starting in the same tabletop position, flip your hands so the palms face up and the fingers face each other.
-Start to curl the fingers into the palm of your hand creating fists.
-Squeeze tightly and breathe deeply.
-Stay here for five breaths.
-To come out of the stretch, slowly release the fists and flip your hands one at a time bringing the palms of the hands back to the floor.
2. Feet and Ankles
-Lower yourself into a kneeling position with toes curled under.
-If you have yoga blocks place them under your knees and sit back on your heels.
-If you do not have yoga blocks stack and fold blankets to create a height of about six inches and use that.
-If your knees are painful in this position you can place another yoga block or folded blanket just behind your knees between the hamstrings and the calves to decrease the angle in the knee joint.
-Rest the palms face down on the thighs.
-Breathe deeply and stay for at least 10-20 breaths.
-To come out of the stretch, slowly lean forward to come off the blocks or blankets, flip your feet over and go into child’s pose to stretch out the tops of the feet.
-Find a wall or a chair and sit with one hip facing the support.
-Slowly bend your elbows and lean back beginning to lie down as your lift your legs up the wall or chair for Viparita Karani.
-You can also place a blanket under your seat to elevate your hips higher.
-If it is uncomfortable to lie on your back with both legs up, you can do one leg at a time and place a blanket under the side of your back of the lifted leg and a blanket under the other side of your belly for support.
-Elevating your legs is great circulation.
-Stay in pose for 5-10 minutes depending on your comfort level.
-To come out of the stretch, slowly bend your knees and roll to your left side and press your top hand into the floor to come up to sitting.
Trainer Tip: The important thing with these stretches is to breathe deeply and move slowly coming in and out of the postures. Remember to drink lots of water to stay hydrated and increase your potassium intake.
By FitBump’s Sarah Walsh
Sarah Walsh teaches prenatal yoga and prenatal fit classes at Sangha Yoga Shala in Williamsburg, New York as well as privately in Manhattan. She also leads yoga teacher trainings around the world with a module on prenatal yoga with her school Drishti Yoga Teacher Training. Join her on her next prenatal yoga training in NYC or Costa Rica!
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