Prenatal Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 4

Supported Strength

25 min - Practice


Alana leads a class to help us cultivate balance and stability with the support of a chair. This practice is great to do if you have hand or wrist swelling or sensitivity as we’ll bear little weight in the hands in this sequence. We move through standing and seated poses to find space in the legs and hips, tapping into our inner strength. You will feel strong, confident, and balanced. 
What You'll Need: Mat, Chair, Block

About This Video


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Welcome. I'm so happy to be here with you. For this practice, you'll want a chair and a block. So this practice is designed to help us tap into our inner strength with the support of the chair to cultivate a sense of balance and stability in our practice. This is a great practice for second or third trimester, especially if there's some wrist swelling, hand swelling or sensitivity. So we won't be bearing any weight on our hands and wrists in this practice. So as you're ready, come into a comfortable seat. And I'm kind of sitting towards the edge of my chair, feeling the feet grounded on the floor, spreading the toes nice and wide and just taking a few moments to sit together. Your hands might rest on your legs or on your belly, feeling the support beneath you, your sitting bones, your feet, allowing your spine to gently lengthen with your inhale. With your exhale, feel how you can soften a bit through your face, your jaw, your shoulders, and taking a few moments to arrive and settle together in our practice, feeling and sensing your baby. Notice what has your attention, your energy, taking a few moments to let your attention rest on the breath, feeling and sensing the movement within, the sensations, feeling the support beneath you. Feel the rise of the inhale and the fall or softening with your exhale. As you're ready, we'll start to just bring some movement into the shoulders. So just beginning to roll your shoulders up, back, and down. Forward a few times. You might inhale, let the shoulders roll up, exhale, let them release, and then the opposite direction, be that's back, up and forward, allowing your whole upper body to move and get involved here. Nice. And then with your inhale, begin to reach your arms up towards the sky, grounding through your feet, grounding through your sitting bones, and feel how you can lengthen and find a little bit more space out of the waist. And as you do this, feel how you can hug your baby in towards you as you kind of fill up the back ribs and low back. And then with your exhale, palms turn away and release. A few more times together, grounding through the feet, inhale, arms reach up. You might even lift the heart, lift the gaze, exhale, palms turn away. Three more. Inhale, arms reach up. Exhale, release. With your breath, inhale, arms reach. Exhale, release. Last one, inhale, arms reach. This time we'll pause. And with your exhale, bend your elbows, cactus your arms. Ground through the feet, inhale, arms reach up again. Palms turn away, exhale, release. And then just shake the arms out for a moment. As you're ready, we'll come to stand. So ground through your feet, hands on the legs, and find your way up towards standing. We're going to reorganize. So just bring your chair towards the front of your mat, top of your mat, facing towards you. Let's go ahead and grab our block. We're going to bring the block between the legs. So find a width that feels right for you in your pelvis. And then draw your inner thighs, your inner legs, and towards the block. Again, find what feels right. And as you do this, look down at your feet, really lift your toes, large your toes wide apart, and let the toes release back down to the earth. Feel that gentle lift and engagement of the legs, the kneecaps, and this feeling of hugging the thighs into the block. Nice. From here, draw the tailbone under. Feel how you can kind of hug your baby in towards you, and then let the low back release. Let's do that a few times together. So it's that action of Cat-Cow, hugging the baby in towards you, tailbone lengthens, and then exhale, release. And you might even bring one hand onto the belly and one hand onto your low back. As you feel this movement, this mobility of your pelvis, and how it really affects your low back, and the feeling in the low back. Next time you draw the tailbone under and hug your baby in towards you, pause, release your arms down, and again together, ground through the feet, inhale, arms stretch up, gently hug into the block, exhale, palms turn away. Ground through the feet, inhale, arms reach up, lifting the back of the heart, maybe gaze turns up, exhale, palms away. Three more, inhale, ground as you lift, and with your exhale, empty the lungs, ground through the feet, inhale, arms reach up, exhale, release. Last one, inhale, arms reach, we'll pause again, exhale, bend the elbows, cactus the arms, open the chest, ground through the feet, inhale, arms reach up, exhale, arms release. We'll add on into chair pose. So as you're ready, reach your arms forward, ground through the feet, reach your arms up towards the sky. Remember that internal action of hugging your baby in towards you. You're gonna hear that a lot. Feel the tailbone lengthen down. From here, begin to bend your knees, shift your weight back into your heels as you come into a chair. Now if this feels like it's too much on your lower back, it does for me. I'm gonna bring my hands onto the legs, and then find your squat position here, drawing the baby in towards you, tailbone lengthens, inhale, exhale, press through the feet, reach the arms up to the sky, and then exhale, just let the arms release down. Taking a moment to let me feel that inner heat, that work through the body, the heartbeat. One more round. As you're ready, arms reach up again, exhale, bend the knees for chair pose, shift the weight back into the heels, feeling the support of your legs, the glute muscles. Arms might reach forward, you might cactus your arms here in chair, or you might bring your hands onto your thighs as you lift the chest, broaden through the collarbones, feel the support of the abdominal muscles drawing in a bit. Inhale, exhale, press through the feet, arms reach up, lift, and exhale, palms turn away, release the arms, and shake it out. Beautiful. You can bring the block off to the side, and then walk towards your chair, bring your hands onto your chair, bring your feet wide-ish, so find a stance that feels right for you, spread the toes, and come into the half arch position, so feel how you can lengthen your spine, and if this feels like it's too much pressure on your hands and wrists today, you can lower onto your forearms, which feels, can feel really nice as you bend the knees and release the head. We're going to step back into a chair dog, so walking your feet back, feet might be as wide as your mat today as you bend your knees, making space for your belly, your baby, wiggle your hips back, release the weight of your head, and breathe. Nice. Feeling that awesome extension through the spine, and then slow as you're ready, shoulders over the wrists, just walk your feet back to come up, ground for the feet, bend the knees, and just come up to stand, take a moment to pause, and if you feel a little light-headed, which is common during pregnancy, you might keep your head up. Even if you feel some heartburn, which is super common, keep your head up rather than dropping it. Let's move into a lunge. So bring your hands onto your legs, bend your knees, and step your right foot back into a lunge. Left foot forward, bend the left knee, and find a stance that feels right for you. So wiggle back through the ball of your right foot. You might even toe-heel your left foot a little wider to make space for your belly, and feel how you can lift the heart as you drop the hips a little bit. Feel that work integrity through the back right leg. Breathing. Nice. From here, step the back foot forward, and step the left foot back, right foot forward. And again, wiggle back through the ball of that left foot. You might toe-heel that right foot a little wider, maybe dropping the hips as you bend that right knee, lifting the heart, and breathing. Softening through the jaw and the face. Again, if this is too much on your hands and wrists, you might lower onto your forearms. As you're ready, step the back foot forward to meet the front, and then we're going to step both feet back again into our chair dog. Feet nice and wide, wiggle your hips back, bend your knees, releasing through the neck, breathing. Kind of have the heels of my palms at the edge of the chair here, kind of stretching out through the fingers. Nice. As you're ready, just walk your feet back to the chair, bend the knees ground through your feet to come up to stand, nice and slow. Take a moment to pause. Bring the hands back onto the chair, step your feet nice and wide, turn the toes out, heels in, little side to side here, stretching the inner leg lines. I love this one. Feels so good. Kind of bending the left knee, cruising to the left, bending the right knee over to the right. Again, maybe coming onto your forearms and releasing the weight of your head. A few more rounds here, side to side. Nice. As you're ready, just toe heel your feet back, ground through the feet, bend the knees and come up to stand. Sweet. Let's go ahead and turn the chair around so it's a little higher. We're going to explore our down dog with the chair a little higher. Walking your feet back, feet nice and wide, bend the knees to make space for your belly and wiggle your hips back. We're looking for that beautiful extension through the spine. Heels of the hands on the edge of your chair, spread the fingers wide and feel how you can lengthen from your sitting bones to your fingers. Notice how your low back feels. If there's any strain or pressure or compression, again feel that action of hugging the baby and towards you. That navel to spine action, lengthening through your low back and breathing. When you're ready, just slowly lift up and walk your feet back. Take many steps back to the chair. Again, if you feel lightheaded or dizzy, nice full exhale down into the soles of your feet. You might even shake the arms out. Let's explore a high crescent lunge. With the feet underneath you, let's step the right foot back and let the left knee bend. The back heel is lifted. Wiggle back for the ball of the foot. You might even toe heel your left foot a little wider to make space for the belly as you bend the knee. Again, hug baby in towards you, tailbone lengthens and really feel the strength of your back knee here, the back leg. You might even bend the back knee as you sit up a little bit more, dropping the tailbone. Nice. You might keep your right hand on the chair, bring one hand onto the belly. You might choose to lift one arm and the other, bouncing here. See how you can hug the muscles of your legs into the bones and lifting out of the pelvis, lifting out of the ribs. Beautiful. Inhale, exhale, release and just step the back foot forward to meet the left. Shift a little bit side to side. That felt like a big workout for me. How did it feel for you? Okay, other side. Step the left foot back, right knee bends. Again, you might make some adjustments, toe heel that right foot a little wider on a wiggle back through the ball of the left foot. You might strengthen and kind of firm that back knee and leg. You might choose to bend it. Hug baby in towards you, let the tailbone lengthen. You might keep your hands on the chair today. You might play with lifting one arm and maybe both arms. Feeling that lift from the back of the heart.

Beautiful breathing. Steady the gaze. Inhale, exhale, hands to the chair. Step the back foot forward and a little side to side. When you're ready, step both feet back into your chair dog variation, feet wide. Again, wiggle on back as you lengthen, kind of resetting. Fingers nice and active as you reach from the sitting bones to the fingers. Breathing. Standing through the feet, feel the support of your legs. Awesome. Slow as you're ready, take many steps to come back to your chair. Pausing. Nice. Let's try that sequence one more time. Step the right foot back, left knee bends, wiggle, adjust, make space for your belly. Tailbone draws under, hug baby in, stay here, or maybe reach one arm up, the other arm up, balancing, lifting and breathing. At least feeling your strength. Nice. Hands on the chair, step forward, a little side to side, waddle, feels so nice. Last side, step the left foot back, right knee bends, wiggle back, maybe toe heel that right foot forward. Find a stance that feels supportive for you. Hands on the chair, maybe lifting one arm up, maybe lifting the other arm up. Lifting and lengthening, breathing. Awesome. Inhale, exhale, hands to the chair, and then step forward, and again, a little side to side. Last thing to experiment with here with standing is a quad stretch. You might take a moment to grab a towel or a strap depending on how it feels in your body. We're going to shift the weight into our right foot and lift the left foot up. Again, you might work with a towel, a strap, you might reach for that foot, lengthening the front of the body. So we're looking for that quad stretch here. And feeling that action of drawing the tailbone under, hugging baby in, and breathing. Hand might stay on the chair, you might play with your balance as you reach the right arm up towards the sky. Grounding and lifting. Grounding and lifting. Inhale, exhale, release the hand, and then slowly, carefully releasing the left foot. A little side to side, shake it out. Second side, grounding for your left foot.

Lift your right foot up. Again, working with a towel, a strap, or reaching back for that right foot. Swinging that right thigh bone down towards the floor as you lengthen. And feel that action of drawing the tailbone under, lengthening the front of the body. Hand might stay on the chair as you steady the gaze. Left arm might reach up towards the sky. Grounding as you lift. Grounding as you lengthen. Breathing. Ooh. And now, when you're ready, exhale, slowly release. A little side to side. One last chair dog here. Walking the feet back. Feet nice and wide. Bend the knees. Lengthen the spine. Breathing. Really nice stretch and opening for the shoulders here as well. Take your time. Walking the feet forward to come out. Just taking a moment to pause before we sit back into the chair. Beautiful. Okay. Let's sit down. And as you sit down, we're going to come into a figure four stretch for the hips. So you might sit towards the edge of your chair. And then take a moment to lean back and bring your right ankle across the left leg. So you might even bring that left hand and kind of cradle, cradle the legs here. Taking a few moments to pause. You might kind of lean back on your chair. You might use the chair for support as you lift and open the heart. This feels pretty amazing right now. Opening the front of the body. You might choose to lean forward. Again, making space for your belly. If and as you want to feel more sensation. Allow for an exhale. Soften the jaw. Soften the hip. A few more moments here. Yeah. Relaxing through the shoulders. Again, finding that appropriate edge of stretch and sensation for your hips today. And I find during pregnancy, every moment, every hour, every day is different. When you feel ready, just slow. Come on up. Lean back. Free your right leg. Let's switch sides. Lean back. Bring your left ankle across the right leg. You might bring your hands there to readjust and a supporting. And as you soften the jaw, allow your left hip and knee can kind of get heavy. We're going to be allowing gravity to assist here. You might kind of lean back. You might bring your hands onto your chair and lift and open the chest. For me today, this feels really good. Find that ease in your neck. Again, you might decide to lean forward and in. Allow for an inhale and then exhale. Breathing into where you feel it. A few more moments here. You might even soften the gaze inward. Beautiful. It's amazing how each side feels different. And then when you're ready, just slowly ease your way up and out. Lean back. Free your left leg. And let's bring the legs wide apart. So we're finding kind of a goddess pose here with a chair. So heels and toes out. Feel how you can bring your hands onto your legs and lengthen your spine. Let's find a little side body opening. As you inhale, reach your left arm up towards the sky and then release it down. Now the right arm up, leaning to the left. And back down. And you might bring the forearm, right forearm on the leg as you inhale the left arm up, leaning over to the right. Inhale back up. And inhale, right arm over to the left. Let's continue a few more times. So at your own pace with the breath, opening the side body here feels so lovely. Notice what you choose to do with your gaze. Maybe you're looking downward towards the earth. Inhale, brings you up. Over. Next time you come to the right, we'll pause for a moment. So inhale, left arm reaches up over to the right. We'll pause. You might even bend your left elbow, support the back of your head with your hand. Now arm reaches up, left forearm onto the leg. Inhale, right arm reaches up, stretching over to the left. Arm might reach, arm might bend as you support the back of your head with your hand. Breathing. Inhale, brings you up. Let's take a few shoulder rolls up, back and down. And then bringing the legs closer together. And taking a few moments to pause before we close. Hands might rest on the legs, hands might rest on your belly. Just resting in the space you've created in your practice. You're feeling the warmth, the strength, some energy, some ease. Feel the rise of the inhale. And fall, softening with the exhale. Thanks so much for joining us, and have a beautiful day.


Michelle F
1 person likes this.
Dear Alana,
I haven´t been around yogaanytime for a few months - so it was just such a joyous moment to see you blooming and beautiful with new life! Absolutely inspiring - I wish you well and hope you are having a wonderful pregnancy!
loveandpeacexx x
Alana Mitnick
Dear Michelle F
Welcome back! I am so delighted to hear from you. Thank for your beautiful words and wishes. Pregnancy has been quite the journey. We are thrilled to meet this little one in just a few weeks! Wishing you a healthy and wonderful new year! With Love, Alana 

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