Yoga for 2: Prenatal and Postnatal Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 4

Strength and Stamina for Birth

25 min - Practice


Very few things are as dynamic as giving birth, so get ready! Eden shares a dynamic fluid practice designed to build strength and stamina in the lower body, and to create ease in the upper body.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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(waves crashing) Hi, welcome. We're here with Ushi and Kristen, and our babies. And we are both in our third trimester, and then we have Kristen in her second. And we're gonna do a prenatal yoga sequence that's designed to build some strength and stamina, and at the same time create a sense of ease, especially in the upper body. But it does get a little vigorous so at any time that either of you, or you need to take a rest, please do.

It is definitely a time to listen to your own body. And you can come into child's pose or just sink into your breath if you need to at any time throughout the practice. We're just gonna get started by dropping into our bodies a little bit deeper and into our breath. Starting with our eyes closed. And just taking some nice, deep, full breaths.

Just calming the mind. Sinking into the body. Saying hi to our babies. And just really feeling the face relax, the eyes, the jaw, the mouth. And shoulders relaxing down and away from the ears.

And now just really filling up those lungs, and then bring it into the belly and exhaling every last particle of air out, sinking into a more calm and relaxed space. Feeling grounded through the pelvis and lengthening through the spine. And now we're just trying to stay really connected to the breath throughout the practice, allowing it to give you energy and stamina when you need it, and to calm your mind and your nervous system, if you need that. And let's gently and slowly open our eyes. And now just linking movement with breath, we're just gonna reach up to the sky, glancing up at our hands, filling the lungs.

And just exhale, taking a pause in prayer position, closing our eyes once again, and just breathing into that heart space. And now we're just gonna work our way onto all fours, nice and slow, taking our time in the beginning. And if you're sitting on a pillow or a blanket, you can just move it out of the way, and just taking a little time to get comfortable here. Hands under the shoulders, knees under the hips. We're just gonna warm up our spine gently and our bellies, just doing a couple of cat-cows.

Inhaling, lengthening out through the crown, and exhaling, drawing that belly up towards the spine. A few more times, just tuning into your breath. Seeing if the movement... You can allow the movement to follow the breath. Put it in last time.

Releasing all the air, and then just finding our way back into neutral. Good. And we're gonna go into a downward facing dog. So lets tuck our toes. Just fill the belly.

On the exhale, just lift the pelvis up towards the sky and sink back onto the heels as much as comfortable for you right now. And from down dog, we're just going to bend our knees slightly and walk our hands back and do a forward fold towards the feet. And if you're like me and Ushi, you're gonna walk your feet a little wider just to make space for your belly. And we're just gonna press into our feet and lift our torso up to the sky into standing. Reaching all the way up and just bringing the hands to the heart, just taking a nice pause right here, feeling the stability.

Good. And we're gonna start to move into a little bit more of a vigorous flow. So again, if anytime you need to modify or take a break, feel free. But we're gonna build a little heat in the lower half and lengthen through the upper half. So, wide-legged for us third trimester ladies.

We're gonna sink back into a chair pose way back onto those heels and just scoop the arms up, lengthening through the spine, and then fill the lungs up with air, and just sink forward, keeping the lower half exactly where it is, just coming down and looking at belly. Saying hi to baby, just looking at the navel, arms are flowing back. Inhale, lower half stays where it is, and arms reach up to the sky, and again. Just relax and sink if you can sink a little deeper in your chair, and an inhale reaching up, and exhale. This time, we're gonna inhale all the way back up into standing, pressing those feet into the earth, reaching up to the sky, and hands to the heart.

Good, and we're gonna step back into crescent pose. If you want to walk up to the front of your mats a little ways, you can. Just stepping back, scooping the arms up. Trying to square, get a sense that you're squaring the hips to the earth. If you need to use a block to support yourself right here or bend your knee, feel free.

And just find your strength here. Cultivate a little bit of heat and fire in the lower legs. Good. And in the next inhale, we're just gonna reach a little higher through the arms. Exhale, start to open those arms and do a gentle little back bend, and come all the way forward, just reaching through, like reaching through molasses all the way back up opening.

Feeling the ease in the arms and opening in the chest, in the heart space, in the upper back. Good. This time we're just gonna bring it up on an inhale, pause for a moment, and just float the arms down on the inside of the leg. Walk that leg out a little bit, if you need to make space for your belly, and then just keep your knee connected to your shoulder, and then just sink into that front leg, keeping the knee right on top of the ankle if you can. Good.

And then we're just gonna inhale. Draw the hips up a little bit, and release the crown of the head down to the earth and exhale. Uncoil that spine and lengthen it out. And inhale, drawing it up. Exhale, lengthening it out, keeping those hands really connected.

Last time, inhale, firing up the legs. And exhale, sinking the knee all the way down to the ground now, if it isn't there already. And just untuck the toes, lengthen out through the spine, and you're just gonna scoop this leg, the back leg, back, so you're back on all fours. Good. Let's just take a nice cat-cow, just to get a nice little stretch, breathing into the belly.

Good. Looking down, saying hi to baby. Good. And we're gonna work our way back into standing through downward dog, just tucking, lifting those hips up to the sky, sinking back into the heels, and breathe. And then just walking the hands back to the feet, bending the knees a little bit if you need to, giving nice space for the belly.

You can go under full forward fold if you're early enough in your pregnancy, or just half way. And then inhale, reach to the sky, coming back into standing. And exhale, hands to the heart. Okay. Now we're just gonna take it back into chair pose. Again, feet right under the hips, or if you need to have a little bit more space for belly, you can widen your stance a little bit.

And here we go, we're gonna generate a little bit more heat in those legs. If you can stay, with it. You'll need this stamina when the time comes. (laughs) Inhale. We're gonna reach here.

Sink a little bit deeper on your exhale. Good. This time you're gonna inhale. Open your arms and circle them around. And then just bring them in front of the shoulders. Take a nice breath, inhale, sinking a little bit deeper.

Good. And inhale, reach the arms up. Exhale, float them around with ease up above with strength down below. Last time. Inhale, exhale, sinking.

Inhale. Good, and this time just swing them all the way until they get you back into the standing position. Good. And float the hands to the heart. And we're gonna step the opposite leg that we did last time back into crescent.

So just stepping that leg back, scooping those arms up to the sky, finding your hips squared to the floor if you can, feeling that nice opening. Good. And then sinking a little deeper into that front leg, if it's available to you right now. And feel free if you need to use a block or put your knee down. Place your knee down to get a little more comfortable for this.

You can do that. Otherwise, we're just gonna inhale, open the arms in. Exhale, reach forward. Inhale, come back into straight. Opening and reaching, extending out.

Good. Feeling that heat down below. And last time. And let's come up, hold it for a nice breath, and then just float those hands down on the inside of the leg. Walk it out if you need to make a little space for the baby.

Good. Keep that knee connected to the shoulder. And we're just gonna inhale. Draw the belly in, release the crown of the head down. And exhale, uncoiling the spine, feeling like you're drawing energy up from the earth.

Inhale into the belly, into baby. Exhale, extending out through the crown, lengthening through the spine. Last time. Inhale. On this next exhale, you can just release that knee all the down if you haven't already.

And just untuck the toes, and then just swing this leg back, so you're back in all fours. Good. And just do a nice cat-cow to lengthen it out and relax a little bit. Inhaling and exhaling. Good.

Coming back into neutral. We're gonna work our way back into standing. Just tuck in the toes, fill up that belly, and just lift the pelvis up toward the sky, and sink in to your down dog. See if it feels a little different this time. How nice it is to have the pressure, have the weight off of sacrum and the tailbone.

And just hold for another cycle of breath. And then just slightly bend your knees if you need to and start to walk the hands back to your legs once again, opening if you need to make space for belly. And the just pressing into the floor and just coming back into standing. And exhale, hands to the heart. And we're gonna come into a nice wide stance.

So just going as wide as comfortable for you, turning out those toes a little bit, feeling the connection with your tail bone, pelvis slight tuck as you lift and expand out through the heart. Good, and we're just gonna inhale, fill the chess up. Exhale, start to open those hands, palms facing open. Good. Now as we straighten our legs, we're gonna bring our elbows in towards the ribs.

Nice goddess-like position. Good. And just kinda squeeze the lower glutes together, and expand again. Yes, and hands to the heart. Good.

Inhale, filling up the heart. Exhale, sinking a little bit towards the earth, opening those arms. Inhale drawing those elbows in towards the ribs. Yes, opening through the heart. Exhale, expanding out.

Inhaling back into the heart. Beautiful. Good. And we're gonna keep our hands at our heart for just a breath, and sink down. How're you feeling?

You feel the fire burning. Oh yeah. Feeling make you good. (laughs) Open those arms way out, and just try to breath through it. See if you can stay with the breath, even when it's challenging.

And just reach over to one side. Glance up with the sky. Inhaling, coming back to the center. Staying nice and low through the bottom half, and nice and stretch to the top, and back up. Just one more cycle.

Last time. Can you enjoy it? (laughs) Good, and back up. And here we go, straightening the legs, hands back to the heart. (chuckles) Toes forward.

Let's just do a gentle little shoulder opener. So just bring your hands, either back clasping, or you're gonna take hold of your elbows, so just like this, or reverse prayer if that feels good for you. Whatever feel good for your shoulders right now today. And inhale, taking a nice little heart opening, gentle upper back bend. Exhale, flat back, and lengthen out as much as you can before you bring your crown of your heat to the earth, keeping your shoulders open.

We're just gonna stay here for a few breaths, maybe not as long as we would if weren't pregnant, but we have a lot more going on. (chuckles) so just a few breaths, and on the next inhalation, we're gonna come back exact same way we came in. So extending out through the crown, going through the flat back, opening the shoulders. Good. And just releasing and coming back.

Hands to the heart, coming back into standing. Good. Okay. And now we're just gonna do a little quad stretch, and a gentle little balancing. So we're just gonna lift that ankle into the palm of the hand.

And see if you can try to get the sensation that you're connecting the knees. You may need to bend your supporting knee a little bit. If you fall out of it, it's really no problem. Our balance, our center of gravity is definitely off right now. If you can, and it feels good, just reach that arm up and give it a stretch through the side body.

Just giving that muscle the breath and the love after all we did with the strengthening poses. One last breath, and see if you can gently just release it down. And just breathe into the heart one more time, and take it to the other side. Just lifting that ankle into the palm. (laughs) When falling out of it, how you get back into balance is just as important as staying in it.

No problem. Just stretching it out. Breathe in to that big huge muscle that does so much to support us. And last inhalation. Exhale float it down slowly.

Good. And inhale, reach to the sky. Open the legs if you need to. Exhale, floating down to a forward fold, bending if you need to, just to get yourself comfortable. And just walk those hands out and set the legs back into downward facing dog.

See if you can get a little bit more of a pelvis tilt up towards the sky here, now that we're warmed up. And breathe nice deep breaths. And we're just gonna go into a nice hip opener here into pigeon. If it's comfortable for you, just lengthen out stretching that leg up to the hip level. And then on the exhale, just bring it through the center line of the body.

Walk that leg out. Extend that back leg, trying to keep those bottom toes connected to the floor. And if you have tight hips like I do, you might need to place a blanket or even a block under your hips, and that's perfectly fine. Just trying to get the stretch without creating anymore tension in the body. And if it's good for you, if you're early enough in your pregnancy.

(laughs) Not for us. You can walk it out. Lengthening through the spine first, and then just sink down. Otherwise, we'll just stay here and just breathe into that hip, releasing any tension, creating space in that whole region, that whole area. Just enjoying the time of just your breath and a little bit of quiet time.

And just last couple of breaths here. If you've gone down, you can start to bring it up on the inhale, coming right on top of those hips again. Good. And just connect the hands into the ground and earth. Tuck those back toes, and just bring that leg back up into the sky just for a brief breath if it feels good to you.

And then just gently float it down, back into downward facing dog. And just moving into the other side. Inhale, extending that leg up. And exhale, bring it through the center line, placing it down, extending that back leg out. Seeing if it feels a little different on this side.

Sometimes it does. I'm just breathing into that whole area, whole region of the body. It tends to hold on to things, so using the breath to unleash whatever is in there. Yeah, exactly. If you want, you can go down and extend it out like Kristen.

Just enjoying the space to really tune in to what's going on inside your body right now today. See if you can get a sensation of a little bit of movement, even in the stillness, a little bit of opening. And just one more cycle of breath, nice and deep into that hip space. And the next inhalation, if you're down like Kristen, you can start to walk it up slowly, lengthening out through the spine. And then connect those hands, tuck the back toes, and extend that leg back out towards the sky, and just float it back down.

And inhale, fill the belly, fill the lungs. Exhale, sink down onto your knees, and just sit back on the heels. And again, if you feel like you need some support, you can place a blanket right here. Otherwise, you can just sit onto the heels, and we're just gonna do a brief little chest opener if it feels good. So just walk the hands back behind fingers tips facing your hips, and just inhale, open the shoulders.

You can keep your eyes on your belly if it feels good, or you can just drop your head back, and open that heart space, open the chest, lengthen the arm. And the next inhale, work your way back up into the nice neutral seated position. And then we're just gonna come back into the position that we started, to a nice seated position. First, we'll just bring our feet together, knees open, and just give our hips a little massage with the movement, just fluttering the knees if it feels good, lengthening out through the back, letting that energy just flow through that whole entire body. Good.

And just come into a nice seat, so we can just close our practice together. Just sealing in all this energy that we just cultivated, and strength that we already have, that's already in us, that we're just calling more in, more strength and more stamina with the sense of ease, and peace, and calm. Good. And let's just bring our hands to the heart. If your eyes are closed, you just gently open them.

And thank you, thank you for practicing with us. Thank you. Namaste. Namaste.


Marta K
1 person likes this.
Hi Eden! I am 30 weeks pregnant and I really love your yoga for 2 series! It is always weird to feel your body less flexible and responsive, but with this series I was feeling energized and flexible again!
Eden Flynn
2 people like this.
Hi Marta! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed the series and that you were feeling good and energized! Music to my ears. So true what you said about the weird feeling of having to adapt to the body's limitations and discomforts of pregnancy (especially late pregnancy), but such an amazing feeling when we can find strength, energy, and flexibility while creating this new life inside of us. So empowering but certainly not always easy! I've since had my baby and adjusting to a whole new set of physical changes, sleep deprivation and healing, all the while so grateful for the new little bundle of love in my arms! A postnatal for us mamas series soon to come. Hope you'll join us for that :) Meanwhile, enjoy your final stretch!
Marta K
What fantastic news Eden! I will DEFINITELY join you for a postnatal session! How long after giving birth do you recommend to start these postnatal yoga classes?
Eden Flynn
1 person likes this.
Hi Marta :). So glad you'll be joining us! We'll get to experience ourselves & our bodies together in a whole new way. The general consensus is that its safe to practice after about 6 weeks. In my personal view, however, a very gentle postnatal yoga can be safely practiced fairly soon after birth depending on the circumstances of the birth. But, no matter what, REST, sleep and nourishment take precedence over everything else. I started doing my own gentle yoga practice about 4 weeks after my first baby's birth, but with my 2nd, I've only been able get the time and energy for 10 or so minutes here and there because my hands are much fuller this time around with a toddler and an infant. Each time I've been able to practice, my body has really thanked me for it though, and I am still very gentle with my body right now. So in essence, our bodies let us know when & how much is right for us. Your's will too :)
Samantha F
Really like this session although not pregnant I teach Hatha yoga and have a few pregnant lady's who love this, it's so refreshing to find a teacher that isn't afraid to move lady's while pregnant. We defiantly need more of these kinda classes so people can experience what a wonderful thing it is to explore yoga while pregnant, and the benifits of preparing the body for labour. Many thanks.

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