Being pregnant has been an ongoing exploration.  My body changes daily as the baby grows, hormones flow and my perspective shifts as I reflect on what it means to bring a child into the world.  I consider my responsibilities as a parent, family and what that means, and digest changing my focus from my own needs to the needs of the baby.  Consistent yoga practice throughout pregnancy has kept me feeling vibrant and comfortable throughout.  When my joints hurt I practiced yoga.  When I was tired I did yin poses.  When I couldn’t breathe, I practiced ujayii breath.  I continue to be humbled by the many ways that yoga helps keep my body and mind healthy and clear, even amidst the changing circumstances of life.  Life flows yet my practice stays steady and reliable.

pregnancy twistAs my belly grew I was no longer able to do many of the twisting poses I normally do but didn’t want to give up twists because they feel so good on the spine, especially the upper back which takes a toll from all the baby weight that pulls the torso forward.  I also found that keeping the top front of my thighs open helped the diaphragm move and made it easier for me to breathe.  This twist became an integral part of my daily practice and just feels so good.

Lunge twist with thigh stretch: Begin in a low lunge position with the back knee down and both hands inside the front foot.  Align the front knee over the front ankle.  With the right foot forward keep the left hand on the floorand lift the right hand reaching the fingertips towards the back of your yoga mat.  Spin your chest towards the sky.  Either stay here of if you can reach, bend your back leg and hold onto the back foot for a thigh stretch.  Continue to spin your heart open.  For even more depth bring the front forearm to the floor.  Let the front knee drop open towards the floor.  Breathe and enjoy the space. Written by Emily Garrett.