September 23, 2017 September 23, 2017

Yoga for the First Trimester: The Downward Dog

Yoga is respectful of both your rapidly increasingly anxious mind. This pose in particular is perfect for the first trimester. It helps to alleviate physical and mental fatigue, while increasing hips flexibility (which, a few months from now, you'll be very glad to have).

1. Start on your hands and knees. Your knees should be hip-width apart, with your feet directly behind the knees and your palms directly under your shoulders, with your fingers facing forward. Look down between your hands so that your back is flat.

2. With arms straight, lift your hips toward the ceiling. Keep your spine as straight and long as possible and let your head hang loosely.

3. Spread your fingers wide apart with the middle finger facing forward and the palms shoulder-width apart. Press your fingers and palms into the floor.

4. Your feet should still be hip-width apart, with your toes facing forward. Press your heels into the floor so that you feel a stretch in the back of your legs. Keep your legs straight or slightly bent.

5. Breathe deeply and hold for up to 2 minutes.

Later on, when you're a little bigger, you'll find the Downward Dog is a great way to relieve lower-back pain and late-night leg cramps. And if the weight of your small but solid baby right on your bladder keeps you awake, try doing this pose with your legs bent.