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Training
May 13, 2015

Prenatal Yoga For Athletes

erin taylor jasyoga oiselle running

First off, RESPECT to all the mamas out there!

To say that cooking a baby is harder than I thought feels like an understatement. While thrilling, my pregnancy so far has been very disorienting. I’ve gone from daily yoga/meditation/running to what feels like a waddle and maybe an eve Legs Up the Wall sesh. Between morning aka all day sickness and unfamiliar fatigue, my baby bump has pretty much halted the physical activities I love and demands all kinds of food that have never appealed to me, ever — someone get me a Domino’s pizza, quick! (At least my hubby is enjoying my cravings…)

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I’ve taught yoga for a decade and, while I don’t have much experience working with pregnant women, it came as a complete shock when I recently left my first prenatal yoga class in tears (yes, tears) of frustration after feeling so utterly bewildered by poses I’ve enjoyed practicing with ease for ages. Throw a baby in that belly and it’s like extreme yoga! That shit is hard!

Last month I had the pleasure of teaching Jasyoga for Runners to Christy Turlington Burns and the Every Mother Counts team while they were in town for the London Marathon. I told them how much I was missing running and Christy said: Pregnancy is about surrender. This now serves as my most important daily reminder. Balance is indeed a constant and ever-evolving correction back toward “center” and being pregnant has forced me to deepen my commitment to the value I’m most passionate about (balance) — to be even more aware of what is needed and even more willing to respond accordingly. It’s taken me nearly five months to accept that I just can’t do what I’m used to… for now. And that’s okay.

So, while I’ve had to surrender running and most of my yoga practice for the time being, here’s a few a of my bump’s faves that I try to sneak in when we’re not busy eating pizza (plus my fave preggo flystyles!)…

NOTE: All these gems are fab for up to 30 weeks pregnant. Listen to your bump and consult your doc if you’re not sure.


Wide Down Dog 
(left photo below)

  1. This is a great hamstring and shoulder stretch, and really helps the spine to re-lengthen.
  2. Step your feet wide apart with your feet parallel.
  3. Fold forward, releasing your hands to the floor (bend your knees as much as needed to make that happen).
  4. Walk your hands forward and lengthen your spine and hips up and back — kind of like doing Down Dog with your feet wide apart.
  5. Gently hug your ribs together to help support your babe while they hang out there in that nice hammock.
  6. Hold for 5+ deep breaths.

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(styles: Gwen Tank, Meter Tights, Verrazano Bra)

Lengthen Up
More couch time plus your growing belly and boobs will make you start defaulting to a forward-flop style posture - this is definitely true for me. Standing and re-lengthening your spine and sides feels fantastic! (photo on the right above)

  1. Stand with your feet hip’s width apart or slightly wider.
  2. Reach your arms overhead, interlace your fingers, and press up through the heels of your palms.
  3. Gently hug your front ribs together to help avoid back bending.
  4. Hold for 5+ deep breaths.

Seated Side Bend
Side bending really helps you to get out of the forward flop resulting from growing boobs and belly.

  1. Sit on a bolster/pillow/folded blanket.
  2. Bring your right hand beside you, reach your left arm up, and side bend toward your right.
  3. Keep pressing your left hip down toward the floor as you deepen your bend.
  4. Hold for 5+ deep breaths.

EMC-Seated-Side-Bend.jpg

(styles: Every Mother Counts Dolman Tee, Jogging Knickers)

Legs Up the Wall
This is the pose I continue to do the most consistently and find it more helpful than anything. Super calming for you and baby, and adding a bolster or pillow under your torso gives the front of your body some much-needed re-lengthening.

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(styles: Lux Short Sleeve TopLF Sweatpants)

  1. Sit down in front of a wall and pull a bolster or pillow up against your low back.
  2. Keeping your butt on the floor, put your legs up the wall and lie back over your prop (you can always go without if that feels uncomfortable).
  3. Keep your knees bent a little and turn your feet away from each other slightly.
  4. If your legs feel like they’re “engaging,” back away from the wall until your legs feel more relaxed.
  5. Rest your hands on your belly.
  6. Rest here for 5–10 minutes.

Surrender to the process and enjoy!


Thank you Claire Pepper for the beautiful pics! 

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