Our pregnancy yoga pose of the month is Eagle pose (arms only) – a wonderful posture that releases the upper back from the extra weight in the chest area in pregnancy, as well as improving shoulder flexibility.
Start by sitting in a comfortable seated position either legs wide or kneeling. Allow the weight to settle into the pelvis so you feel a sense of being well-grounded.
Be aware of your breath and with each exhale, feel a sense of the lower back lengthening which allows the upper spine to grow tall.
Bring your arms forward crossing them so that your left arm is above your right, then bend the elbows. Tuck your left elbow into the crook of the right elbow. Begin to wrap the forearms around each other. The backs of your palms may be facing one another but if you’re more flexible, you may curl your right hand around your left wrist in a deeper spiral.
Next, exhale and as you lengthen the lower back raise your elbows higher till you feel the space between the shoulder blades widen. Take a few breaths here into the stretch then release and explore the movement on the other side, crossing the right elbow over the left.
If you find this difficult initially, start by hugging yourself across the chest, wrapping your hands around the back of the shoulders to open up the space between them. Repeat by placing the opposite elbow on top.