Live Big with Ali Vincent Episodes

Yoga and Pregnancy

Ali meets with a yoga instructor who has some exercise tips for expecting mothers.

Everybody knows how popular yoga is, but what people might not know is how popular it has become with pregnant women.

Yoga is a practice where you use your body as a tool to access all elements of health and well-being and balance, and using that to balance your immune system, your mind, your spirit and bring overall health, vitality and well-being.

Christine Burke of Liberation Yoga says that if you're just starting when you're pregnant, go for something pretty basic and easy going until your body's caught up to something new, being pregnant, and then something else new, yoga.

Christine found that even though she has a pretty strong athletic-style practice, she was surprised to find out that during her pregnancy she mostly wanted a gentle restorative practice and wasn't as interested in doing some of the stronger things that she normally did.

"I had a pregnancy that was really comfortable at an older age," she said. "I had a birth that was natural and I really credit a lot of that to yoga, to the breathing, to the mindset and stretching."

In the simplest scenario things, Christine says that if things go fairly smoothly and you're not healing from anything too dramatic, you could head back immediately because in yoga there's always something you can do. It's really meant to fit the individual and the body, not to push yourself into a particular style.

If you are interested in starting in yoga, Christine suggests to start with something simple and showed Ali three starting positions.

For the first, come on to hands and knees, spread your fingers wide and line them up right underneath your shoulders. The tops of your feet down and your shins down and then see that your knees are right underneath your hips. You'll tuck your toes. On an inhale you'll lift the hips up and then as you exhale push back to take your thighs back toward that back wall.

Some people will feel that maybe it's not as comfortable, but most people can do downward facing dog all the way through their pregnancy.

Second, put your hands on your hips, step your feet wide apart, take your arms out to the side and then try to see that your wrists are right over your ankles. Take your hands back to your hips. Turn your right foot in like a pigeon toe so it's on a deep angle, or 10 o'clock, so your heel's pushing out. Then take your left foot out pointing straight ahead.

Pull your belly button in towards your spine; activate your core, your tailbone drops down. Now take your arms up really active, take a breath in, exhale and bend only your left leg, right leg is going to stay really straight.

Keep squeezing the muscles of your legs in so you're hugging all the energy in. Keep your shoulder blades down and your heart up. This works the legs, opens the hips, works the core and stamina, endurance, breath, so this can be a cardiovascular exercise when you're pregnant. It will raise your heart rate.

The pose is called Supta Baddha Konasana, which basically means that you're reclining in cobbler pose with your feet together and your knees open but Christine also like to call it Goddess Pose. About an inch from the bolster, you can use blankets, you can use a firm pillow, so you're going to just lie back.

Scoop your tailbone under, lift your hips a tiny bit. You can put blocks, you can put books, you can put blankets, pillows, underneath your knees just to give a little bit more support.

This opens up the abdomen, stretches all the muscles there, opens the hips. It's a nice release for the low back, and it helps you breathe more deeply and more fully. Let yourself kind of settle in to it for a moment, close your eyes and feel yourself breathing.

It opens up the chest, is wonderful for the lungs, removing any kind of residue from the air, toxins.

It's what Christine calls a restorative pose and it means that it restores balance to the system.

Take a nice, slow, deep inhale, feel yourself fill to the top of your lungs and then exhale completely, letting just a sense of deep peace, inner body. Then you'll lift your outer knees up. You can use your hands like you're closing like a book. Separate your feet, good, push your hands into the floor, use your core muscles and then just bring yourself up to sit.

"We always say Namaste at the end of practice and what that means is 'the light within me honors and acknowledges the light within you,' Christine said.

For more information on Liberation Yoga visit liberationyoga.com.

Ways To Stay Heathy, Fit While Pregnant

Other segments featured on this episode of Live Big with Ali Vincent:

Tips for Staying Healthy During Pregnancy
Tips for Staying Healthy During Pregnancy
Moms are always asking Ali Vincent how to keep in shape and stay healthy while they're pregnant, so Ali went out and got some answers for all the future moms out there.
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Pregnancy Nutrition
Pregnancy Nutrition
Ali visits with a registered dietician to find out what and how much pregnant women should eat.
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Alexandra Epstein Expecting Baby
Alexandra Epstein Expecting Baby
Alexandra Epstein is still doing what she can to Live Big. She sat down with Ali Vincent to share some exciting news -- she is pregnant!
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