Pregnancy squat

Pregnancy squats strengthen your legs and reduce stiffness. They also help tone and stretch your back muscles and hips. Squatting takes pressure off your spinal discs, which helps ease back aches. Practicing squats also helps alleviate constipation.

You can practice this prenatal yoga exercise easily at home. By doing 15 squats daily, you will align your pelvis, strengthen your legs and condition all muscles involved in the birth process.  This exercise is ideal to do throughout your pregnancy.  You can even practice pregnancy squats during early labour.

Pregnancy squats

Repetitions: 15

• Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart.
• Place your hand in a prayer position in the centre of your chest, with your eyes cast downward.
• Inhale deeply.
• Exhale, and squat down, lowering your buttocks to the floor.
• Do your best to squat down with a straight back.

• As you reach your maximum squat, place your hands on the floor in front of you.
• Inhale, and press your hands into the floor as you raise your buttocks and sweep your arms out to the sides (like angel wings).

• Continue moving your arms up over your head, and press your palms together in a prayer position above your head.
• Exhale, as you lower your hands to your chest and lower your buttocks to the floor.
• Inhale, and press your hands into the floor as you raise your buttocks and sweep your arms out to the sides (like angel wings).
• Continue inhaling as you reach up to the sky, exhaling as you squat down to the earth.

Challenge yourself to squat a little deeper each time, but make sure you stay comfortable and your both your feet remain firmly planted on the floor. Always press your hands into the floor to come up to standing from the squat position; don’t just come up with your legs because that puts too much pressure on the uterus.

Silently inhale the sound “SAT” as you raise your arms above your head, and exhale “NAAM” as you bring your hands to the floor.
SAT NAAM means truth is my identity. This mantra helps direct your inner dialogue, keeping your mind connected with your body and your breath so you remain fully present and immersed in the moment.

Body check: If your heels come up off the floor when you squat, double up a blanket and place it beneath your heels.

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