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Prenatal Yoga Poses for Travel

Sitting for long stretches is often an inevitable part of a trip. The lower back and hips of pregnant women take on a great deal of pressure over time; circulation in the legs can be blocked, which contributes to swelling in the ankles and feet.

Select prenatal yoga poses can help alleviate the discomfort. The following postures will help release and support the body and regain proper alignment, breath and circulation.

Seated Pigeon Pose

Good For: Opening and releasing the hips.

If you’re at the airport, do this pose at the gate while you wait to board your flight—you’ll have more room to move. If you’re traveling in a car, try it when you pull over to take a break.

Sit tall—at the top of your sitz bones (the bones at the base of your pelvis)—on the edge of a chair. Place the right ankle on the left knee. Inhale and lengthen the spine. As you exhale, draw the torso forward until you feel a gentle stretch. Repeat on the other side.

Wall Downward Dog

Good For: Releasing the lower back and hips.

Place palms shoulder distance apart on a wall. Spread the fingers wide, release the shoulders down the back and walk the feet back so they are directly under the hips at hip distance apart. Draw the chest toward the floor with the spine flat and parallel to the floor. Don't over-arch the back. Press the hips back and reach the crown of the head forward to lengthen the spine. Bend the knees slightly and shift the hips from the left to the right.

Side Bends (Circle Torso Stretch)

Good For: Loosening the intercostal muscles, which run between the ribs and tend to get compressed.

Clasp your hands together. Press palms toward the ceiling and release the shoulders down the back. Inhale and reach up. As you exhale, lean to the right side and breathe into the leftside. Begin to circle the arms and the torso, breathing into the full capacity of the lungs to open the intercostal muscles. Repeat on the other side.

Ankle Circles

Good For: Increasing circulation in the feet and the ankles and helping to reduce swelling.

While seated scoop the hands under the right knee to lift the right foot off the floor. Circle the ankle 10 times to the right and 10 times to the left. Repeat with the left foot.

Naomi Edwards

Naomi Edwards grew up in San Diego, California, where she was first introduced to yoga. With a background in dance and competitive sports, she gravitated toward the practice naturally. She completed her prenatal training in New York City, which then led her to India where she continued her 500-hour training in yoga, meditation and Ayurveda. Her teaching style is inspired by a deep appreciation for alignment and encourages students to find their yogic path through joy, lightness and compassion. She runs a yoga and wellness concierge service called Give Me Yoga and teaches classes at Yoga 216 in NYC. In addition to teaching, Edwards specializes in essential-oils therapy.

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