By Wellness Contributors Andy Broadbear (@yoga_bebe) and Kate Payne (@aussieyogamama)

Our Wellness Contributors are back on the blog talking about short, easy Yoga sequences that you can do anytime you have a spare five or 10 minutes - perfect for our  busy mum lives!

The next sequence in our mini yoga series is all about strength and vitality. Whether you’re preparing for motherhood or already in the midst of nappies and broken sleep, anything to re-energise the body is a bonus. The Twisting Chair Pose is not only a challenging pose, building core and leg strength, but the twisting element is invigorating for the spine and nervous system. Once again, there are full and gentle versions, both equally beneficial for both pre and postnatal practice.

Twisting Chair

Chair pose is a great strengthener for the legs, glutes and hips and this is of particular importance both pre and postnatally. The added benefit of the twist is to improve digestive function, bring mobility to the spine and stimulate the nervous system.

In pregnancy, chair pose is a great stabilising pose for the pelvis, and strengthener for the legs, which is important for labour. Whilst it’s not always the most comfortable pose, in that you can really feel the burn in your legs, it is a great way to practice breathing through uncomfortable sensations. Granted, contractions will be somewhat more intense, but it is a way of getting used to using the breath effectively. The option of a gentle twist, leaving plenty of space for the belly, is a lovely way of opening the side waist to maximise the breath and open into the lower back.

Postnatally, once you are feeling up to it (be care to give yourself enough time to heal if you’ve had a cesarean birth) this is a great way to rebuild your strength. It’s a good workout for the legs, re-stabilising for the hips and gently works the core. You’re also drawing blood to areas of the body that require healing, particularly when you add the twist.

The ‘How to

Prenatally, start with your legs hip width apart, postnatally they can either be together or hip width. Bend the knees and sink your weight back into your heels, sitting into an imaginary chair. Draw your lower back long and your lower belly in, engage your pelvic floor slightly and raise your arms. Soften your shoulders away from the ears and continue to breath naturally.

Inhale to bring the hands to the heart's centre, then as you exhale twist towards your right, bringing her left elbow to rest on the outside of the right knee. Encourage the hands into the heart's centre and turn the head gently to look over the right shoulder. If you are pregnant, keep the twist very gentle by placing the left forearm on the legs and opening the right arm overhead.

The closer you have your hips to the heels, the more challenging this pose will be.

Inhale to return to the centre and option of folding forward to gently release the legs. Sweep back into your chair before inhaling the hands to the hearts centre and repeating the twist on the left. Once again, continue to breath slowly and rhythmically.

Remember, for your postnatal version follow Kate on the left and for prenatal, Andy on the right.

{You can also view these at the following links}:

Prenatal version: https://youtu.be/LNop-pjINJM?list=PL14KBd2ilsXLuOzQpPvcTHl_8WVfOiSLJ

Postnatal version: https://youtu.be/aZBsd5SA49o?list=PL14KBd2ilsXKEUiRH7WPlv5a964uMGpej

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