Dear favorite yoginis,
Lunges are essential in pregnancy. A lunge is when one of your legs is fully extended behind you. They are important in pregnancy because they release a very large muscle called the psoas. The psoas attaches the top part of your body to your lower half. It is the muscle that brings your body into a fetal position (flexion of the spine), and is also the muscle that supports extension. Unfortunately cultural habits of driving long distances and sitting in chairs for long periods of time produce a chronic state of flexion when the psoas is contracted. In pregnancy, the condition is exaggerated because the growing weight of your baby tilts the pelvis forward creating more contraction of the psoas. The situation is still further influenced by an inhibited diaphragm that is unable to fully expand into the abdominal cavity because of your growing baby. The diaphragm overlaps the psoas at a tendon at your lower back and thus they have a synergistic relationship.
Such a condition causes tension and pain in your lower back which is one of the major discomforts of pregnancy. A tight psoas can also deter giving birth because when you have your baby your spine needs to extend which will require the support of a healthy, toned psoas. Simply walking with run way model hips can help to lengthen the psoas. Lunges in yoga too help to synchronize full body breathing and a release of the psoas.
Unfortunately lunges are contradicted in pregnancy because they are believed to put too much weight on a unstable pelvis do to the influence of relaxin. I've created a safe, stable lunge by resting the pelvis on a chair while the back leg reaches fully into extension.
Come to yoga for ease in your pregnancy and prepare for birth.
In love and light,