This is an excerpt from Your Strong, Sexy Pregnancy PDF by Desi Bartlett.
Mothers Into Living Fit
Unicorn and Rainbow Pose
This move is traditionally called cat and cow. During pregnancy, the last thing I wanted was to think of my body as a cow, so I changed the name to Unicorn and Rainbow. Here's how to do this move.
- Begin on all fours with your hands shoulder width apart and your knees hip width apart. If you need extra padding under your knees, you can place a blanket there for cushion.
- With your inhalation, take your gaze to the sky as you lift your chest and tailbone and feel the gentle stretch down the length of the front of the body (see figure a).
- With your exhalation, round your spine and create a rainbow shape around your baby (see figure b). Be careful not to overtuck the tailbone as you round because that could shift the baby inside you.
- Enjoy several rounds (10 to12) of Unicorn and Rainbow, envisioning your crown rising with the inhalation and an arc of light around your little one on the exhalation.
Information No One Tells You
You Can Be Pregnant and Sexy
Reframing our image of the pregnant body can begin with the language that we use. I encourage moms-to-be in my classes to use terms like goddess when talking about themselves and other pregnant women. The ability to carry life in our bodies is nothing short of miraculous, and remembering that a pregnant body is strong and vital is important. Self-confidence and strength are sexy. Others are drawn to these qualities. Sexy does not only mean sexual; it can also mean attractive, confident, and engaging.
Remember that lower back strength is an integral part of core strength. Standing tall like a queen is very different from standing like a person with a backache. In 2010, a study was performed to research the effects of power poses versus yoga poses on the participants' self-esteem. Whereas power poses (e.g., standing with your hands on your hips) can increase interpersonal dominance and power, yoga poses were shown to increase self-esteem. Another reason to enjoy yoga during pregnancy and beyond is that it has been scientifically shown to improve posture and increase self-esteem.
Envision Your Belly as a Sanctuary
Take time throughout the day to pause and close your eyes. Enjoy a full, deep, centering breath. Take your attention to the baby inside you and envision your little one within the sanctuary of the space that your body has created just for him or her. In your mind's eye, envision your baby's home as a sacred space. Send your love to your baby, and imagine light within your belly, as though you were shining the light of your love onto your baby's face. With each breath, imagine that light expanding like the rays of the sun at dawn. Continue this feeling of expanding the light with each breath until you sense, see, and feel your entire body as a vessel of light. When you are ready, bring your attention back to the room you are in, and know that you can connect with this feeling of holding light within you at any time you wish by simply closing your eyes and enjoying a deep centering breath. Note: In the romance languages, to give birth is to give to the light.
In the Ayurvedic tradition from India, it is said that root vegetables help us to invite grounding energy. It's thought that when we enjoy foods that grow from deep within the earth, they help us connect to the energy of Mother Earth. Root vegetables include foods like beets, yams, and carrots. These foods also tend to be high in fiber and, as any pregnant woman can tell you, fiber is your friend! With the increase of progesterone during pregnancy, it is common to have days when you are irregular (that's a nice word for constipated). As an added bonus, ginger is commonly recommended by natural health practitioners as a way to help relieve nausea, which is common in the first trimester.
1 carrot, scrubbed and chopped
1 beet, scrubbed and chopped
1 orange, peeled and segmented
1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 cup water
1 cup ice
Combine ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth.
Yield: 1 serving