Photo: Joshua Sitron

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Triangle Pose
Triangle pose may seem pretty basic; but, it can be difficult for pregnant women to maintain their balance and avoid a sway-back. If I teach this pose in a class, we always use the wall as a point of contact for the back foot, which is usually enough of a reference point for maintaining balance. Another tendency in this pose is to hinge too far over the front leg, collapsing the trunk on the bottom side and over-stretching it on the top side.

Modification: The wider stance of Warrior II creates more balance than triangle pose. A soft knee allows the legs to do a lot of the work rather than the side torso, which is already getting a stretch during pregnancy. Warrior II strengthens the legs and supports circulation throughout the pelvis. Start out by placing the hands on the hips and notice the alignment of the pelvis. Does it tip too far forward like a bowl spilling water? Does it tip to the right or the left? One of the most important concepts we teach in prenatal yoga classes is to first find stability in a pose, and to then find mobility. So, I instruct women to move around in this pose and to not stay in one place. Extend the arms out from the heart, and then move into Peaceful Warrior Pose—dropping the back hand down onto the thigh for stability, and raising the front arm and the gaze up toward the sky. Come back through Warrior II, and then into Side Angle Pose, using the front arm to take support of the front thigh and the back arm and gaze to reach for the sky. Avoid going as deep as possible in any one pose; instead, flow easily through these three poses.