So I thought I'd write about my pregnancy work out! I've always heard of labor described as similar to "running a marathon" so I knew that one of the most important aspects of my pregnancy would be maintaining my fitness level. I've been pretty active over the last 5 years and didn't want to let pregnancy be an excuse to stop my workouts. I also downloaded "Exercising Through Pregnancy" by James Clapp and Catherine Cram which talked about certain myths in pregnancy exercise and how being told to "slow down" doesn't mean "stop altogether"
By Charlotte Dodson
Tags: Yoga, Philosophy, Positivity, Meditation, Spirituality
How do you tone up those upper thighs and give a "lift" to your butt as you continue to sculpt your shape. Here's how! This series of simple poses will work your legs and buttocks, whilst simultaneously lengthening and toning them. You'll find and awaken muscles you didn't realise you had - all in a good way, of course!
Before I go into this easy-to-adopt routine, please remember that yoga is your own holistic practice. This means that yoga works on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. How you view the world, see your day, and interact with others is a reflection of your own inner self. Let me give you an example: as you strengthen your body, both lower and upper, you become stronger in all situations and relationships - this balance and energy feeds into every area of your daily life. You are able to speak your true innermost thoughts with compassion, and see the world with gratitude and joyfulness. It is a calm and nourishing strength, from the inside-out.
With yoga, you are working your muscles to lift themselves out of your joints; if you feel you're sitting in your joints or locking them up, bend them slightly, and that way you activate your muscles and allow them to flow into the pose. Keep your belly active at all times when doing the movements - in other words, "tight and tucked-in".
Always be conscious of how you are breathing during these poses, as this will ensure you are getting the most out of your yoga practice.
Follow this step by step guide to keep your legs looking defined and shapely, which will keep you feeling on top of the world. When working this next sequence, bring your full awareness into your feet (heels and toes) to activate your legs, and feel completely in the moment, and grounded.
Mighty pose (Utkatasana)
This pose really works your upper thighs and buttocks! Strong legs give you foundation and keep you grounded - literally! This 'chair' pose works to build and develop muscle tone, especially in the lower half of your body. It's a strong pose, so hang in there, breathe slowly and release to standing at any time.
Start by coming to the top of your mat. Bring your feet and knees together. As you exhale bend your knees, tuck your tailbone down and raise your arms up over your head with palms together. Open your arms out wide if your shoulders need more space. Breathe deeply for 5-10 breaths. Release to standing and repeat another 3 times.
Lift to your toes
From 'chair pose', above, try lifting your heels and come up onto your toes. Press firmly into the front balls of your feet, and keep your ankle bones touching to activate your inner leg muscles. Look to one point directly ahead, as this will help you hold your concentration and balance. Hold the pose without moving - be as still as possible, with your palms together in front of your chest, shoulders down. Breathe fully for 5-10 breaths, before placing your heels back onto the floor and straightening your legs. Repeat 2 more times.
Do you get frustrated at times? A pose to enhance patience and perseverance is known as the horse stance. It's a real test of your inner strength, especially if you hold it for long periods of time.
Start with your feet one leg distant apart. Bend your knees and roll your inner thigh muscles outwards. Keep your torso upright and long, tuck your chin down into your throat and press your palms together at the centre of your chest. Breathe deeply as you hold the pose. Set yourself a goal time or number of breaths, e.g. 10 breaths, and hold for the full duration. To release come back to standing and shake your legs out.
As the saying goes, you've got to strive for what you want! This pose will work all those leg muscles you forgot you had! Please remember to breathe deeply and not to hold your breath. It can be a challenging posture, especially if you hold for longer than 5 breath
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