Savasana for the prenatal practice: Part One
It seems like savasana is one of the favorite asanas and if anyone could use a mini-nap it’s an expecting mama that just finished up a prenatal yoga practice! However, most pregnant women find it uncomfortable to lie on their backs for a long traditional savasana pose. This is because back-lying can put pressure on the inferior vena cava which is the large vein that returns blood back to the mother’s heart and brain.
So how can a mama find a comfortable position for savasana? Props! Specifically bolsters. Soft but supportive, they come in a variety of sizes and shapes so there are many options to choose from. For part one we will set up the side-lying savasana.
You will need:
1 or 2 Pranayama bolsters
1 or 2 blankets
For this version, I prefer the smaller pranayama bolster. It’s the perfect length for supporting the knees and ankles and its slim profile makes it easier to adjust, especially when you’re working around a baby-belly.
Choose the side that is most comfortable for you. Be sure to roll down through your side and get back up through your side, using the strength of your arms to help lower you down and push you back up (as opposed to rolling back, like through the sit-up position) more on why this is important here. Place the bolster between your legs.
The key to setting this up properly is making sure the bolster is between your knees AND your ankles so that the body is in greater alignment from the hips all the way to the feet. This can help eliminate lower back pain due to poor alignment of the legs.
For more support and to align the upper body with the lower body, use a blanket under your belly (as opposed to letting the weight of the baby pull your center down toward the mat). And finally, use a blanket or another pranayama bolster to support your head, keeping the neck and spine in alignment with the rest of your properly aligned body. Tah Dah! Super-comfy savasana for the pregnant yogi.
*Do* do this at home! It’s also a great way to sleep… All night, supported and in good alignment? Yes, please!