Gate pose (or Parighasana) gives you the chance to focus on some much needed stretching to the sides of the body, something that provides so much relief to women during pregnancy. As your baby grows, you might be feeling overwhelmed by how much space baby is taking up inside you. Give yourself a moment to reclaim some of that space for yourself with Gate pose.
Before moving into the full pose, start by warming up the body. On your hands and knees, start to move your body in a figure 8 position (imagine drawing the number 8 on the mat under you with your body). You can also move through what’s called Cat/Cow which means arching your back, lifting your head and tailbone as you inhale and then rounding your back, dropping your head and tailbone as you exhale.
Once you feel a bit warm, you can extend your right foot out to the side, directly out from your right hip. Press the whole foot into the ground, trying to get the outside edge of the foot to the ground. Walk your hands towards your knees and then up until your shoulders are stacked over your hips. Keep your right hand down along the right side of your body (don’t place it on your right knee for support). Inhale your left hand straight up overhead and then exhale it up and over towards the right foot, creating a long arch from your left knee to your left hand. Use your breath in this position to work on lengthening the side body (both sides) as you move deeper into the pose. Inhale to come up out of the pose after you’ve enjoyed 4-5 full breaths.
Lower back down to all fours and bring your right knee back under your right hip. Move through a few Cat/Cow positions before repeating on the second side.
Before attempting any new yoga poses or exercise programs, check with your medical professional. Yoga has tons of benefits during pregnancy, but you’ll want to make sure you’re in a good place to receive those benefits.