Rachel's Class

Love notes? Here is a transcript of Rachel's class:


Cross-Legged Pose  

Start in a crossed-legged pose hand gently resting on the knees. Sit with back straight to create space in your belly. Settle to the breath. Stay connected with your breath as this a tool throughout pregnancy and during labor and delivery. 


Seated Arm Reaches  

Bring hands to the side of the mat. Gently bring the arms up to the sky and back down to facilitate the breath. Exhale as hands are brought down to the mat. Inhale as hands are swept up to the sky. 


Seated Biceps Stretch  

Gently bring the hands to the back of the heart and then connect to the heart center. 


Seated Prayer Pose  

Connect to the heart center. Continue to use the heart as the center of the practice. This is an opportunity to connect with the baby.  


Seated Eagle Arms  

Move to the fire log pose. All seated positions are very important to keeping hips open to prepare and move towards delivery. In the fire log pose, there are various angles, a knee may be up, or the knees are not able to make it to the mat. These variations are fine. There is a gentle opening in the hips. Incorporate eagle arms to open up the shoulder girdle as that is an area that can get very tight especially during the second trimester. Bring the right arm to a nighty degree angle. Lace the opposite arm around and latch the thumb if you can. Align the palm back to the other palm. Focus on Ujjayi Breathing. Allow time and space to stay in a pose for a longer period if needed. Gently release. Switch to the opposite side. Bring the arms to a ninety-degree angle. Lace the opposite hand around and latch on the thumb. Modification: cat-cow. Bring the belly button to the navel as much as possible into cat. Extend the shoulders and sternum up into a cow pose. This pose allows the shoulders to open in a different way.  


Seated Side Eagle Arms  

Stay in fire log pose with eagle arms. Shift torso from side to side. This opens the shoulders in a different way. Release hands. Switch your base leg to open up hips equally. Switch base leg to open hips equally. 


Seated Leaning Palm  

Incorporate a side bend to keep the body nice and open throughout pregnancy. Set a hand out wide where is comfortable. Inhale the opposite arm up and over. Incorporate the engagement of the oblique. Gaze up to the lifted hand as possible. Breathe to the opening of the side body. Focus on Ujjayi Breath. Slowly return to the center. Don’t switch sides right away. Stop at the center. Seated Salute to recalibrate. Keep the opposite hand on the mat and slide out. Bring the arm once again opening onto the opposite side body. Focus on your ujjayi breath. Gaze up toward the left hand if is available to you, if not, gaze toward the hand on the mat. Slowly return to the center. Bring lifted arm back to the mat. Release the fire log pose.  


Seated Salute  

While in fire log pose bring both hands up to the sky. Breathe hands up and down. 


Ribcage Rolls  

Come to a butterfly pose. Seated positions have a focus on the hips and groins. This is an area that is going to be opening because of the hormone Relaxin. Do not overextend hips beyond a natural angle. Keep close attention to the hips. Keep good posture in butterfly. Do not slump. Keep spine tall all the way up from the sacrum. Breathe in butterfly pose. When one hip is particularly tight, press down on that hip putting a hand behind to support. There is a slight bend on the oblique, but not extending all the way into a twist. Feel some opening all the way up on to the back. Release and return to the center. Breathe deep. Relax shoulders back and down. Switch to bring some pressure to the opposite knee, put the other hand behind the hip for support. Press down to find some added opening on that hip and groin. Lean slightly to the side to encourage the engagement of the sacrum and the lower back. Come back to the center. 




Butterfly Morning Stretch  

Incorporate props to prenatal classes to aid the expectant mother. Keep Butterfly legs to go to reclined goddess pose. Take a block and position it underneath the shoulder blades. Gently ease into the mat, avoiding acute movements. Adjust block and recline back. Open arms wide. Modification: Goal Post Arms.  



Butterfly Goal Post Arms  

Bring arms into Goal Post as you would in Goddess Posture. Modification: Bring arms all the way up overhead for more engagement through the throat chakra and the opening of the heart. This is a very restorative posture. Allow time to sink into this pose. To exit this pose bring elbows underneath to guide you back into a seated position.  



Pigeon with Extended Arms on Bolster  

Incorporate a bolster to accommodate the belly. Keep one leg forward and send the opposite leg long. Keep palms or forearms on the bolster. Find the right balance to make sure the belly is comfortable and is not constricted by the mat, belly, or bolster, and getting the appropriate hip opening. 



Pigeon with Dolphin Arms on Bolster  

Keep forearms on the bolster. If is helpful, bring a block to the side. Creatively use props for comfort.  



Pigeon Assisted with Block  

Use blocks to aid the pigeon pose. Bring block to the back leg, underneath the thigh to give added room to the belly. To come out the pose roll on to the hip and then remove the block. Go to seated position. Bring opposite leg in front and the other extended behind you. 



Lunge with Block  

Lizard pose. Start with a tabletop position. Blocks can be kept underneath arms. Step one foot forward for a Low Lunge. Rearrange leg to readjust the belly. Allow time and space for appropriate positioning. Take the front foot to the outside of the opposite foot. The back leg is down. Focus on the hip opening. Modification: engage back foot and bring the knee off the mat if feeling strong, sturdy, and stable.  



Soft Lunge with Block  

In Lizard pose lower the back knee and focus on the hip opening. Modification: hip circles. Move hips around clockwise and counterclockwise to address all areas of tension. Find a deeper expression of the lunge pose after hip circles. Shift the weigh back to bring the hip above the knee. Step out of the lizard. Switch legs. Modification: come up to the fingertips to open heart and hips.  



Kneeling Pyramid with Block  

Bring hips back and allow a deep hamstring stretch. Tent fingers to press up to the shoulders and open up the back. Transition back forward to lizard pose. Bring hips back again and foot around. Come to Tabletop position.  



Gentle Kidney Squeeze  

Start with Tabletop position. Start by wagging your tail. This sequence provides a great way to detoxify the body. Notice the encouragement of hip mobility, the opening of the oblique, the core strength required. Return to center.  



Opposite Arm/Leg Reach  

Alternate arms and legs as a balancing posture to build core strength. Extend one arm long and bring the opposite leg. Encourage the flexion of the back foot. The arm is coming directly out of the shoulder. The leg is coming directly out of the hip. Exhale down. Rest in the center before switching to the opposite side. Modification: Rest in Child pose.  



Child’s Pose with Knees Wide on Blanket 

Bring knees wide. Bring blanket underneath the knees for support and comfort. Modification: Bring block underneath the forehead. Allow space for the belly. 



Child’s Pose with Arms Draped on Bolster  

Incorporate the bolster horizontally. Bring arms up and over the bolster. Rest the third eye on the bolster.  



Child’s Pose Resting on Bolster  

Place bolster vertically on the mat. Arms can be set on the mat. Modification: rest chest on the bolster to go further forward and come deeper into the hips as belly has additional space.  



Child’s Pose with Bolster, Blanket, and Chest Opener  

Bolster placed vertically. Chest resting on the bolster. Bring hands back and around resting on knees or hips. Allow time in this restorative posture. Can be used as a final relaxation before closing class. Spend plenty of time to get out of the pose.  



Table Top on Blanket  

This is a home base in prenatal yoga. Put blanket underneath the knees. Modification: use blocks underneath hands. Encourage good alignment. Shoulders above wrists. Hips directly above the knees. Distribute weight evenly in the fingers. If experiencing carpal tunnel, use wrist circles and open wrists during practice.  



Cow with Soft Back Extension  

This pose has to be modified through the trimesters. Do not fully express pose during the third trimester. Flex the base of the spine. Bring shoulders and tailbone up. Extend head up. During the third trimester do not arch back all the way, which puts undue stress on the growing belly. During the first and second trimester, this pose can be fully expressed.  



Cat with Soft Back  

Transition into Cat Pose. Bring the navel into the spine. Focus on both the tailbone and shoulders. Crawl shoulders underneath and tuck in the neck. Feel the transition between cat-cow. Feel the massaging in the spine. This will assist your child into proper positioning to prepare for birth. Go into a neutral spine on tabletop.  



Tabletop with Arm Reach  

Extend the opposite arm long and reach back the opposite leg to find balance and even out the position. Move back to the mat.  



Tabletop with Arm and Leg Extension  

Connect with your breath. Alternate between these postures to use as a flow. Inhale up, and exhale back to the mat. Inhale up the opposite side, exhale back to the mat. The flow generates both strength and relaxation. 



Child’s Pose Supported with Blanket  

Incorporate as an inversion pose. Extended Puppy pose opens up the back and the legs.  



Child’s Pose Supported with Blocks  

Use a block to create a vertical height to add space to the belly. 



Dolphin Facing Dog  

Dolphin pose allows us to open up and extend the back of the legs. Heels do not have to touch the mat. Return down to the mat.  



Dolphin Facing Dog with knees bends  

Bend Knees.  



Dolphin Facing Dog with Bolster  

Incorporate the bolster for added stability and to reduce the severity of the pose. Bring forearms down on to the bolster. Crawl toes back underneath. Press up and back into the dolphin pose. Heels might be brought down into the mat.  



Kneeling supported with blanket and blocks 

Use as a transition to a downward facing dog. Incorporate blocks to assist you. Crawl toes underneath. Encourage hips to go straight up and back. Come halfway.  



Downward Facing Dog with blocks  

Come from kneeling supported position. Go halfway then press up and back.  



Downward Facing Dog 

Place palms down directly on the mat. Fingers are spread to protect the wrists. Engage toes underneath. Press up halfway and back to Downward Facing Dog. Go to the child's pose to restore and slow down the breathing and restore heart rate to normal. Use blanket on the knee to avoid constriction to the belly if needed.  



Child’s Pose on Forearms  

Frog Pose. Find your knees wide as in child’s pose. Feet come to the sides, flexed. Arms come slowly to the ground to the mat. Modifications: use a block or bolster to rest head in this pose. 

Move hips forward and backward to explore areas that might be tighter and might need more attention. Place palms on the mat to incorporate gentle hip circles. Move hips in both directions. Come out of the pose by bringing the feet back together. Curl toes underneath, bring knees together. Come to tabletop position. 

Benefits: opening of the hips and groin, and better positioning of the baby.  



Supported Side Gate  

Start in a tabletop pose. Step one leg out to the side. Use arms to assist you to go up into an upright position. Bring your hand over the extended leg and shift downward. Bring opposite arm up and over, encouraging the opening of the oblique. Look up skyward or into the leg.  



Side Gate  

From Supported Side Gate extend the lifted arm and bring it down into the mat. Fingers pointing outward for support. Bring the opposite arm up. Create a straight line with the arms. Find an assisted side plank. The foot that is extended is facing forward.  

Benefits: builds core strength in a very controlled atmosphere, the knees assists and protect the body from any injury. 

Flow with the breath in the sequence of side plank and gate pose. Exhale to side gate plank, Inhale to come up, and open to Supported Side Gate. Return to center. Go back to the tabletop pose to feel stability. Incorporate hip circles. Move up all the way up to the hands, and back to almost child’s pose as far as the belly allows. Move the hips side to side.  

Switch legs to do the same flow. Work with Supported Side Gate and Side Gate Plank. Another way to come out of this pose is to bring down the arm that is upward. Bring the hand next to the opposite hand. Bring the knee in. Find the tabletop position. Curl toes. Use heels to press up and back to downward facing dog.  



Warrior Three with bar support  

Face the bar. Hands shoulder-width apart on the bar. Position one foot underneath you. Extend leg back. Back leg flexed. Return to standing posture. Modification: if elbows are bending press leg a little further back to allow head to come through the arms. Benefits: Increases the strength of the core, opens the hamstrings, calves, and shoulders. Switch legs.  



Quad Stretch  

Roll to the side. Find a reclined dancer pose. Blankets can be used underneath the arms for comfort. On the side bring arm long. Grab the back foot of the top leg and extend out and long. Find opening to the shoulders, extension through the lower back, and engagement through the belly. Be gentle with the belly, if it is too extreme find a restorative posture. Switch to the opposite side. Both sides will feel different.  



Corpse Pose Supported with Ramp 

For Savasana use 2 blogs and a bolster to build a ramp. A low ramp can be built during the first and second trimester. During the third trimester use a higher ramp to stay upright. Arms open wide to the side, encouraging the engagement through the chest and the shoulders. If it is uncomfortable, use the left hand side laying Savasana. Find your left hand side to enter your Savasana. Upper knee on the bolster. Blanket underneath the head. Blocks behind for more stability. Arm rests on the hip. Feel great comfort in this pose. Take your time to assist you in an upright position.  



Monkey Half Way Up 

Come from Downward Facing Dog. Gently heel-toe the feet. Bring arms back as much as you can without aggravating the belly.  



Standing Back Bend 

Come from Monkey Half Way. Inhale arms up. Bend back slightly. Return to the heart center.  



Chair Pose with Bar 

Offer the bar for stability. Options: the student can face the bar, or use the bar from behind bringing the elbows back. Face away from the bar. Place hands on the bar with elbows bent back. Modification: extend the hands in the bar. Bring feet shoulder-width apart. Feet can also be opened a little bit wider to make space for the belly. Dip down. Feel the engagement of the quadriceps. Strong legs will help in labor. Inhale up. Use legs to come up. Engage your legs to lift with hands on the bar. Hands are on the bar to make you feel safe while coming up. 

Wall facing option: Bring hands to the bar. Find the position of the feet that is helpful and gives room to the belly (mid or shoulder-length). Sit back into chair pose. The bar brings a feeling of stability, do not rely on it. Return to the standing position. 



Tree Supported with Bar  

Benefits: balance posture, helps create strength in muscles of the core.  

Face one side. Place a hand on the bar. Walk through each modification before trying the fuller expression of Tree Pose. Root down in mountain pose. Find stability in four corners of your feet. Bring all your weight to one foot, and bring the other to the side. Find balance and comfort in each progressive pose. Extend the other arm long. Bring foot up to the calf. Keep the foot off of the knee to avoid damage to the joints. Modification: Wall facing option for added stability. Do not bring foot all the way up to the tights. Arms can be sent up, down to the sides, or in the heart center. Legs can be brought up to a low posture. Lower foot down with the help of the bar, in a controlled way. Switch leg to ensure equilibrium.  



Fuller Expression of Tree  

Bring foot all the way up to your thigh. Maintain the posture. Tuck in tailbone underneath. Stay Strong and tall. Use hand to assist leg back down. Move in slow motion.  



Warrior I  

A bar can be used for stability. Face the front foot forward. The back foot is in a 45-degree angle. Inhale arms up. Bend the front knee. Flow between a hip opener and a hamstring opener to open up the hips. Move from Warrior I into Pyramid with the breath.  



Dancer’s Pose with Bar 

Offer in a balance series. Grab the bar with one hand. Have enough distance between the hand and the bar for stability. Grab the back leg and open up and through. Stop if there is too much engagement of the abdomen. Engage your back to continue to strengthen and use flexion to counterbalance the weight of the belly. Switch sides.  




From Warrior I, straighten the front leg and bring hands forward and down to the mat. Modifications: Touch the mat if available or incorporate the blocks. Inhale up into Warrior I. Move back and forth between Warrior I and Pyramid at your own pace or with your breath. Connect your breath. Exhale into Pyramid. Inhale into Warrior I.  




































Open Leg Fold 

Benefits: Stretches the hamstrings. Modification: Bring blocks underneath hands, or place forearms on them. Wide-Legged Forward Fold gives an opportunity to rest. Get into a comfortable position. Modification: incorporate a bolster. 



Open Leg Revolved Twist  

Twist in a wide-legged forward fold. Ground down one hand to a block. Bring the opposite arm skyward along with your gaze. Feel a slight opening to the oblique. Bring hand to the middle. Take time to recalibrate before switching to the opposite side. Return both hands to the blocks. Use blocks to walk to Pyramid.  



Pyramid with Block  

Modification: use the blocks for support. Inhale up to Warrior I. Move back and forth between Warrior I and Pyramid. Connect your breath. Inhale into warrior I, exhale into pyramid. Switch to the other side by coming to the middle to find a forward fold.  




  • Repeats 


Warrior II  

Benefits: bring strength, presence, courage, and confidence during pregnancy before labor. Back foot opens up at 90 degrees angle. Windmill arms up and bend the front knee into warrior II. Check alignment of posture. Check the shoulders. Arms come in a straight line from the shoulders. Keep good posture. Warrior II can be used as a transitioning posture to other poses. Triangle is a pose that can come from Warrior II. Come from Warrior II. Have block available. Hinge forward. Transition down. Grab the block with hand in the front. Extend leg and opposite arm towards the sky along with the Gaze. Modification: gaze down to arm and foot. Modification: grab the chin instead of the block and incorporate a micro bend into the leg. Do not hyperextend the leg. Inhale back up into warrior II.  



Name this pose  

Start from Warrior II and inhale arms up. Straighten the front leg. Bring your hands together. Look up. Exhale arms down, dipping back into warrior II. Flow with the breath. Feel the lightness.  




Peaceful Warrior 

Start in Warrior II and move to Reverse Warrior. Come back and bring your arm up. Do not extend your back bend too far. Go as far as you can. Move back and forth between reverse warrior and triangle. Inhale into reverse as you expand your chest. Exhale into Triangle as the chest come down toward the core. This flow helps the blood to get moving and helps facilitate balance. Return to Warrior II. Switch by going into a forward fold first, using blocks or bolster to assist you. Use blocks to assist you to move to the opposite side. Back leg to a 90-degree angle, front leg facing forward. Windmill hands up to Warrior II. Check alignment of arms coming directly from the shoulders. You can see your big toe of the front leg. Go to Triangle pose. Tilt forward. Grab the block. Straighten front leg. Bring arms skyward. Flow between Triangle and Peaceful Warrior.  

Go back to Warrior II. Transition from warrior II into extended side angle and then reverse warrior. Work a flow between extended side angle and reverse warrior. Benefits: work obliques, strengthen the quads, and the core.  



Supported Lunge with Blocks 

Come to a High Lunge. Bring back foot up. Bend front knee. Use blocks for support.  



Kneeling Crescent Lunge  

Start by coming from High Lunge. Bring knee to the mat into a low lunge. Inhale arms up. Benefits: Opens hips during pregnancy and prepare for birth. Move back into a hamstring stretch. Inhale coming forward to the low Lunge, exhale come back to a hamstring stretch. Arms can come high in a low lunge. Flow between these two poses. To exit the pose come to a hamstring stretch. Bring the knee back and around. Bring blocks forward. Step the other leg front, adjust the back leg. Flow between Low Lunge and Hamstring stretch. 

Complete and Continue