The day before The Bump invaded Hilaria Baldwin’s New York City studio, Yoga Vida, for a photo shoot, she had her 20-week ultrasound, where she and hubby Alec caught glimpses of her baby-girl-to-be. “We counted 10 fingers and 10 toes,” she gushes. “You see everything. It’s such a beautiful experience.”
You may recognize Hilaria from the red carpet, where she often accompanies Alec, or from her gig as an Extra correspondent, but the Spanish beauty’s first love is fitness. She’s been teaching fitness and dance for more than a decade, and she cofounded Yoga Vida in 2005. Once pregnant, she was inspired to create a prenatal yoga DVD.
Staying Fit with Prenatal Yoga
If you think super-fit moms-to-be don’t have aches and pains, think again. “I get leg cramps and restless legs,” says Hilaria. “I accidentally kicked Alec in my sleep. I woke up and he was on the floor with blankets and pillows.” And, she admits, she’s had plenty of those off-days when she needed extra rest. But exercise can give you a boost. ”When I don’t work out, I just don’t feel good,” says Hilaria. “If my legs hurt, even if I just stretch, I feel so much better.”
Many pregnant women worry about potentially overdoing it with exercise. “Listen to your body,” Hilaria says. “It will tell you when you need to stop.” And stick to pregnancy-safe moves like these yoga poses, which can help with discomfort.
Sit with your left leg straight and right ankle crossed above your left knee (but not on your kneecap). Stretch and breathe. For a deeper stretch, bend your left knee and put your hands behind you. This pose helps with hip pain and preps you for delivery.
Pigeon-toed downward dog
To relieve leg cramps and restless legs, get on all fours with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Walk your hands forward two to four inches. Press back and up into an upside-down V shape. Reach your armpits toward your ankles. Drop your neck so your head can move freely. Hold for five breaths.
Sit with your right knee bent and left leg extended. Reach your right arm up and over to feel a side stretch. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths and then repeat on the other side. This helps with back and hip pain.
Straddle forward bend
Relieve aches and ready your hips for birth. Sit and straddle your legs far enough apart that it’s challenging—but don’t overdo it. Flex your feet hard, stretching your calves. Walk your hands forward until you feel a deep stretch. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. If your muscles are tight, prop yourself up with a pillow or blankets, as Hilaria demonstrates here.
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