Savasana for the Prenatal Practice: Part One

This entry was posted on May 5, 2021 by Alicia Poldino.

It seems like Savasana is one of the favorite asanas and if anyone could use a mini-nap, it’s an expecting parent who just finished up a prenatal yoga practice! However, most pregnant people 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 to the mother’s heart and brain.

It’s All About Props

So how can we find a comfortable position in Savasana? Props! Specifically, yoga 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:

For this version, I prefer the 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.

Setting Up for Savasana

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). 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 the body is in greater alignment from the hips all the way to the feet. This can help eliminate lower back pain that can be caused by poor alignment of the legs and hips. Supporting only the knees and forgetting the ankles won’t achieve the optimal alignment needed for this position.

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). 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. Ta-dah! Super-comfy Savasana for the pregnant body.

*Do* do this at home. It’s also a great way to sleep at night, supported and in good alignment. Keep those ankles supported too!

(Always consult with your care provider before beginning any exercise program during pregnancy.)

Read Part Two >>

About Alicia Poldino
Alicia took her first yoga class in 1998 and she has explored and enjoyed various styles of yoga during that time. In 2014, she established Utah Prenatal Yoga (Utah’s first and only yoga studio dedicated to supporting people during the birth years) and is the founder and lead trainer for the Trinatal Yoga School: A full-spectrum, 85-hr Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training Program. Alicia is a Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher (RPYT), Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT-500), and formerly Certified Anusara Teacher®. Finding the humor in having babies is essential to her sanity and she sincerely believes that a consistent yoga practice can improve the experience of pregnancy, birthing, and parenthood. You can find her studio classes at UtahPrenatalYoga.com and and the Teacher Training Program at TrinatalYogaSchool.com.