Prenatal Yoga: Mama Sun Salutation

Pregnant woman doing yoga on exercise matWelcome to pregnancy. As a mama grows her baby, some poses may shift in her yoga practice. For starters, it’s recommended to omit belly backbends including Cobra (Bhujangasana), Locust (Salabhasana), and some mamas no longer enjoy practicing Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana). So this version of the mama sun salute includes a kneeling seated backbend in place of Upward Facing Dog.

If you are a yoga teacher, this is a great alternative for your pregnant students and you can change the arm variations in the kneeling seated backbend depending on your peak pose. For example, if you are teaching to the peak of Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana) with the arms in extension, then you may choose to do a “C” clasp behind mama’s back to help prepare the shoulders. Another example, if you are teaching to the peak of Tree Pose (Vrksanasana), during their kneeling seated backbend you can have the mamas place their hands on their hips and use the thumbs to encourage the sacrum to draw down away from the back ribs. Be creative with your arm variations to empower clear component parts for your peak pose.

Image of Mama Salute

Mama Surya Namaskar A
Feel free to follow this suggested breath pattern or slow it down with a full breath or two for each pose.

  • Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) with your feet hip-width or wider, at the back of your yoga mat
  • Inhale – rotate your upper arms rising them overhead into Utthita Hastasana
  • Exhale – hinge at your hips, folding over your legs (knees can bend slightly as it’s kinder on your hamstrings & low back), Uttanasana
  • Inhale – bring your hands to your shins reaching your chest forward and gaze (dristi) toward the top of your mat, Ardha Uttanasana
  • Exhale – continue looking forward as you crawl your hands forward into Downward Facing Dog Pose
  • Inhale/Exhale – rock forward with your shoulders over your wrists to modified plank with knees down, or take the option of chaturanga push-up lowering half-way and back up to modified plank
  • Inhale – walk your hands back to kneel on your shins and arch your upper back with fingertips kissing the floor
  • Exhale – crawl your hands forward, tuck your toes and lift your pelvis into Downward Facing Dog
  • Inhale – walk your hands back toward your feet, keeping your knees soft and length in your spine, Ardha Uttanasana
  • Exhale – fold over your legs, allowing your spine to hang and release, Uttanasana
  • Inhale – add a bend to your knees, using your legs to lift you back up to standing, hands reach forward and up. You can also take the option of bringing your hands to your hips or to the top of your thighs to press yourself up and give more support for your spine and the weight of baby.
  • Exhale – return to Mountain Pose, placing one hand to your heart and the other hand on your baby. Notice the breath, and if it remains calm, feel free to repeat your Sun Salutation a few more rounds.

Listed above is a version of the Mama Sun Salutation A. For more options/details on Mama Sun Salutations, check out our Prenatal class on Sundays at 12:15pm at YogaWorks Tarzana, or our upcoming Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training starting August 28, 2015.


CC HeadshotChrissy Canning, E-RYT 500, RPYT, is known for her joyful, caring, detailed classes with nurturing themes to inspire. Chrissy began teaching 17 years ago and continues to share her love of wellness through yoga, meditation, corrective exercise, workshops, and trainings. Her integrity, compassion, and wisdom shine through her classes and trainings all over the world. For more information on Chrissy, check out, or follow her on Facebook.



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