Suppleness in the hips can make childbirth easier. It is especially
good to work on the hip joints while in a seated position,
since the floor takes the weight of your body, allowing you
to relax your hips and move freely. In this sequence, using a
cushion under your bent knee makes the stretches safe and
comfortable. From this steady base, you can work with each
exhale to tone and elongate your spinal muscles through
relaxed arm extensions. Focus on keeping your lower body
planted on the floor as you stretch.
Sit on the floor with your legs as wide apart
as feels comfortable. Bend your right knee so
that your foot is close to your groin, with the
sole of your foot against your left inner thigh.
Use a cushion to support your bent knee
comfortably. Rest your hands on your
abdomen and breathe evenly, sitting up tall.
Stretch your left arm along your extended
left leg. At the same time, turn your right
shoulder back as if trying to look behind you.
Inhale, stretch your right arm above your head,
and look up at your hand. Stretch deeper
as you exhale, keeping your shoulders and
neck relaxed.
These poses aim to:
Create space under the rib cage for
your baby to expand into.
Ease pressure caused by your baby’s
kicks or head.
Encourage your baby to move into
a central “head down” position.
Tone the chest muscles
supporting the breasts.
Tone the abdominal muscles.
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5 6
Lean to the right and place your right elbow on
your right thigh, as close to your knee as you can.
Rest your arm loosely across your abdomen.
Turn your left shoulder back, twisting your spine
upward from its base. Inhale and stretch up with
your left hand.
Still holding your big toe—or with the back
of your hand against your inner leg wherever
it feels most comfortable—bend your right
elbow and stretch it back in line with your
left arm, as if pulling back a powerful bow.
Breathe deeply, stretch into your left heel,
and press your right knee down.
Return to the center. Inhale, extend your
right arm up, exhale, bend your elbow,
and let your forearm drop behind your
back. Inhale and bend your left arm behind
your back. If your fingers meet, hook them
together to stretch further as you exhale.
Repeat the sequence on the other side.
Exhale, swing your body to the left, and hook
your big toe with your index finger. If you can’t
reach your toe, use a yoga strap around your
foot. Use your left elbow as a fulcrum to turn
your torso out as you inhale and extend your
right arm over your head.
If your hands do not touch,
keep your neck relaxed and
resist arching your back
Regular breathing
in this pose helps
you stretch with
a straight back
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