Kneeling on the floor while pregnant is often more comfortable
than sitting. It is also a traditional birthing position, which many
health-care providers, especially midwives, now encourage.
Kneeling stretches have special value in stretching your pelvic
muscles together with your lower back and buttock muscles.
These first easy stretches utilize your birthing muscles in ways
that may not be familiar to you, even if you are experienced
with yoga. They are best performed slowly in a relaxed way.
From all fours, extend your left leg back, keeping the
right knee still and arms straight. Support the left hip
with a cushion if needed. Turn the left foot and knee
in and out a few times to align the hips. Hold for four
breath cycles. If you wish, alternate flowing arm lifts
with your breaths. Return to all fours to change sides.
Turn your left foot out and feel your hip pulling
up as you stretch into your left heel. Keep
your neck soft and in line with your
spine. Hold for four deep breaths.
Slowly bring your leg forward
into a kneeling position. Repeat
Steps 1 and 2 with your right leg.
These poses are recommended for:
Preventing sciatic pain. Step 1 helps
relieve any sciatic pain.
Strengthening muscles around the
symphysis pubis and sitting bones.
Strengthening the pelvic girdle of
women who are expecting twins.
Do not open your knees too wide.
Avoid Pigeon pose if you have pelvic
pain. If you experience pelvic pain
when walking, see pp.58–59.
ADAPTED PIGEON POSE Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Kneel with your hands on the floor in front of you. Slide
your left foot across your body so that it rests comfortably
under your groin. Extend your right leg out behind you.
Once you are aligned in this pose, raise your left arm
and stretch from your right toes to the tips of your
left fingers. Hold for four breaths. Change sides and
repeat with the other leg.
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From an all-fours position, place your hands
beneath your shoulders and your knees under
your hips. Inhale and extend your left leg to the
floor with your toes turned under. Raise your
right arm up by your ear. Hold this strong
diagonal stretch for three breaths then return
to kneeling.
On your next inhale, raise your left leg and lower
your right arm into a horizontal balance. Keep your
back level and look down between your hands,
stretching into your left heel and your right fingertips
as you exhale. Rest, then repeat on the other side in
a gentle, flowing movement.
Complete this sequence with Child’s pose. Open
your knees to a comfortable width and rest your
arms on the floor in front of you. With awareness
of your breath, rock your hips gently from side to
side to create more space around your sacroiliac
joints and lower vertebrae. When you have found
your maximum stretch, breathe quietly in this
resting pose.
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