108
LATE PREGNANCY
1
2
Sitting on a firm but comfortable seat to stretch in late pregnancy ensures that there
is no compression in your lower back and abdomen. While you are grounded in this
position, your stretches can extend through the whole spine and your breathing can
travel easily down to your perineum. Thus, what was initially a relaxed stretch for
gaining awareness of the perineum in early pregnancy (pp.24–25) now becomes
a powerfully effective breathing technique with gentle movements that will make
the best possible use of gravity when bearing down at the birth.
SITTING STRETCHES
Sit on a beanbag or a stool with or without
a back support. Stretch your left arm up
vertically and rest your right hand on your
lower abdomen to guide your breathing
down. Breathe deeply for four breaths,
then repeat with your right arm.
Place your hands behind your head and interlock
your fingers. As you inhale, gently stretch over
to the left, then exhale. Keep your elbows as far
back as possible. Even if you do not stretch far,
make sure your back remains straight at all
times. Repeat twice on each side.
Keep your arm
relaxed as you
stretch through
your elbow
and wrist
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109
SITTING STRETCHES
3
5
6
4
Extend your arms out in front of you and join
the palms of your hands. As you exhale, stretch
your arms over to the left, then on your next
exhale, stretch over to the right. Repeat twice.
On your next exhale, turn your hands so
that your palms face backward. Breathe evenly,
turning your wrists forward and back, and feel
the muscles of your back and abdomen working.
Use a soft but firm support to relax in Butterfly
pose (p.21) and breathe deeply. If this feels
comfortable, release your neck back and rest in a
supported neck stretch to complete the sequence.
Open your extended arms out to the sides of
your body as you inhale, then turn the backs
of your hands out in a wide receiving gesture as
you exhale. Make sure you don’t arch your back.
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