In the last weeks of pregnancy, hormonal changes may bring unexpected discomforts—even
though you may be very fit and well. Chronic lower backache and pelvic pain may intensify
due to the loosening of ligaments prior to labor and the increased weight you are carrying.
The sleeplessness, heartburn, and anxiety you might have experienced in the early weeks of
pregnancy may reappear. Applying yoga techniques calmly and systematically to alleviate these
discomforts will help you relax better and remain in high spirits as you prepare for labor.
Practice this exercise after standing and walking, and
particularly if you have to carry a toddler. Sit tall on
the floor with straight legs. Stretch one leg forward,
then the other, as if walking on your sitting bones.
Then stretch backward, keeping your back straight.
Breathe normally. Lean back on your hands and bend
your knees until you find a position in which you can
move your pelvic floor muscles freely without tensing
your lower abdominal muscles. Take four deep
breaths, activating all these muscles with long exhales.
Practice this exercise as often
as possible to relieve pressure
on your sciatic nerve. Position
yourself on all fours, lower your
leg on the inflamed side, and let
it trail limply on the floor behind
you. Feel your hip drop from
the waist and shake your leg
until it feels floppy and relaxed.
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Leg exercises can help you sleep
better or go back to sleep if you
wake in the night. This practice
can also alleviate restless legs at
night. Position yourself on all
fours in Cat pose with your
back straight. Lift one knee out
behind you, and extend your
lower leg out with a loose kick.
Keep your head relaxed as you
repeat this action several times
on each side.
Sway forward and backward on
all fours, breathing deeply. If you
feel energetic enough, turn your
toes under and move into Dog
pose (p.67), keeping your head
down. Bend your knees as you
walk your feet toward your
hands and walk them back again.
Rest in Child’s pose (p.57) for a
few minutes before standing up
slowly. Do not hold Dog pose
at any time in this practice. Keep
your knees bent.
Kneel back against a firm beanbag or a sofa to stretch your
upper body and relieve heartburn. Your lower and middle
spine must be well supported so that you remain upright.
Place a cushion under your buttocks, keep your knees apart,
rest your weight on your elbows, and take 10 deep breaths.
If you have a firm blade support and
enjoy relaxing your head back, lean back
and breathe more deeply. Avoid if new
to backbends or you have lower back
pain. To come up, tuck the chin in and
push up slowly, from elbows to hands.
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