Child's pose found in most yoga practices, is used as a resting pose. Not only does it give you a chance to stop and focus on your breathing, it also allows you to stretch and open out the muscles around your hips and pelvis. In fact it stretches most of the muscles we have discussed in previous posts which play a part in maintaining a healthy balanced pelvis during pregnancy. When done properly it is likened to being put on ‘the rack’ and stretched out… Nice!
Start on all fours, with your knees wider than your hips and feet together with big toes touching. Place your hands directly under your shoulders. Spread your fingers wide and plant your finger tips into the floor firmly. Relax your shoulders away from your ears, by lightly pulling your shoulder blades downwards and towards your spine.
Gently pelvic tilt and chin tuck bringing your head in line with you body and maintain a flat back.
This is your start position.
To learn how and why to pelvic tilt, check out the blog post titled 'Don't Wet Yourself Laughing'.
Action: Slowly sit your bottom back towards your heels, while stretching and reaching forwards with your arms. Focus on allowing your chest to drop towards the floor and your belly into the space created between your knees allowing your belly to be cushioned by your thighs.
Take a deep breath in allowing your body to rise slightly making space for your rib cage and belly to expand. As you breath out relax your torso towards the floor further. Continue to reach your arms further forwards as you exhale.
Remember long slow breaths IN for 4-6 seconds and OUT for 4-6 seconds.
Visualise lengthening out your spine vertebra by vertebra. Tuck your chin to open up the space behind the base of your skull and your shoulders. And continuously push backwards with your bottom and forwards with your finger tips.
Hold for 3-5 long deep breaths. This is one set.
Now you have two options:
1. Come back up to all fours and breath normally for 2 minutes rest. Then sit back into child's pose and begin your next set.
2. Move into the coupled exercise cat/cow pose, for your very own yoga flow. Check out the post titled 'Take a Break: Cat/Cow' for how to perform this pose effectively.
There are many variations to this exercise. The variation in the picture below can be effective for late in your pregnancy when your belly is getting very large. It prevents your torso coming so far towards the floor by placing your head on your hands.
... with the cat/cow pose, as mentioned above. Also couple with most other floor based exercises as your active rest between sets. If you are completing a full routine, you can also use child's pose at regular intervals to prevent over exertion.