Ten-minute Daily Sequence
(An Important Daily Practice for You and Your Baby!)

Start each practice with a one-minute meditation:

This does not mean you have to be an expert in mediation or have any experience at all.  Just sit comfortably and quietly with your spine long and your shoulders relaxed. Focus on your breathing through long controlled breaths. Don’t expect anything to happen, just simply sit and breathe.
Your breath plays a huge part during labor just as it does in your life. It helps you to remain calm and allows you to increase energy levels without exerting much effort at all.
While remaining comfortably seated, inhale and lift both arms out, then exhale and bring your arms back down. Repeat this movement least three times with full, deep breaths.
Begin stretching:

Seated side stretch: inhale deeply and bring arms up, then exhale and bring right hand to the ground. Stretch your left arm to the right and then switch sides. Repeat this movement three times with full, deep breaths.

This stretch will open your side body, and will make it a little easier to breathe. This is also a great way to find relief from back pain.

Cat Stretch: Safely position yourself on your hands and knees (keep your knees under your hips and place hands directly under your shoulders). Inhale and look out in front o your while bringing your spine to table and hugging your baby (using your abs to “hug” your baby). Exhale and round your spine while bringing your chin to your chest. Push the floor away from you to open and stretch your back and shoulders.

Repeat this sequence at least 3-5 times with full, deep breaths. This pose will help stretch your spine and neck, and bring your baby to a more optimal position. This is also great for labor and birth as well.

Child’s Pose: open your knees wider than your hips and bring your big toes to touch. Gently rock your hips back to rest on your heels while bringing your forehead down to the ground. Take a few deep breaths while trying to relax your hips and moving them closer down to your heels. At the same time, lengthen your breath and spine. Stay in this posistion for at least three long inhalations and exhalations.

This pose will teach you how to relax and let go (you’ll need it in between contractions).
Tuck your toes under and walk your hands toward your feet to bring yourself to a squat.
While holding a squat position, keep your feet completely flat on the ground. If you have trouble with this, roll a towel and place it under your heels. You should be very comfortable in this pose. Stay here for at least three long breaths.
Squats help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles better than any other exercise and you can practice them frequently. Squats also help to prepare you for birth.
On your next inhalation, slowly and carefully raise yourself up to a standing position.
Bring your arms up to stretch with inhalation and down to your sides with exhalation.

Goddess Pose: Make your stance wider and open your feet so that your toes point out. Make sure your knees are pointed in the same direction as your toes when you bend them. Inhale deeply, bring your arms up and palms together to a prayer position  and exhale. Bring your hands together in front of your heart and bend your knees. Hold the pose while hugging your baby and breathing deeply. Repeat this sequence at least three times, remembering to move slowly and with awareness.

This pose will make your legs stronger and help to open your hips.
For the last pose, you will need a few pillows (bolsters are great if you have any on hand) to create an angle for you to lay on and to support your knees when your legs are in butterfly pose.

Reclined Cobbler Pose: Adjust pillows and blankets to create an angle that is most comfortable for you. Find a supportive seated position while reclining on the pillows. Bring the soles of your feet together and open your knees out. You can place a pillow under each knee or leg for support. Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and relax.

You can stay in this pose for few extra minutes.
This pose is a great hip opener and stretches the groin. It is also very relaxing and you can do it at the end of every sequence listed above.

*Consult with your care provider before starting any routine.

**If you feel any pain during any of these poses, please stop and ask a professional if there is a better way for you to modify or adjust these movements to work best for your body. Some poses are not for every body.

*Photo Credit: Laura DeAngelis Photography

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