This simple sequence is a staple in my Mother Nurture Yoga classes. We start in a really stable position on all fours, which allows pressure to be relieved from the spine and weight to be evenly distributed over both arms and legs. Padding can be used for knees and wrists. The weight of the womb is allowed to fall forwards, away from the spine, which is a particular relief during the ‘heavy’ few days before menstruation or in the later stages of pregnancy. The gentle movements we make with the pelvis can help for the ‘three sisters’ (bladder, uterus and rectum) in the pelvis to find their most comfortable relationship. The poses in this sequence can also be used for exploring the sensations in the ‘Pelvic Diamond‘.
During later pregnancy this kneeling sequence is especially helpful for encouraging your baby into the ideal position for delivery – “optimal foetal position”. It is recommended that you spend 15 minutes a day on hands and knees to help the baby roll into a position with its head down and its spine lying against your belly. That sounds like a long time but it will fly by if you practise this yoga sequence! Caution: The exercises explained here are suitable for most women experiencing a low-risk pregnancy. If in any doubt, please consult your midwife.
Mother Nurture Yoga Kneeling Sequence
Begin this practice with the Heart Womb Breathing Exercise
1. Hip Swaying and Circles from all-fours base position
(Pregnancy: Baby in the Hammock / Baby on the Merry-go-Round)
2. Lunge / Hip Circles with one foot forward
(Pregnancy: avoid if you have pelvic pain)
3. Cat Pose
4. Scooping and Swooping Cat
From the cat pose, keeping your back rounded, move your hips back in the direction of your heels.
When you start to feel your back flattening out and tail wanting to lift, allow that movement and ‘swoop’ forwards with your head and chest and tail all lifting (a bit like a cobra pose but no need to lie on your front). For a higher energy practice you can ‘swoop’ very low to the floor.
(Pregnancy: ‘baby in the rollercoaster’, Tots: the ‘hungry caterpillar’)
5. Resting in a Forward Leaning Position (pick one!)