No matter how many times you’ve given birth, it can still be a daunting experience–we just never know exactly what to expect! But what we can do is prepare both our bodies and our minds. Birth is a marathon, so get those muscles pumping, sister! And let the movement of each sequence bring you into a state of meditation as you observe your body and your breath transition from one pose to the next.
Try these mini yoga flows to prepare your body and mind for giving birth:
Wave squats - This flow is great for building muscle strength–especially in the legs, as we’re often on our feet for long periods of time during labor! Wave squats also connect the mind to the body and the breath, which comes in handy for releasing a tight pelvic floor.
Start standing in mountain pose.
Inhale, arms up. Exhale, sit into chair pose. Really stick out the tail here!
Inhale, release the pelvic floor. Exhale, contract the pelvic floor, tuck the tail, roll up to stand as the arms come down.
Cycle through 5x.
Modified sun salutations - This twist on a classic is belly-friendly and the perfect way to build up stamina for labor. Sun sals also offer a nice whole-body stretch and strengthening.
- Start standing in mountain pose.
- Inhale, arms up. Exhale, forward fold.
- Inhale, halfway lift. Exhale, come to hands & knees (tabletop pose).
- Inhale, cow. Exhale, cat.
- Inhale, tabletop pose (neutral spine). Exhale, downward facing dog.
- Slowly walk the feet up to the hands, pause a moment in ragdoll pose, and then gently roll yourself up to stand.
Cycle through 5x, pairing one breath per movement.
Shrug & sound - Loosening your jaw is key in loosening your pelvis / pelvic floor for labor. This sequence will help you do just that! Don’t be afraid to use your voice, especially since vocalizations can be a great way to loosen up, and they often happen naturally during labor.
A conscious release of tension is important for progressing in labor! Think of this one as building tension to release tension. Shrug & sound can be done seated or standing! Here’s how:
- Inhale your shoulders up toward ears. Get really scrunched and tight here!
- Exhale a big sigh out the mouth, letting the jaw fall open. (Remember, loose jaw = loose pelvis!)
- Cycle through 5x.
- Some other options for your exhale could be fluttering the lips as the shoulders fall down or making an audible voiced exhale.
We wish you a peaceful and empowering birth experience!
Written by: Sarah Almodovar