Updated: Oct 31, 2018
So you're gonna be a mama (or not)! The following asanas will help you release the spine through traction, gravity, and mindful posture.
If you are going to be a mama, an increased mobility in the joints due to the extra relaxin pumping through the system in prenatal bodies means we have to be extra careful to promote stability. An area that will be under a lot of stress for most pre-mamas will be the lower back, (L3/L4/L5 for many), where the compression of gravity will be felt most but also where the spine will reach into a kind of hyperlordosis (arched back) as baby pulls the weight forward.
Practice these asanas to provide relief and traction, removing this extra weight and strengthening the surrounding musculature. These are suitable for all levels of practitioners.
Adho Mukha Uttanasana
Using blocks, or even books if you like, too elevate the spine slightly making sure those knees aren’t locked up in extension! Flat spine gently extending through the cervical spine and neck region. Imagine the spine like a pearl necklace, gently being pulled forward.
Ah sweet relief! Using blocks at whichever height suits you best, extend the hands forward with feet parallel as you forward fold. Stay for traction of the spine here, releasing with every exhale.
Shoulder opening with rope
The weight is also moving forward because of those growing mammalian boobies which puts a lot of stress on the thoracic spine (that space between the shoulders especially). Promote mobility in the joint keeping natural wrists (not pointing down or up) firmly pulling the rope apart to create some tension and then moving it up and back in a rotation. Find the stick spots, stay there for a moment and then move further once a release is felt. Breathe, breathe, breathe!
Bind with rope
Also an excellent way to get out of the sticky zone. Place the rope on one side of the shoulder dangling down like a long pony tail. Raise one arm and reach for the back of the head in between the shoulders, and with the opposite arm, reach from underneath to try and find your other hand. If there’s a restriction that just won’t let you bind or clasp fingers together, that’s what the rope is there for, to allow for proper alignment and for release through tension by tugging on the rope.
Watch the shoulders here. If you feel you’re having to twist like a pretzel, you’ve gone too far and you’re straining the joint. Experiment with angles, trying to draw the shoulders back and down so you don’t feel a forward tug. If you feel like your hunching, re-align as this will most certainly be uncomfortable and unhealthy for the joint capsule in the arm and shoulder.