Want to try pregnancy yoga? Including cat pose helps to loosen your back and with labour pain!
This is a great pregnancy yoga pose for releasing tension in the upper back and shoulders and taking the pressure of your baby off your spine. Take it slowly and don’t spend too long in one position.
Start on your hands and knees, palms facing down below your shoulders and finger tips facing away from your body. Keep your knees under your hips and your back flat. Breathe deeply.
Exhale, press your palms into the floor and arch your back upwards, lowering your head so you look towards your legs. Pause in this position.
Inhale slowly and deeply and gradually lower all your spine, starting at the base and moving vertebrae by vertebrae until you reach your chest. Lift your head, look upwards and gently stretch out your neck.
Alternate these movements, smoothly lifting and lowering your back, without jerking.
Take it one step further:
To sharpen your concentration and develop your balance add an extra stretch to this pose.
From the starting position on hands and knees inhale deeply and bring your right leg up and parallel to the ground. Keeping your leg muscles engaged and your balance steady bring your left arm up and stretch it out in front of you.
Breathe deeply, hold the pose and return to the starting position before repeating on the other side.
As ever, stay within your limits! If you feel uncomfortable or unbalanced just enjoy the simple cat stretch.
FittaMamma Tip: If you can’t get to a pregnancy yoga class these simple exercises can be easily practised at home – follow these pregnancy yoga videos for more advice and sequences to follow. Some sources recommend the cat stretch during and between contractions to help lessen the discomfort of labour!