*Just a word of caution: with the relaxin hormone softening the connective tissue in your body, you want to carefully and slowly move into these poses to avoid pulling a muscle or inducing other injury.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend
- Stand with three to four feet between your toes, with your heels pointing away from you. Take a breath in and, as you exhale, slowly bend forward, folding at your hips.
- In this variation of Wide-Legged Forward Bend, hold on to opposite elbows and allow your torso to hang. Try to shift your weight forward into your toes, holding here for five deep breaths.
Kneeling Hamstring Stretch
- Sit on your shins with your knees hips-width distance apart (or wider if your belly is bigger). Straighten your right leg out in front of you. Inhale to lengthen the spine, and exhale to fold forward so your torso is to the left of your right thigh.
- Hold for five breaths, and then repeat this pose with the left leg straight.
Modified Seated Spinal Twist
- Sit with both legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your foot in front of and just to the outside of your right hip.
- Press your right elbow to the inside of your right knee and plant your left palm behind your hips. Gently twist to the left, gazing over your left shoulder.
- Hold this variation of Seated Spinal Twist for five breaths then release. Straighten your right leg, bend your left knee, and repeat this pose on the other side.
- Sit with your torso upright, and separate your legs out wide, flexing both feet. Press your pelvis and hamstrings into the floor to help straighten the spine.
- Stay here if this is enough of a stretch for the backs of your legs, or walk your hands out in front of you, folding forward into Seated Straddle.
- To make this a more relaxing pose, stack a few bolsters or pillows under your shoulders and rest your crossed forearms on them, turning your head to one side. Hold for five breaths.
- Sit your tush on the floor, bend your knees, and bring the soles of your feet together for Butterfly.
- Stay seated for five breaths, or fold forward to deeply stretch your hips and lower back.
- From Butterfly, step your left leg back behind you. Keep your right knee bent, pulling your right heel in toward your pelvis, coming into Pigeon.
- Keep your torso lifted or fold forward over your right leg. Stay like this, breathing for five deep breaths. Repeat this post on the left side.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hips-width distance apart, bend your knees, and squat down. Press your elbows against your inner knees, straightening through your spine, or walk your hands out in front of you to deepen the stretch in your lower back.
- Enjoy Wide Squat for five breaths.
- Lie flat on your back. Bend both knees and hold onto the outside edges of your flexed feet with your hands.
- Gently use your upper body strength to equally press both knees toward the floor beside your torso. Enjoy this pose for five breaths.
Wide Child's Pose
- Sit on your shins and widen your knees. Walk your hands out in front of you, folding forward, allowing your hips to open, coming into a Wide Child's Pose.
- Hold for five breaths or longer, and sit up when you're ready.