This Stretch & Release sequence is all about lengthening & strengthening the back body and releasing tension in the low back. Slow down your mind and focus on full rib expansion with deep inhales and long exhales. We tend to get tight in the back body and send our breath to the front only. This will help open up and relax your back. For more information on 360 Breathing click on the link here
1. CHILD’S POSE
Knees apart to make space for the belly if pregnant & open up the hips. Toes stay together, forehead to the ground, on a pillow or a block. Extend your arms over your head. Focus on expanding your back ribs with each inhale. Bring awareness to your pelvic floor.
2. LATERAL CHILD’S POSE
Start in the same position as the child’s pose, move your hands to the right, feeling a stretch on your left side. Focus on lateral expansion here. Repeat on the opposite side.
3. CAT COW
Move on to tabletop with knees under hips, hands under shoulders. Inhale to arch your back (stay in neutral if in 3rd trimester), exhale to tilt your pelvis towards your ribs and round your back. Repeat.
4. BIRD DOG
Start in table top. Inhale, relax your core. Exhale, engage your core & bring opposite arm and leg out. Come back to start and repeat alternating sides. Your torso should stay as still as possible while the limbs move out.
5. SEATED FIGURE FOUR STRETCH
Cross your right leg over the left in 90 degree angle. Foot flexed. Press the knee out. Repeat on the other side.
6. GLUTE BRIDGE
Inhale to prepare, exhale, engage core & pelvic floor, keeps ribs down and lift hips up. Inhale to come down. Exhale to repeat.
7. STRADLE STRETCH
Legs wide, toes pointing up. Bend forward from your hips. Only go as far as you can keep your back straight.
8. HALF STRADDLE STRETCH w SIDE BEND
Bend your left leg and place the sole of your foot against your right thigh. Reach right hand towards right foot and get a nice stretch on the hamstring. Then lift left arm overhead and bend towards the right keeping chest up to stretch the side body.
9. OPEN TWIST
Cross your left foot over your right. Bring your right hand behind you and left hand pressing against the left leg. Twist. Repeat on the other side.
10. WALL HAMSTRING STRETCH
Place your hands on the wall in front of you at shoulder height and walk back until your arms are extended with your elbows by your ears, back flat. With knees slightly bent, push your hips back until back is parallel to the floor. Do not to tuck your pelvis under or clench your glutes. Hold.