During pregnancy, a woman’s focus turns to many different things. She pays close attention to what she puts into her body, makes decisions around career and family, and begins to prepare herself to embrace what may be the most important role in her life: mother of a child.
With so many changes going on physically and emotionally, the temptation to shut down can be strong. However, pregnancy is the most important time for a woman to be open with her emotions, and especially with her body.
The yogic belief that emotions are held in the hips suggests hip tension may be partially a result of repressed feelings. Releasing emotions can help diminish stress, which affects many women during pregnancy. Stress reduction benefits both mother and unborn child, and yoga—particularly hip openers—can prove beneficial.
Whether or not a woman is holding emotions in her hips, hip openers can provide a lot of relief during pregnancy. As the body prepares for birth, opening up the body is essential, particularly the hips and pelvic region. Various yoga hip openers are safe to practice during pregnancy, but go slow and avoid any positions that cause discomfort.
Stay in this position for one to five minutes, or add some motion to further caress the hips open. One option is to hinge forward from the hips, coming only as far as is comfortable for your body. You can also clasp your hands in front of you with loosely bent elbows. Lean forward by hinging from the hips, and guide your torso in a circle, moving your arms and hips as if you were “stirring soup”. Move in both directions.