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Seated Side Stretches: The Secret to Pregnancy Pain Relief and Postpartum Recovery

As a desk worker, pregnancy brought a whole new set of challenges. My ever-growing baby bump wasn't the only thing changing – my upper back and sides were tightening up something fierce, even in the first trimester! That's when I discovered the magic of Seated Side Stretches (or Creative Parsvakanasana).


These gentle heart openers were a lifesaver. The side bends not only soothed my tight muscles but also helped with digestion and even eased nausea in those early weeks. Little did I know, this simple pose would become an essential tool throughout my motherhood journey.


Fast forward to breastfeeding and endless rounds of picking up my little ones – the Seated Side Stretch remained my go-to for relief. The beauty of this pose is its ease and versatility. It's basically an extension of Easy Pose (Sukhasana), where you simply sit comfortably on the floor with your legs crossed.


2 pregnant women seated side stretch at a prenatal yoga class.

Benefits Beyond the Physical:

Seated Side Stretches offer a surprising amount of goodness:

  • Physical: Opens chest and shoulders, stretches the sides, improves flexibility, and boosts circulation.

  • Emotional: Promotes feelings of compassion, love, and connection. This can be especially helpful during pregnancy as it fosters emotional well-being and strengthens the bond with your baby.


3rd Trimester Pregnant Woman Side-Stretch with Strap

Listen to Your Body & Make it Yours:

The key to enjoying this pose is to listen to your body. If you experience any discomfort in your spine, shoulders, or hips, don't hesitate to modify! Here are some tips:

  • Props: Use a bolster or cushion under your hip for extra support, especially if your lower back feels tight.

  • Hand Placement: Need a little more stability? Place your hand on the floor or a block for added support, or better yet, grab a handy strap.

More Than Just a Stretch:

Seated Side Stretches are more than just a physical exercise. They encourage openness and expansion in the chest and heart center, fostering a deeper connection with yourself and your baby. As you stretch your side body, you may even feel a surge of love and compassion.


So, whether you're a pregnant mama-to-be or a seasoned mommy warrior, give Seated Side Stretches a try. You might just discover your new favorite self-care tool!

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