Comfortably lie on three firm pillows, one under your lower back and two stacked under your upper back so that your entire back and head is at an upward angle. Make sure one of the pillows is under your right hip to elevate the uterus off the inferior vena cava, which can decrease the return of blood to the heart and decrease blood flow to the uterus. Place your hands below your knees, pull your knees up toward your chest, open them to the sides, and circle them down and around 10 times. Then reverse the direction, taking the knees away from the chest, down and out to the sides, and around and up toward the chest again. Repeat 10 times. Inhale on one circle and exhale on the next. Relax your face and mentally scan your body for tension, releasing any you sense as you continue the circles.
This exercise stretches the lower back, opens the hips, and prepares your body for the most widely used (not necessarily the most widely advocated) birthing position…on your back. You can increase the intensity and utility of this exercise by lifting your head up and tucking your chin slightly toward your chest. This engages the abdominals and neck muscles.
More Answers from Michael Roizen, MD