I originally taught this yoga series in childbirth classes as a quick daily practice that can be used even through labor. Each pose is great for pelvic mobility and for baby’s positioning. However, guess what? It is also a perfect, restorative, nourishing quick practice for women’s bodies during their moontime too! Or, at any time of your cycle in which you’d like a simple, nourishing exercise routine. We do it now at our monthly Red Tent and just as in birth classes it helped bring women down into their bodies and into present-moment awareness, it does the same for women in the Red Tent.
Here is the outline and descriptions of the movements. I’ve added a few poses since birth class days and if you have pregnant women in your circle, they should not do Crocodile Pose at the end, but rather lie on one side instead.
Starting with pelvic circles, tip your pelvis forward and then roll onto your right hip, around to your left hip and continuing circling as you take slow, easy breaths. You can make large circles, your shoulders moving softly along for the ride, or make smaller circles. Make sure to go in both directions so each side of your body gets a gentle massage.
Pelvic circles help you relax your body, your mind, and help you find a sense of balance and focus.
From pelvic circles, gently come onto your hands and knees into cat/cow position, another very supportive position.
Gently tilt the pelvis, rocking, opening the heart with slow, easy breaths. Cat/cow can relieve back tension or help you stretch out any parts of your body that may be tightened up.
Breathe and let yourself rock through all these spaces, using your intuition to help you see what feels best for you in this time, in this space.
From cat/cow, open your legs wide, sinking your hips down very low and make large, circular motions with the hips. Breathe, to help you release tension and anxiety. Again, circle in both directions, doing what feels most appropriate at this time.
Sink down into supported child’s pose, with arms stretched out, knees folded beneath you, forehead on floor. It can be a very relaxing and restorative pose. (Note: some women may find they like to drape over pillows or rest their heads on a couch or chair seat, rather than sinking all the way to the floor.)
Really let yourself release, creating space in your body. Breathe and just relax.
Moonflowers + Goddess pose—open and release. Flow and let go. Moonflowers are done standing with legs far apart, feet pointed outward (towards corners of yoga mat). Raise your arms overhead in a full moon shape and then bend your knees (keeping upper body upright) into a deep squat and scoop arms in front of you like you’re scooping flowers off of the ground. Sweep the arms back overhead and repeat several times. End with Goddess pose. Wide squat with knees bent, upper body upright, and hands in front of your heart in prayer position (elbows by your side).
Move onto your hands and knees and sink back down into supported child’s pose. It can be a very relaxing and restorative pose.
You may also like to try crocodile pose, which can be very helpful if you have a headache or feel tired. Lie on your stomach with your legs straight out behind you. Stack your palms and rest your forehead and your stacked palms. Take a big sigh.
End with Savasana (lying flat on back, face up, arms extended, palms out, eyes closed, shoulder blades tucked under) and brief relaxation meditation. i.e. take some deep breaths and feel your chest rise and fall, rise and fall. Let peace settle into your heart. Take your breath to any part of your body that feels tight and let it soften and release, soften and release. Let your legs rest heavy on the floor. Let the relaxation travel up through your hips and pelvis. Your belly. Down your arms and hands. Let your shoulders drop. Soft and heavy. Let your arms soften and release. Hands open and totally at ease, totally relaxed. Jaw unclench, lips part. Let your face soften and smooth. Let your eyebrows soften and your eyes drop back easy and calm under your closed eyelids. Take a deep breath and feel this relaxation suffused through your whole body. Soft, soft. Gentle, gentle. Easy. Take another deep breath and open your eyes and breathe out with a sense of release and freedom.
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