Pregnancy and birth can put you into some awkward positions! But those positions that seem strange to you now might just be the pose that feels the best for you during labour so it never hurts to practice a wide range of poses. Malasana (a deep squat) has benefits that start before labour – just make sure baby is not breech! Malasana can help lower your baby into the birth canal which encourages your body to prepare for the big moment. During labour, you might feel like lowering yourself into malasana helps as you slowly release your baby. Malasana is an amazing position for incorporating your birth partner as they can support you from behind or squat with you by holding your forearms.
Malasana should be avoided if you’re suffered from SPD at any time during your pregnancy (don’t worry, there are still plenty of Yoga poses that you can do!).
Start in a kneeling position (all fours) and walk your hands close to the tops of your knees. Using your hands, start to lift your knees up so that you can come back onto your toes. Take all the time you need, rocking your hips back and forth and opening your feet wider if necessary to have a strong foundation. If your heels are unable to reach the ground, place a pillow or rolled up mat underneath them for support.
From your comfortable squat position (and it should be comfortable, not stressful), you can bring your hands together at your heart, palms touching. You can use your elbows to help open your knees slightly and send your heart forward towards the sky. Don’t forget to breathe in this position, letting go of any tension in your face.
To come out of this pose, place your hands on the ground and walk them forward, slowly placing your knees on the ground. Come back into your starting position (with your hands and knees on the ground) and slowly make some circles with your hips before moving on to another position.