-- Begin in a seated position with the soles of your feet together about 18 inches in front of your hips.
-- Draw your sit bones evenly into the floor.
-- Bend forward from the hips and walk your arms out beyond your feet and baby, moving your head toward your feet.
-- Keep the spine long and extended and shoulders relaxed, shoulder blades moving down the back.
-- Relax the abdomen and breathe into the full length and width of your back.
-- Once you have established your pose, chant Om to your baby.
-- After you have finished your Om(s), practice your Kegels five to ten times.
-- Rest your baby's head in the soles of your feet. Gaze into her eyes as you release into the stretch, getting closer and closer.
-- Hold her to your chest, supporting her head while you "circle your spine."
Remember that this is a preliminary stretch, so don't push. Breathe into it.
What If ...
If you feel you can't come forward, sit on a pillow and move your feet farther from your hips.
This pose feels so great to do. Your baby is the star of the pose as she tempts you forward.
Variation for Back and Hips
After the forward bend (see pg 13), sit up straight and rotate your torso in a circle; imagine that you are drawing circles on the ceiling with the top of your head. Circle first in one direction, then the other.
Variation to Open Chest
-- Sit in Star Pose.
-- Interlace your fingers behind your back with the palms together.
-- Press the knuckles into the floor and lift the chest, rolling the upper arms outward, away from the heart.
-- Change the cross of your fingers and repeat.
Tarasana engagement exercises are a wonderful way to begin class. Immediately, they involve your baby in your practice and your baby becomes secure in your attention. You are slowly starting to warm up your body and your baby is discovering her own through your guidance and touch. Generally we begin with baby squeezes, then move through the legs, arms, and the whole torso. Experiment, be silly, have fun.