Side Lying Release is a basic tenant of Spinning Babies that was created by Carol Phillips. It can be used in pregnancy for general balancing and opening of the lower back, the pelvic floor, the IT band and so much more.
When I first learned Side Lying Release (SLR) through Spinning Babies, I also learned extra things that we could do like opening the respiratory diaphragm (which sometimes helps heartburn). This adds a fuller stretch for the upper part of the pregnant body. However, adding the hands-on for opening the top half of the body was sometimes confusing in basic workshops. In fact, at my workshop, many of us were losing track of the more important functions of the SLR because of the added steps. The form for balance and alignment was lost.
As all of us grow as trainers, and we find individual nuances of how we teach the SLR for Spinning Babies. However, we all have found starting with the basics is important for building a solid SLR practice for newer students.
A quality Side Lying Release means the neck and back are straightened the head is usually propped on a pillow. The shoulders are stacked on one another and the bum is stacked with one over the other. The person on the table’s hip is quite close to the edge of the table.
The individual trick I like when doing the SLR is that I like to add a thumb on the side of the table for a feeling of safety. That way they can scoot all the way up to the edge against my thumb so that they feel safe and supported. Then we are more likely to have better positioning for its initiation. It is here that we pause and double check that the back is straight, the hip is 4 fingerbreadths in from the edge, and the person feels supported at their shoulders and from the hip where our hand gives support.
Because every workshop is just a bit different, we now and then present the SLR along with the opening of the respiratory diaphragm. It is a nice addition as many will sigh as they relax in their body into a full stretch. For those of you who have attended a 2-day training, you may have learned how to do the SLR along with the opening of the respiratory diaphragm. We will also be diving deeper into this and more at our upcoming workshop Spinning Babies Aware Practitioner Workshop in Minnesota!
Not only does every trainer find their best way of teaching the SLR, but each birth worker will also find the nuances to support their body and other people’s bodies (there are so many types and heights for tables, etc). However, we all first start with the steps of alignment and safety.
Some links of interest: