Being a new mother can be draining both physically and mentally. Your body has just gone through a huge transition and rite of passage after all. Also, your schedule is now full-time! Therefore, we sometimes end up feeling overwhelmed and discouraged.
There are so many benefits to incorporating some form of yoga into your day:
- Increases brain activity – yay, exactly what we need!
- Helps to increase strength, endurance, and energy levels
- Increases range of motion in joints
- Improves posture – something that we all need to work on after carrying a child
- Improves sleep – need lots of this please! Maybe baby needs some yoga too 🙂
- Normalizes weight
- Can lower blood pressure – many moms experience a higher than normal blood pressure after giving birth due to the additional blood volume in their body
- Improves balance
Fortunately, there are a number of postpartum yoga poses for new moms that can help to restore flexibility, strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, help to release tension, and ease tightened muscles.
We highly recommend that if you can afford it, research and go to a postnatal yoga class near you. This way you can get professional and individualized help. It is also a great way to socialize and meet other Moms!
While it is best to check with your doctor before starting a gentle, postnatal yoga routine, Yoga Teacher Calli De La Haye, who specializes in pre- and postnatal yoga, recommends waiting at least six weeks after childbirth, unless you’re doing specific pelvic floor exercises. And, if you’ve had a caesarean section, then she suggests waiting 12-16 weeks postpartum.
Following are some gentle poses to incorporate into your exercise regime! We only recommend them for people who are familiar already with these poses and have been cleared by your physician to do them.
Great way to start off your yoga sequence is to get in tune with your body, and relax with deep breathing.
1. Child’s Pose
Child’s pose is a gentle, beginner-friendly yoga pose that will help to gently stretch the hips, thighs and ankles. It also helps to elongate the lower back, which is particularly beneficial to ease the pressures of carrying a baby! Combined with kegel exercises, child’s pose can also help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
When you are in the pose, squeeze the muscles that you use when you are busting for the bathroom (after a big glass of water), hold for five seconds, then release. Rest for ten seconds and then repeat. Try to do it five times. Then as you progress, increase your sets.
2. Legs Up On The Wall Pose
Legs up the wall pose is an incredible yoga pose for new moms, because it has so many health benefits specific to postpartum recovery. Legs up the wall pose can help to provide relief from headaches and lower back pain, calm anxiety and boost energy. It could even help you get a better night’s sleep (when you actually get the chance to sneak in a few hours!).
3. Boat Pose
This can be a great pose if you have suffered from diastasis recti after your pregnancy. Many find that the boat pose is a great way to help increase abdominal strength.
4) Bridge pose
Bridge pose is great for relieving thoracic spine discomfort. It strengthens the legs while stretching the hip flexors, and opens the shoulders and chest. These are all areas that can become tight after childbirth and while spending many hours sitting or laying with the little one. It can also help relieve anxiety, which many new mothers may feel.
5) Standing Forward Bend
Some of the benefits of standing forward bend are as follows: It stretches the hips, hamstrings and calves – strengthening the legs, it also helps to increase strength and flexibility of the spine. It is a very calming pose that helps reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Draping the body over our legs relieves tension in the upper body and also activates the abdominal muscles.
6) Triangle Pose
A deep stretch for the hamstrings, groins, and hips, the triangle pose also opens the chest and shoulders. It helps relieve lower back pain, stress, and sluggish digestion.
7) Cow face pose
“Cow face is great for stretching the hips, as well as the neck and shoulders,” says Yoga Teacher Val Minos. “Practicing this pose on both sides can help combat the shoulder hunch that can happen as a result of nursing and holding a baby for extended periods of time.”
8) Mountain Pose
This is a straightforward standing yoga for mothers. It focuses for the most part on the repeated and profound breathing which is a very critical component for healthy skin. Taking in more oxygen through a controlled breathing technique (breathe in for the count of 6- hold for 1 count and then- expel for a count of 6) enables the body to dispose of toxins and helps keep the skin radiant and beautiful.
9) Corpse Pose (otherwise know as Savasana)
Great way to end your sequence is the Corpse pose. Excellent for relaxation, relieving fatigue, stress, and tension, and calming the mind.
Food That Gives Maximum Support To Yoga Practices
A vital component to having energy and concentration after a yoga sequence, is by also eating healthy food. At present, turmeric and quinoa are my two top choices.
Quinoa is a protein rich food, contains significant amino acids and iron, plus vitamin B2 which is fundamental in cell generation. It also has magnesium for sugar and blood control. It tends to be eaten with rice or as breakfast rather than oats. Quinoa is amazing sustenance for yoga moms.
Turmeric can be incredibly helpful particularly in purifying the body. It helps the liver eliminate toxins, reduces inflammation and therefore can help a great deal when taken in conjunction with yoga. Known as a uterotonic, this herb gently stimulates the uterus which helps it return to its pre-pregnancy size. Add a pinch or two daily to a meal or to your smoothie.
In a Nutshell
Being a mother is among the most joyful times in the life of a woman. There are many advantages new mothers get through the proper practice of yoga. Looking after you body both physically and mentally is an incredible way to begin your mothering journey, and take care of your young ones.