Postnatal Yoga: Yoga Poses to Ease Aches and Discomforts for New Mothers
For every woman, pregnancy is a beautiful nine-month phase where they rejoice in having a life inside themselves. With so many mood swings and midnight cravings, you go through a lot of mental and physical changes during and after pregnancy.
After you deliver the baby, you are in the postpartum phase, where your mind and body need relaxation. But being a new mother and taking care of your little one, it becomes nearly impossible to focus on yourself and have some relaxing time. However, it’s important that in the first two to three weeks after pregnancy, you be very cautious of your health and take ample rest to strengthen your body and recover. To fast-track your recovery after delivery, postnatal yoga is a very good option.
“Yoga means union.” This ancient form of exercise helps to unite our mind, body, and spirit and lets us stay healthy. It is a natural way to relieve stress, loosen tight muscles, and increase flexibility. It is very beneficial for your overall well-being. Yoga is a combination of different postures, breathing patterns, and meditation. Performing yoga asanas after pregnancy and childbirth helps new mothers recover faster and better.
What Is Postnatal Yoga?
Postnatal yoga is considered a yoga practice that is of low intensity and has well-modified postures, especially for new mothers. Postnatal yoga helps you balance your self-care with the newborn baby. It heals the body and the mind.
Now, let us understand some benefits of post-natal yoga:
1. Increases calmness
Practising yoga after childbirth helps relax your body, increases energy, and supports you in slowly reconnecting with your body.
2. Reduces stress, anxiety
As there are so many hormonal changes in the mother’s body during and after pregnancy. Postpartum yoga helps reduce stress and relax the mind.
3. Lowers the pain in your back
Yoga helps reduce postpartum back pain and rebuild muscle tone, which improves flexibility.
4. Reduces muscle tension
Postnatal yoga is specifically designed for new mothers, as it helps reduce the abdominal muscle tension that has increased at the time of childbirth.
5. Posture perfection
During pregnancy or in the postpartum phase, prolonged sitting activities can lead to the development of extra fat in your body, and your posture may also suffer. Postnatal yoga poses help you improve your posture and increase your shoulder and back strength.
Practising postpartum yoga asanas will help you deal with the many new challenges that come with taking care of your little one. However, it is advisable to talk to your doctor before you start working out to make sure your body is ready for it.
Postnatal Yoga Poses for New Mothers:
1. Corpse pose
The corpse pose, also known as “Savasana,” is a relaxing position where the body is kept still, and you lie on your back facing upwards. This pose works wonders for relaxation and meditation. This asana helps to keep your mind relaxed and calm, improve the quality of sleep, and reduce headaches.
2. Forearm planks
The forearm plank is a very good pose for strengthening the core after childbirth because your stomach muscles remain unused during pregnancy. Therefore, postpartum is the right time to build your core back up. This yoga pose aids in relieving back and pelvic pain. Forearm planks are also known as Phalakasana. It strengthens the arms and wrists and tones the abdomen area.
3. Mountain pose
Tadasana (Tada means mountain, and asana means pose) is the Sanskrit term for the mountain pose. This asana helps improve posture and coordination, boosts circulation, and tones your core muscles. It is beneficial for weight loss after delivery and also improves blood flow and posture.
Pranayama is also known as breath yoga. It helps improve sleep quality and reduce high blood pressure. While performing, this pose puts pressure on the abdominals, which helps women lose belly fat post-delivery. This asana is good for increasing concentration levels.
5. Cobra pose
This back-bending asana is also known as Bhujangasana, which helps to lose fat around the stomach and strengthens the spine, shoulder, and arms. In this pose, you need to lie down on your stomach and rise upwards using your arms. The best time to practice this asana is in the morning. But first, make sure you do some basic warm-ups and stretching exercises to prepare your body.
6. Legs up a wall
In Sanskrit, this pose is known as “viparita karani,” “where viparita stands for turned around and karani means action. It is a very calm and relaxing pose, which can work wonders for new mothers. You can perform this asana by sitting next to a wall and then placing your leg up vertically on it at a 90-degree angle and then resting your arms sideways. This helps in relieving headaches, improving the circulation of your body, reducing swelling in your ankles, and helping you manage stress.
You Have to Take Precautions!
Before performing any postpartum yoga asana, it is advisable to connect with your doctor. You don’t have to be in rush for your yoga practice, as your postnatal body is different from your body before pregnancy. You can start your yoga sessions five to six weeks after the delivery. Pushing yourself too hard during exercise is not good for you or your body. Be gentle with yourself and adapt the poses according to your health condition.
Before diving into your postpartum exercise, ensure that you have your yoga essentials with you, such as yoga mats and a water bottle, and try to wear comfortable clothes so that you can easily do yoga asanas without any discomfort.
A Final Note!
Listen to your body whenever you start your yoga session. If something does not feel right, stop, or take a break.
While you are at it, keep your early yoga sessions brief and always make sure to stretch before and after your routine. As the weeks roll on, you will feel stronger and more confident, both physically in your body and mind in your role as a new mother.