Pregnancy and childbirth can wreak havoc on a woman's body. You may think that you will never get your pre-pregnancy body back during the weeks and months following the birth of your new baby. Your abdominal muscles feel as if they can't be stretched any further, you may be recovering from physical exhaustion due to a lengthy labor, your whole body may feel tight and unwilling to move like it once did, and you might feel as if the body you once new is now foreign to you.
Doing anything physical under these conditions is not an easy task, but if you can make yourself devote just ten to fifteen minutes a day to a postpartum yoga routine, you might find that you can get your body and even your mind back a lot more quickly than you thought possible. Below are some of the yoga exercises that you can easily add to your postnatal yoga routine.
The first thing most mothers want to work on is their stretched abdominal muscles. These six poses will definitely help get the tone back.
- Locust Pose
This pose, also called Salambasana, is very simple yet effective. Lie down on your stomach with toes pointed and hands at your sides with palms toward the ceiling. Breath in, and then while exhaling balance on your belly by lifting your arms, head and legs up. This pose strengthens back and stomach muscles, improves overall posture and stimulates those all important abdominal organs.
- Modified Boat Pose
For this pose, also titled Navasana, you take a seat on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. While grasping your left thigh with your left hand and your right with your right, lift your chest and tighten your abdominal muscles. Keep your back as straight as possible and lift your feet off the ground. Lean back slightly. After doing this pose for a couple of weeks you should feel strong enough to make the pose more challenging by lifting your shins up even higher and reaching your hands to your feet. This pose is excellent for reducing stress, building the tummy muscles, and aiding with digestion.
- Plank Pose
This is a very popular abdominal pose and it really works. Hold yourself up as if you were doing a push-up. Try to keep your spine as straight as possible and hold for as long as you can. This pose works most muscles in the body with a focus on arms back and abdominals.
- Triangle pose
Also called Trikonasana, this pose starts with the feet around five feet apart. Turn one foot so it is perpendicular to the other (right to left in the first example). Stretch your arms out at the same height as your shoulders and place your torso over your right leg with your hips square to the front. Your right hand should be on your right ankle and your left should be pointing toward the ceiling. Repeat for the other side of the body. This pose is great for arm strength as well as the muscles in the pelvic floor.
- The Son of Brahma Pose
Also called Marichyasana I, this pose begins in a sitting position on the floor. Extend both legs straight out to your front and slowly bring one leg back toward your body with your foot flat on the floor. Reach around the shin that is vertical and hold onto the wrist of your other arm. As you breath in bend over the extended leg. Repeat for the other side. This pose gets rid of hip and back pain and also helps out with the abdominal organs.
This is also called Bhujangasana and is a very important yoga exercise. Lie on the floor on your belly. Place your hands palm down at the width of your shoulders. Your toes should be extended. While pressing your pelvis and thighs into the ground, inhale and extend your arms. This stretch and bend should be evenly distributed throughout your entire back area. This exercise is excellent for the back, muscles of the pelvic floor and thighs. It can also help with being tired and mild depression.
The postnatal period is difficult for almost every new mom. Yoga can be very helpful in getting your body and mind back to the healthy state they were in before pregnancy. Add the above poses to your postnatal yoga routine and you should really start feeling better quickly.