Post natal yoga exercises for a healthy & happy mumDana Gifford
After the birth of your beautiful baby just be mindful that your body has undergone massive change. During pregnancy your body produces additional chemicals called hormones which have many functions, one of which is to relax the firm ligaments that hold the bones of the spinal column together as relaxin produced during your pregnancy softens your hips to allow for child birth. These ligaments stay loose for quite a long time after baby is born, so no forcing or straining.
Very gentle, nurturing exercises are required to maintain a steady mind and slowly bring your body back to full strength. The day to day duties of baby are demanding on your body so you must rest and practice restorative yoga. As a new mum you are thrown into a never ending, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week job, where sleep deprivation starts to take its toll. Without yoga you will feel physically, mentally and emotionally drained.
Yoga creates a sense of being ” Who you are ” and ” Make you feel balanced and connected to yourself”. Avoid strong exercises for the first few months after birth as rigorous exercises too soon will contribute towards injury and burn out.
After a caesarean section please wait to exercise until after your wound has healed and you have been cleared to exercise by your widwife, obstetrician or doctor. Usually after 12 weeks for a c-section and 6 weeks for a vaginal birth. Each mum and their birthing experience is different so be guided by your widwife, obstetrician or doctor.
Gentle back strengthening exercises and gentle shoulder opening exercises are perfect for postnatal mums. Breastfeeding and nursing your baby causes roundness in shoulders leading to weakening muscles in shoulders and spine.
Postnatal mums need to be aware of how to breath well and practice daily in a calming and peaceful environment.
The use of a bolster to open the chest and lengthen the spine works wonders on both mind and body. It gently stretches the abdominal area that has been sharing its space with your gorgeous baby prior to birth.
After all bleeding has stopped legs up wall ( Viparita Karani) is therapeutic for your lower back , whole spine and relaxing shoulders, neck and head. It’s extremely rejuvenating getting you off your legs and feet.
Sleep deprivation can bring about negative thoughts and feelings. Yogic breathing is important to slow down your breathing and slow down the ongoing thoughts in your mind. Positive, happy thoughts – relax, relax, relax with each exhale. Feel your body smiling on the inside as you inhale and completely let go on each exhale.
Your baby picks up your energy so remember to stay calm. Calm mum, calm baby. While feeding your baby scan your minds eye over your body. Tell each part of your body to relax and check in with your slow, lengthened, rhythmical breathing. Your positive , calm energy will transfer to your baby making feeding and settling easier.
Become aware of your posture when breastfeeding. Focus on lengthening your spine. Sitting on your sitting bones, shoulders down and back, spine straight, crown of head pointing to the ceiling. Relax chin , throat and calming face. Relax and learn to enjoy this special time. All things will pass.
Lots of sigh breathing. Big inhale through your nose, open your mouth and Big sigh out. Relax, Relax, Relax ad enjoy living life through yoga.
By Dana Gifford