*This is a guest post
We’ve all heard about how great yoga can be for building strength and relieving stress in everyday life. However, it’s particularly useful for mums after pregnancy. If you’ve just given birth and want to find out whether yoga is right for you, read on for the benefits of yoga and meditation as well as some exercises you can try.
Post natal yoga: The benefits of yoga after giving birth
It can help with stress
It’s natural that your stress levels may be a little high after giving birth, no matter how much joy you’re experiencing. Yoga can help to give you a positive outlook, allowing you to focus on your own well being away from the baby madness. It’s proven that it can also decrease the risk of depression, though postpartum depression can’t be solved with yoga alone.
Relieves lower back pain
New mums are likely to experience some lower back pain after pregnancy. This is because your pelvis, abs and back have all obviously experienced a lot of pressure in the past few months. Certain yoga poses can open up the back, stretching core muscles to feel more loose.
Many women find themselves hunched over frequently; this creates a poor posture. Once you start nursing, pushing a pram and lifting the baby, your posture may even worsen over time. Doing some yoga moves increases your back and shoulder strength, making it easier to stand up tall.
Releases tension in the body
Yoga positions can help to release tension in the body, meaning that new mums can begin to feel more relaxed. What’s more, it can all be done without pressure on the abdomen, which is vitally important for those who have just given birth.
Ideal post natal yoga poses to being with
Now you know the amazing benefits doing yoga and meditation can bring, it’s time to put it into practice. Below are some ideal stretches to start after pregnancy.
This amazingly gentle pose is ideal for new mothers. It focuses on helping neck, shoulders and back pain by opening up the pelvic floor, which may have been weakened in the process of child birth. Simply sit on your knees and crawl your arms forward until your head is touching the floor. You can also move your hands behind you while resting on the floor, for an alternative stretch.
Cow Face Pose
The cow face pose is great for stretching the hips, neck and shoulders. Practising the pose on either side can help combat the problem of hunching over, a common complaint from women after giving birth. Simply cross one leg over the other and reach one arm behind you from above your shoulder, and one from below. Your arms should then meet behind your back for a satisfying stretch.
Legs Up the Wall
It really is as simple as it sounds. This relaxing, meditative pose pulls your blood flow in the opposite direction. You can rest your body while closing your eyes, inhaling and exhaling slowly. Find a will with little either side of it, then lay down facing the wall with your legs against it. You may wish to use a yoga block underneath your back for additional support.
This pose is excellent for those who want to take it really slowly after childbirth, perhaps if they recently underwent a mummy makeover. The mountain pose tones and sculpts the abs, pelvis, torso and back. Simple raise your arms over your head and push your shoulder blades down. Then extend palms towards the ceiling and hold for 30 seconds.
If you’re experiencing spine discomfort, the bridge pose is a great yoga position. It will strengthen your legs while stretching out your hips. These areas can become tight after childbirth, so doing this regularly will help loosen your muscles up. Lay down on your back with your knees raised. Then, trust your pelvis upwards and hold.
The classic meditation pose is ideal for those recovering from child birth. Not only does it release the tension in your body, but it also allows you to guide your mind elsewhere. It’s perfect for gathering your thoughts and putting everything into perspective. Simply sit down and fold one leg over the other. Then, rest your palms face up on your knees. Slowly inhale and exhale until you enter a state of calm.
Yoga can help to provide women with a good opportunity to get back to their post-pregnancy body as closely as possible. However, you should still provide yourself at least about 6 months to fully recover from pregnancy before performing intense physical activity. Not only can it have physical benefits but you also be grateful for the relief it has on stress.
Jamie Costello is an experienced health writer who uses his experience from education and work placements to guide his articles and the topics he writes about. Now a graduate, he’s looking to explore his writing flair through the education that he has been provided with to write knowledgeable and insightful blog posts.