Although giving birth is a joyful experience, delivering a baby through C-section or cesarean takes a toll on the body. However, rehabilitation methods and activities such as yoga after a cesarean section may aid your postpartum recovery. If you are exploring this possibility, you may have many questions regarding when you can begin yoga after giving birth and which positions to avoid.
Read this post to learn more about whether you can exercise after having a c-section, the benefits of practicing yoga after a c-section, and the positions that are safe to follow.
Can You Exercise After Having A C-Section?
As a new mom, you would like to regain your old body and reclaim your way to your own clothes once you have had your bundle of joy. Obviously, you can start to exercise, but the right time for when can you do yoga after the C-section or start to exercise will depend on your recovery (1).
A C-section is a big operation, which means loss of blood, cutting in muscles, and stitching them back up. You will have to ensure that you let your incision heal and at the same time, let your stitches dissolve before you start or begin any kind of exercise.
Yoga After C Section Delivery
Women may start yoga two to three months after having had their baby. This is a general outline, so before you engage in yoga or any other exercise, ensure that you consult your doctor about your health and wellbeing. This can help you gauge your body’s ability to undertake physical stress, stretching, and muscle pull (2) (3).
- Once your doctor gives you a go-ahead, you can start with yoga.
- Yoga will help you recover better, tone your muscles, and also strengthen them
- It will help realign all the body ligaments and loose muscles
- It will calm your inner mind, body, and soul and help you gain your nerves and deal with any kind of stress and nervousness
- Before you start your yoga session, start with basic stretches, ensure you breathe properly
Yoga Poses After C Section
Since you have had a C-section, it is important to gauge their strength and healing. Start with simple breathing exercises when you start and do them for 2-3 weeks. Try pranayama (3) and recite the “OM” mantra and Gayatri mantra as you can when you meditate.
Once you know your own strength and feel recovered, try the yoga asanas listed below (4):
Caution: It is better if you learn the following asanas from a certified yoga practitioner and then continue doing them at the comfort of your home.
- Agnisaar for your stomach, Kandharasana for your pelvic area, Bhujanga Asana to strengthen your abdomen muscles and tone them.
- For your full body, try doing the upward leg extension with Urdhva Prasarita Padasana.
- To stretch your back and spine, and muscles of outer thighs and calves and improve their strength, do the dog pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Tadasana or mountain pose is great for your whole body. You can try this even when you are around your body to improve your own body control, gain strength and tone your muscles and improve blood flow and posture.
- You can also do the Bhujangasana or snake pose to lose the fat around your belly.
- If you are comfortable with the above asanas, you can also progress to tree pose or Vrksasana. It will tone your pelvic area and improve your body overall.
- Now that you have been comfortable with the normal asanas without much stress on the muscles and yet get desired results, you can try upper and more complex yoga poses like the Surya Namaskara.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long does a cesarean take to heal internally?
Generally, it takes around six weeks to recover from a C-section, but the time may vary depending on the woman (5).
2. Which exercise is best after a C-section?
Deep breathing, kegel or pelvic floor exercises, walking, and bridge exercises are some of the best exercises to begin with after a C-section delivery (6) (7). However, before beginning any exercise routine, you should consult your doctor.
3. Can I do Surya Namaskar five months after my C-section?
No. It is generally advised to refrain from doing yoga asanas, including Surya Namaskar, for at least six months following a C-section delivery.
Before engaging in yoga after a cesarean section, check with your medical advisor about the exercises and poses suitable for you. Then, consult a yoga professional trained in post-surgery yoga and begin with light stretches. It is safer to restrain from practicing poses on your own, at least for a few months after a C-section. Be aware of the movements while practicing, and note how your body feels with each pose. If you notice any discomforts, stop practicing that position and inform your doctor about the issue.
- Safe return to exercise after pregnancy.
- Kathryn Curtis, et al.; (2012); Systematic Review of Yoga for Pregnant Women: Current Status and Future Directions.
- Ishita V. Kamat and Deepali N. Hande; (2019); To study the effect of yoga on post-partum stress and depression.
- 2,100 Asanas: The Complete Yoga Poses.
- New mom finds supportive care for C-section delivery at Children’s Hospital.
- Getting in shape after your baby is born.
- Exercising After a C-Section: 5 Safe Workouts.
- Modified Asanas After a C-Section.