It’s a well-known fact that yoga is a great way to get your body moving and keep your mind healthy too. The gentle movements, breathwork, and ability to connect with your body make it the perfect exercise for pregnant women. During your pregnancy, you’ll have to avoid certain poses and asanas. However, with the guidance of a trained yoga practitioner, you should be able to prepare yourself, physically and mentally, for your baby’s arrival. Yoga is also a brilliant way to improve strength, flexibility, and balance (1). Apart from the well-known benefits of yoga, doctors also encourage women to incorporate yoga into their daily life, prenatal and postnatal.
For women who are pregnant, yoga helps to relax and stay fit. It also helps prepare you for labor both mentally and physically while promoting your baby’s health. Research says that it’s safe and highly recommended by medical professionals for pregnant women (2). While many women know the benefits of yoga during pregnancy, how much do you know about yoga for postpartum recovery? If you have no clue and are trying to figure it out, congratulations! You’ve stumbled upon the perfect article!
Scroll below to find out more about the benefits of yoga for postpartum recovery, the poses you should and shouldn’t do, and much more:
Why Should You Choose Yoga As Your Postnatal Exercise?
Before we understand why you should choose yoga, let’s look at some of the health benefits of exercising post-pregnancy. Regular exercise post-pregnancy enhances your recovery process. It promotes weight loss, boosts energy levels, and strengthens abdominal muscles. Ensuring that you stay active daily also aids in better sleep, lower stress levels, and reduced risk of postpartum depression .
Yoga lets you take time to warm up and cool down. It’s gentle on the body and does not cause too much strain on a postnatal recovering body. Poses that allow you to lie on your back and stretch your muscles help relieve pain. Your pelvic muscles tighten and become painful after pregnancy, and yoga can help alleviate that.
Additionally, the amazing thing about yoga is the convenience with which you can perform it. Other forms of exercises like weight training or cardio might require specific workout areas and instruments. Yoga on the other hand is easy to do be it at home or outside in a garden. Unlike many other exercises, you wouldn’t be required to invest in equipment and costumes. All you need is a good yoga mat and you’re good to get started. While you can do yoga under the supervision of an expert, it’s also totally okay to learn it on your own through instructional videos online or from friends. What’s more is that people can practice yoga whatever physical state they are in, as yoga has various levels of poses from very easy to super difficult ones.
What Yoga Poses Should You Do?
After delivery, your body is weak and needs time to recover. After all, it has gone through such tremendous changes and trauma. Therefore, do not strain and overexert yourself while exercising. Avoid certain poses that put too much pressure on your belly and back.
The best way to practice yoga post-pregnancy is to do it in the presence of a trained practitioner. If you wish to avoid physical contact because of the current situation, you could opt for virtual sessions. But ensure that you are being guided by someone qualified to do so.
You could try a few poses, including the child’s pose, camel pose, warrior, locust with shoulder bend, bridge pose, and rabbit pose. These poses are mostly gentle on your body and do not cause strain. But clear it with your yoga teacher and doctor first.
If you’re big on stretching, many yoga poses focus on stretching various muscle groups. Try to find the ones that provide light to medium levels of stretching that open up the body. Yoga and stretching exercises are a great way of tightening up loose skin areas left behind after fat is burnt.
Tips To Remember While Practicing Yoga For Postpartum Mothers
Whether you are a seasoned yoga practitioner or a newbie, practicing yoga after childbirth is not the same as pre-pregnancy. Therefore, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Take it slow, at first. There is absolutely no rush.
- Read and understand the benefits of postpartum yoga.
- Be well-informed about what poses you should and should not do.
- Opt for poses that relax you.
- Don’t forget to breathe throughout your practice.
- If totally new, try to seek help from someone who is better acquainted with yoga
Watch What You’re Eating And Drinking
Any form of exercise is effective only when complemented with a good eating habit. If you continue with your unhealthy eating habits, the hard work you put in while working out wouldn’t yield the desired results. So, make sure to chart out a good nutrition plan at the same time you start your yoga practice. If you’re unsure about what to eat and in what quantity you can always take the help of a nutritionist or find it yourself online from good sources. A balanced diet would contain ample amounts of vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, fibers, carbohydrates and other essentials. You can also opt for supplements in case of deficiencies under the supervision of your nutritionist or the doctor. Also, don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated. Many of us often forget to consume the right amount of water. Use a bottle with markers that would help in keeping track of your daily liquid intake.
While getting back into shape after pregnancy is every woman’s goal, it shouldn’t be at the cost of your health. Therefore, always consult with your doctor and keep them informed about the exercises you wish to do. Do not practice yoga without a teacher present (physically or virtually), and take your time with the recovery process. It happens at its own pace, and it’s different for different women. Did yoga help with your postpartum recovery? Comment below and let us know your experience with yoga!
- Innovations in the Treatment of Perinatal Depression: the Role of Yoga and Physical Activity Interventions During Pregnancy and Postpartum
- Systematic Review of Yoga for Pregnant Women: Current Status and Future Directions