by Tara Mestre: Every new mom needs a dedicated self-love practice…
You survived the nine months of pregnancy – and the seemingly never-ending labor – but as you’ve probably realized, the hard work has just begun!
Adjusting to life as a new mom, whether it’s your first time or not, can take some getting used to. Your body and mind have been through a lot and reacquainting yourself with the non-pregnant you post-baby can be a daunting and overwhelming process.
There is much work to do but fear not, help is at hand! And its name is Yoga.
From getting your pre-baby body back, to keeping you sane and feeling balanced, incorporating a regular yoga practice post-baby can help you get back to YOU.
Here are 5 postnatal yoga poses and practices you should practice post-pregnancy (even if you’ve never practiced yoga before):
1. Alternate Nostril Breathing or Nadi Shodhana
Conscious breathwork (or Pranayama) is an essential yoga practice that can easily be incorporated into your daily routine – especially during those long nighttime feeding sessions.
Alternate Nostril Breathing or Nadi Shodhana is a great practice to help calm an overactive mind. It helps restore balance to the body, focus the mind, and cultivate internal awareness. As a new mom, your mind is often racing. Mindful breathing can help calm your mind and center your awareness.
2. Mountain Pose or Tadasana
Mountain Pose (or Tadasana) can help you feel grounded. New moms tend to rush around looking after their babies, often neglecting themselves in the process. Tadasana is a grounding pose, so it’ll help you keep your connection to the earth – and to yourself.
Tadasana also helps with posture, especially when juggling a baby on one hip and our busy lives on the other! This calming pose will help you remember that challenges are temporary and that you can handle anything life throws your way.
3. Cow Face Pose or Gomukhasana
Cow Face Pose (or Gomukhasana) is a must for new moms. This pose helps relieve tension in the shoulders and neck. Whether you are breastfeeding non-stop, or using a baby carrier, your shoulders and neck are the first places to suffer.
4. Legs Up the Wall Pose or Viparita Karani
You probably thought you had prepared yourself for the tiredness that comes with being a new parent. But nothing can truly prepare you for the exhaustion of compounded nights with barely any sleep. To boost your energy and decrease your stress, practice Legs Up the Wall Pose.
This yoga pose is practiced lying down (yay!). It reverses the blood flow from your extremities to relieve tired legs and swollen ankles – and as a gentle inversion, is a popular stress relieving pose.
5. Pelvic Tilts and Kegels
The pelvic floor is one of the first parts of the body that you can start to gently exercise after giving birth. Pelvic tilts build strength in the pelvic region and abdominals. You can include some gentle Kegel exercises at the same time to further strengthen the pelvic floor. Start by lying on your back, and then moving with your breath, slowly tilt your belly button towards your spine and then tilt your pelvis away.
The Take Away
Becoming a new mother is a beautiful thing! And sometimes the best thing you can do as a new mom is to focus on you. Your baby needs you to be on your A-game, but let’s be real – sometimes being a new mom can be super challenging.
When those difficult times come, turn to yoga. Breathe your way through the challenge, stand tall, and know that you are in the flow. There is so much to celebrate during this exciting time in your life. You are a mother now!