New mums, welcome! You’ve been welcomed into the realm of restless nights, endless laundry, and the most enticing snuggles. The most important thing you can do in the first few weeks after giving birth is to rest as much as possible. You can rekindle your connection to your breath and your body with a short and gentle yoga sequence after you feel the need to move again and have received the “all clear” from your doctor or midwife.
A gentle yoga practise for new mothers.
Keep moving slowly, thoughtfully, and with a lot of love in mind. Your body has just accomplished something amazing, and it deserves to be loved so that it can continue to support you and your kid. Wear loose, comfortable attire and take advantage of this opportunity to recharge.
Cow Pose by a Woman
Bring yourself to your knees. Gently arch your spine as you inhale. Gently round the spine as you exhale. Repeat a few times, inhaling freely and deeply. Toggle back to neutral.
Cat Pose (Marjaryasana) is demonstrated in yoga.
As you arch and circle, bring a circular motion into your spine. Inhale deeply and arch your spine to one side. Round your spine and shift it to the other side as you exhale, completing a circle. Do this for a few rounds before switching the orientation of your circle. Back to a neutral position.
Woman in Infant Pose
Widen your knees and sit your hips back on your heels while on your hands and knees. Breathe deeply into your spine and hips. Clasp your hands behind your head if it feels pleasant, keeping your elbows on the ground. This will open up your shoulders and upper back, which will feel especially lovely now that you’re spending so much time holding and feeding your kid. Bring your hands and arms forward and walk them over to one side after a few breaths. Take a few deep breaths here and then walk your hands to the other side. Return your hands to centre and take a few more breaths here or with your hands clasped behind your head when you’re ready.
Woman in Dog Pose (Downward Facing)
If you’re ready, stretch your arms forward, lift your knees, and press your hips up and back into a Down Dog position from Child’s Pose. After giving birth to my first kid, I vividly remember how wonderful it felt to do my first Down Dog! You might want to try a little movement here by inhaling and exhaling on your toes and then bringing your heels back down to the earth. Rep as many times as you want, being careful not to use too much energy.
Woman posing on a bridge
Bring your knees to the mat, cross your legs, and lie down on your back from Down Dog. Raise your hips with your arms by your sides. Interlace your fingers behind your back and roll your shoulders underneath you to open your chest if it feels good. Stay for a few breaths before descending. You may do it again, but this time raise your arms high. You may make this more dynamic by lifting your hips up and down with each inhale and exhale. Repeat a few times to feel the breath and blood flowing while keeping your energy reserves intact.
A reclining supported twist is demonstrated in yoga.
Hug your knees into your chest softly from here. Take a few breaths and give yourself a loving squeeze before spreading your arms out to the sides. Allow your knees to sag slightly to one side. Place a pillow or folded blanket beneath your legs if they don’t reach the floor comfortably. Take a few deep breaths and then use your hands to assist the legs in returning to centre and then to the opposite side. If desired, repeat this twist a few times on each side.
Bending forward over the legs, a person shows a yoga variant of Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana).
Forward Bend with Care
After you’ve completed your twists, move to one side and help yourself to a seated position with your hands. Take whatever leg posture that feels good, whether it’s a loose diamond shape or straight in front of you hip-distance apart or a little wider. Fold forward as much or as little as feels comfortable and hold for several breaths, if necessary, supporting your torso with a wrapped up blanket or bolster beneath your chest.
With a rolled blanket under the knees, a person displays a yoga version of Savasana (Corpse Pose).
Rest With Support
Slowly recline and place a rolled-up blanket or bolster beneath your upper back, either horizontally or vertically. Allow your knees to rest against one other and the bottoms of your feet to rest on the ground. Spend at least a few minutes here. Then slip the blanket from beneath your back to beneath your knees softly. Allow your body to entirely succumb to the ground. Close your eyes and rest for as long as you can until your mothering duties require your attention.