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I first discovered yoga way back when I was in my final year of high-school (so we’re talking 16 years ago…) The school I went to was incredibly sports focused and yoga classes were part of our daily physical education. I’ll admit it, at the time I found yoga to be incredibly boring. I was a sports-obsessed teenager who just wanted to be outside running, playing netball or softball, or swimming laps in the pool.
In otherwords, I wanted to be doing something that made me feel like I was, well… doing something.
Fast forward to the present day, and I love yoga. And while I still love doing tabata workouts, going for a run and weight training at the gym, yoga now plays an integral role in my overall health and wellness. I start every morning with my sun salutations and I love, love, love how my toddler has just started to join me on the mat.
Yoga was also incredibly helpful for me as a brand new mom. If you’re a mom, you’re going to be more than aware of the effects that pregnancy has on your body. This is especially true if you didn’t exercise regularly during pregnancy.
Fortunately, there are a number of postpartum yoga poses for new moms that can help to restore flexibility, strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, help to release tension and ease tightened muscles.
1. Child’s Pose
Child’s pose is a gentle, beginner-friendly yoga pose that will help to gently stretch the hips, thighs and ankles. It also helps to elongate the lower back, which is particularly beneficial the pressure of carrying a baby! Combined with kegel exercises, child’s pose can also help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
2. Legs Up The Wall Pose
Legs up the wall pose is an incredible yoga pose for new moms, because it has so many health benefits specific to postpartum recovery. Legs up the wall pose can help to provide relief from headaches and lower back pain, calm anxiety and boost energy, and even help you get a better nights sleep (when you actually get the chance to sneak in a few hours!)
3. Boat Pose
Diastasis recti, i.e. abdominal separation is something that many postpartum women experience. I suffered from diastasis recti after my pregnancy and I found that boat pose was a great way to help increase my abdominal strength.
4. Bridge Pose
As a new mama, there’s a good chance that you might be suffering from some anxiety. Going from living a free and easy life where the only person you really had to care for was yourself to having a tiny, crying baby to care for can be stressful even for the most happy-go-lucky person! Bridge pose can help to alleviate anxiety and mild depression, strengthen the back, glutes and hamstrings and stretch the chest, neck, spine and hips.
5. Forearm Plank
Forearm plank is an accessible plank for beginners and those with decreased abdominal strength (i.e. postpartum moms!) Plank pose with help you to engage your core and increase your abdominal strength.
6. Ragdoll Pose
Ragdoll pose is one of my all-time favorite yoga poses – I love the stretch it gives hips and hamstrings. Ragdoll pose can also help to calm the mind, ease stress and tension and keep the spine strong and flexible.
7. Chair Pose
Chair pose is an excellent pose for strengthening the hip flexors, lower back and abdominal wall. Make sure you pay attention to engaging your core during this pose for maximum benefits.
8. Downward Facing Dog
Probably one of the best-known yoga poses, even for those who’ve never done yoga! Downward facing dog is one of my toddlers favorite poses to try and do, but it also has great health benefits for postpartum women by helping to strengthen the abdominals muscles, uterus and pelvic floor muscles, extend the spine, and relieve tension in the body.
9. Locust Pose
Locust pose helps to strengthen the back, relieve lower back pain, open the chest and ease stress and tension.
10. Corpse Pose
What would a yoga practice be without a good savasana, aka corpse pose? Corpse pose is excellent for relaxation, relieving fatigue, stress, and tension, and calming the mind.