Nine months is a long time for some, even for the most caring and loving mothers, this time can take a toll on your body, as well as your mind. Even after, with all the nursing, breast-feeding and long sleepless nights, you can easily forget about you, and your needs, physical and emotional. And don’t worry, thinking of yourself is not selfish, you are obliged to do something about it, for you and for your baby! You would want to be the perfect mom you always wanted to be, and to be so you have to be ready, strong and clear minded, prepared to raise your child.
If you have practiced prenatal yoga, then the rest of this article will be familiar, if you have not, you are in for as surprise. It takes only 6 weeks till you and your baby are ready for yoga lessons if you had a caesarean section, or matter of hours if you gave birth naturally. Of course, please do check with your doctor, just in case! Easy going, gentle, slow movements to regain your shape, realign your hips, shoulders, spine, your entire body strength, relax and enjoy time with your baby, sound wonderful, doesn’t it.
To start with your daily yoga rutine, you don't need much of equipment. The most important is to find a yoga mat featuring a superior non-slip fabric finish, just to be safe. Check out the yoga mom selection of any good yoga shop and you would easily find the answer to "what kind of yoga mat should I get and what should it be made of?".
The benefits of practicing yoga are numberless, every day a new benefit occurs, and so it is also with pre and post natal yoga, with the difference with post natal yoga, the benefits are doubled (for you once, and for your baby again!). However, among many, here is a list of the ones you will feel in matter of days:
- Bring back your spinal strength – pregnancy can and probably will have an impact on your spine, making adjustments to fit new life in you. Yoga and postnatal poses will help you realign your spine and strengthen your joints, preparing you for all that heavy baby lifting!
- Regain flexibility and tone your muscles – yoga will stretch everything that has been tensed in your body from the pressure of pregnancy, and will strengthen your abdominal and back muscles, which will help with the back pain gained postpartum and help knit your stretched and separated abdominal muscles. Strengthening your arms and shoulders is also very welcomed, because your little one will want to be held for several hours per day. You will want the same thing, to hold it all day long, so best be prepared.
- Keep calm and do yoga – yoga can help you achieve inner peace, and achieve that just by plain deep breathing. Deeper breathing calms your body, which you might already know, during pregnancy and shortly after is exposed to a lot of stress, especially if you are first time mom. Right breathing exercises also reduce the chances of postnatal depression, which can be tricky both for you and your baby.
- Get those hormones back in order – your hormones are driven crazy, and it takes time to be yourself again, and yoga can speed up this process, maybe for a bit, but it still counts. Relaxation will speed the process, and get you in your own hormonal balance faster!
- Quality time with your one and only – postnatal yoga is designed to be exercise together with your baby, and this is the time spent in your sanctuary, your inner peace, and yours as in plural, you and your baby. Create mutual patience even when he/she is few months old. Create a bond and start doing fun stuff right away, because, you know, yoga can be fun!
- Social effect and commune – going to yoga classes will get your social life back from wherever you have left it, and plus, dealing with moms and sharing problems can be very helpful for both of you. Many classes say you can start hours after birth, but still, check it with you GP and yoga master. Happy mom means happy baby, and it really does, those little angels do feel your energy and can turn into horned angels just as you shift your energy!
- Self awareness – all that body ache, tensed shoulders, arm and shoulder ache come from holding your baby with one arm while preparing your morning smoothie with the other, or back and abdominal pain from breastfeeding, or knee pain from all those squats million times per day. Yoga postures designed to ease the pain will help you understand how to do thing the right way, or better, the safe way!
All these benefits are just super for you, but what about your baby? Well, there are also a lot of benefits, and you’ll be surprised with the ones that matter the most:
- Socializing with other babies, gaining similar interests
- Calming effect on your baby, originally originated from you, but later the baby will be more aware of the space and peace of yoga classes
- Create a bond between mom and baby a bit more deeply than normal
- Some postures with your baby can help you and you baby with colic cramps, and this should have probably be the number one on the list. If you still don’t know why, you’ll know soon!
- Getting out early can be a blessing for your baby, and gain more confidence early on
- Gentle and slow stretches help open up your baby’s joints, for which your ortho will be much grateful!
So, because there is no side effect from yoga exercise, and especially postnatal yoga is safe, and doesn’t involve difficult postures, go ahead and try it. Your baby might be very grateful one day!