Many women when pregnant attend a pregnancy yoga class: to keep toned, to stay flexible, to prepare their bodies for labour and birth, and also to meet other mums in their area. But once the baby is born it can be easy to lose the connection with other new mums, and feel disheartened about the physical and emotional effects childbirth can have on your body.
Postnatal yoga uses movement, balance and relaxation to allow your body to recover from pregnancy and birth. It helps to heal the body and mind, and repair all the tissues back to their former glory. It is designed for mums with their babies and so incorporates the little ones into the practice, either using yoga asanas to keep the babies entertained, or holding the babies as part of the yoga itself.
The class is designed to nurture new mums and provide a safe environment for them to heal and repair their bodies, to talk about their experiences of birth and as a new mum, and safely allow them to reconnect with their bodies – without their former passenger!
The Core Benefits of Postnatal Yoga
There are many benefits to attending a postnatal yoga class, in particular this type of yoga
- restores hormonal balance
- eases pressure on the nervous system
- helps build up strength in the spine
- minimises the effects of holding and feeding a baby
- helps ease the effects of other heavy lifting (eg car seats)
- Provides rest and instant relaxation
- Helps reduce anxiety and depression
- Restores the body towards full core strength.
The Physical Benefits of Postnatal Yoga
- promotes general health
- Complete exercise for the whole body
- Movement that promotes stamina and strength
- Realignment of the spine
- Toning the deep abdominal muscles to ‘close the body’ after birth
- Helps knits back together separated abdominal muscles
- Relieves stiffness in the shoulders
- Strengthens pelvic floor muscles
- Strengthens abdominal and back muscles for core strength
- Expands breathing
- Promotes relaxation
- Improves blood flow
- Detoxification and movement of fluids
- Promotes hormonal balance
- Stimulate cell growth and repair
- Maintains flexibility in the spine and joints
The Emotional Benefits of Postnatal Yoga
- Continuity before and after birth
- Reclaiming your body
- Nurturing yourself
- Renewing energy
- Quietening the mind
- Relaxation and deep rest
- Relieves and avoids postnatal depression
- Connects breathing with emotions
- Aids bonding between mother and baby
- Interaction with other mums
- Confidence in handling baby
- Building trust and understanding
- Providing support
- Creating security for the baby
- Healing emotionally after a difficult pregnancy or birth
Through building balance, respect and nurture for mums in the class, the babies naturally follow suit. It may be an old cliché but if you have a happy mummy, you have a happy baby, and it is amazing to watch how the babies in the class become lively when the energy is alive, and calm down during periods of rest.
You should always check with your GP and yoga teacher about when it is appropriate to start attending a postnatal yoga class, but Birthzang’s Mum & Baby Yoga class is suitable to attend from birth. I follow very gentle practices that work with the body and so are safe to practice from just 2 hours after birth!
For more info on my class click here.