As a yoga teacher and a new mummy I knew that the instant my baby was born that I wanted to do postnatal yoga with my little one. I benefitted so much from pregnancy yoga and was so keen to keep it all going and share the wonderful benefits of yoga with my baby. So, what are the benefits of postnatal yoga?
1. Baby can come along
The great thing about postnatal yoga, whether you do it at home or in a group class is that baby can come along too. So many fitness classes are difficult to attend with a baby but postnatal yoga is always welcoming to babies. They can sit in front of you, beside you and even on top of you as you work through your practice.
2. Improves bonding with your baby
Spending time on the mat with your little bundle of joy is a fabulous way to bond. Eye contact, touch, sounds and smells all help you to get to know each other better and build up a strong mummy-baby relationship.
3. Regain strength safely
As tempting as it may be to go back to the gym or your usual fitness regime after having a baby (well, maybe not everyone thinks this!), your body has changed and has some serious recovering to do. Pounding the pavement, pumping iron or sweating it out in a hot yoga session may not be the best way to regain your fitness and in fact could cause you more damage than good. Postnatal yoga is designed specifically with the postnatal body in mind and will rebuild your muscular strength safely and slowly. Which brings me onto…
4. Build up your pelvic floor strength
Rebuilding the strength and functionality of the pelvic floor muscles is an important part of recovering from giving birth. These muscles, vital for holding everything in and preventing little escapes of wee for example need some attention in the early months. Postnatal yoga spends time on specific exercises for strengthening the pelvic floor but also won’t put any additional strain on this area by avoiding poses such as a full plank or sit ups.
5. Eases aches and pains
New mummies are very much prone to aches and pains in areas such as the lower back, neck and shoulders. Postnatal yoga helps to stretch out and strengthen theses troublesome areas and ease other common muscular aches and pains.
6. Release stress and anxiety
There are so many new things to think about with a new baby – feeding baby, sleeping, what clothes baby should wear, housework, crying (baby and mummy!), and all on top of a massive lack of sleep. Anxiety, worries and stress as well as postnatal depression are therefore common occurrences. Postnatal yoga can help to address some of these issues by calming the mind and getting a little perspective. Simple breathing exercises for example can work wonders!
7. Relax a little
Who doesn’t need a little more relaxation? I know I certainly do… Most postnatal yoga classes include a relaxation section, which can help to boost the energy reserves and help you feel a little more human again.
8. Get some me-time
Baby comes first right? Right! but mummy needs some attention too. Postnatal yoga is a fab way to spend some time on you without feeling guilty that you are away from baby.
9. Self care
Nurture the nurturer – caring for your own physical and mental wellbeing is essential when a mummy. If you can’t look after yourself, how can you be expected to look after the tiny little being that is your baby? Learning the art of self care is super-important, and as your baby grows up it sets a fine example for them to follow as well
10. You are not alone
When you attend a postnatal yoga class you get to meet other new mums and you realise that you are not alone! We are all going through similar experiences and a problem shared is a problem halved. I very much found that when I chatted to other mums, the things I was worried about they either had gone through already or had some handy tips to share with me.
So, what more are you waiting for? If you don’t already attend a postnatal yoga class or practice some at home, why don’t you get started in realising some of the benefits listed above.
Postnatal Yoga Classes in Woking
If you are local to me here in Woking, I have regular postnatal yoga courses running:
Alternatively I run online relaxation courses for postnatal mummies: