Giving birth can be extremely strenuous for the body and mind. These yoga poses are gentle and provide a great and safe way for new moms to start moving their bodies and reaping the mental-health benefits of a 15-minute meditative movement.
Even if you’ve never practised yoga before, these poses are super-accessible and designed for all levels of experience, fitness and flexibility. Once you have clearance from your medical health-care professional to begin exercising, ease into your daily routine with this 15-minute mindful movement. It will help to build strength and reduce fatigue. Yoga has also been shown to help alleviate symptoms of postpartum depression.
Find a comfortable, carpeted area that you can place a mat or towel over and stretch yourself out. Remember to take these movements as slowly and as gently as you may need, while focusing on your breath and tuning in to how your body feels.
Pose 1: Child’s Pose with Arm Stretches
We begin the practise with Child’s Pose, which helps to open the pelvic floor and relax the head, neck and shoulders. Come to a kneeling position with your toes touching beneath your sit-bones. Open your knees out wide to the edges of your mat and slowly begin to reach your hands and arms out in front of you. Place your forehead on the floor. Inhale deeply, allowing the belly to expand between your thighs and as you exhale, soften the body down while feeling the stretch through the shoulders. Stay like this for five breaths.
Then inhale to sit up slightly and walk your hands over to the left so you feel the right side of your body opening. Exhale and soften, lowering back down. Stay here for five breaths before repeating on the right side.
Pose 2: Cat & Cow
From Child’s Pose, bring yourself to a Table Top position (on all fours, with your knees below your hips and hands beneath your shoulders). From here, take a deep inhale and simultaneously drop the belly to arch your back and lift your head, looking up towards the ceiling. This is Cow. As you exhale, round your spine, press your hands into the floor and look down towards the mat. This is Cat. Find your own natural rhythm of breath and move on the breath, doing between 10 to 20 Cat-Cows.
Pose 3: Bridge
From here turn to lie down on your back and point your knees up towards the ceiling, bringing your heels as close to your sit bones as you comfortably can. This pose will help to strengthen your back and core. It also strengthens the legs while opening the chest.
As you inhale, lift your pelvis off the floor, by squeezing your glutes and working your quads. Hold the position for 3 breaths and then slowly lower back down. Repeat this move 5 times.
Pose 4: Reclined Cow-Face Pose
This pose is a great hip stretch and while it is traditionally done seated, this reclined version is much gentler on the body. While lying on your back, straighten your legs out in front of you. Then, on your next inhale, cross the left thigh over the right thigh as you pick the legs up. On the exhale, hold your ankles and press towards your chest. Hold for five breaths before releasing your legs all the way out and repeating with your right thigh over your left thigh.
Pose 5: Legs Up Against The Wall.
To end your practice, find a section of wall that you can safely swing your legs up against, so that you are lying down with your sit bones pressed up as close to the wall as possible and your legs are perpendicular to your body, straight up against the wall.
Place your right hand on your belly and your left hand over your heart. Gently close your eyes and tune into your breath once more, staying here for at least 10 breaths, before gently moving yourself out of the posture.