I just had a little baby boy on December 31! He is a beautiful and healthy boy, and we are both doing well postpartum. Now that the initial shock of bringing home a new born baby has worn off, my mind has already started drifting back to my good old friend, the yoga mat. It sits neatly rolled up in my closet, waiting for me to pull it out again.
I firmly believe that yoga kept me fit and healthy throughout pregnancy and contributed to a quick and healthy birth.
I also believe that yoga will help me get back to pre-pregnancy weight and strength. So, I'm giving you my best tips on how to get back into a yoga routine after having a baby.
No matter how easy your labor goes, having a baby is tough. It takes a toll on your body, and you MUST rest to recover. It is also important that you take the time you need to bond and love on that precious new baby. Focus on yourself and your baby by eating healthy, taking your vitamins, drinking lots of water and resting as much as you can. Accept the help of others and take it easy.
Don't be too quick to pull out that yoga mat. Allow your body some time to heal. Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine, yoga included.
Take a walk
Depending on how you feel, walking in the first days and weeks after having a baby can be a great way to get some fresh air without putting too much stress on your body. Put that cute baby in a sling or stroller and take a little stroll. Use caution not to go to far or push your body too much in the beginning. Start off slow and build up over time.
After you get cleared from your doctor, you will want to build up your leg muscles. Squats and lunges are a great way to do just that because they are low impact and work your core muscles as well. As long as you use good form and build up slowly, lunges and squats are a great way to prepare your body for recovery and hitting your yoga mat again.
Your arms will need some attention too. You may already be building up muscle from carrying around babies and car seats, but structured exercises are a must to ensure your muscles are building up properly. Planks and modified pushups are great ways to build back your arm and shoulder strength slowly after having a baby. They are great because they also engage the core.
Get back to your mat
After you have slowly built up your leg and arm muscles, it may be time to pull out the yoga mat again. It is important to go slow. After all, your postpartum body is much different than the body you knew before. It may not bend or flex the way you are used to. Ease into the moves and focus in more on form that going deep into stretches in the beginning. Build up over time as your body allows.
If you are anything like me, you can't wait to get back into your yoga routine. Whether you practice at home or hit the local yoga studio, these five tips can help prepare your postpartum body for yoga after having a baby.
Your body will be the best indicator of when you are ready to resume a yoga routine so always listen to what it is trying to tell you. For some women, it may be 6-8 weeks. For others, it may be several months or more. Be kind to yourself and go slow. After all, your body just grew and birthed another human being. That is a pretty amazing feat!
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