Where to start with postnatal yoga

postnatal yoga

 

I wrote the other day about when you can start practicing postnatal yoga, but if you’re new to yoga (or maybe new to #mumlife) where the hell do you actually start?!

 

There are a couple of things I’d suggest doing before you start back into an actual on-your-mat-flowing practice.

 

  1. Strengthen the pelvic floor

You can start doing gentle pelvic floor strengthening even just a couple of days after birth (as long as it feels ok to do so). All you have to do is gently lift up the pelvic floor muscles (think vagina, perineum and anus) and hold for a few breaths.

 

I recommend starting here before you start a postnatal yoga practice because while postnatal yoga should also focus on strengthening the pelvic floor, you also need to have a good awareness of these muscles before you start.  (Trust me, you don’t want to be doing a goddess pose post birth and suddenly realise you have no idea how to contract those muscles anymore).

 

2. Check for abdominal separation (or get checked by a physio)

Abdominal separation is a natural part of pregnancy, but all of our bodies heal differently. Some women will find that these muscles come back together without any effort, whilst others have to work a little harder to build this strength back.

 

You can check this yourself by lying on your back with the knees bent. Engage your pelvic floor and gently lift your chin towards your chest.  Place your fingers just above your belly button and gently press between the muscles that run vertically down each side of your core.  If you can feel a gap between these muscles measure how many fingers fit between them.  If you find the gap is more than 2 fingers wide you should see a physio before starting any sort of exercise.  If you want to learn more about abdominal separation, read this post or watch the video below.

 

 

If you’ve done both of these things and are ready to get back into a postnatal practice, check out this early postnatal class with bubs in arms below.  Luca is only 4 weeks in this video and boy did not want to sleep anywhere but with me, so that’s what we rolled with.  This is the perfect class to stretch out the upper body and to start gently reconnecting with the muscles of your core and pelvic floor.

 

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