My body seems to have bounced back quickly from my pregnancy and birth, but there are definitely still some sore spots and changes to contend with. My hips are very tight, and my abs are still weak. I also notice that my calves are still quite tight – during my pregnancy my calves would get so tight that I’d get leg cramps at night, and that tightness seems to be persisting. I’m also trying to build up some arm strength again after taking a break from more strenuous asanas and exercise towards the end of my pregnancy.
As I try to rebuild my yoga practice, I’ve been naturally gravitating towards asanas that will stretch my hips. Pigeon feels great, and it’s nice to be able to rest on the floor again! I also love cobbler pose, especially because I can hold and play with my baby in this posture. I practice downward dog to help open my calves, and plank pose with repeated vinyasas to build back my abs and arm muscles. I’m also finding that standing postures like the warriors work all of these areas.
These are some of the asanas I’ve been focusing on, but I was also curious about what asanas are recommended for postnatal yoga practice. Here are a few resources I found:
Postnatal Yoga: Conditions and Cures for Both Mama and Babe (YogaJournal.com): I like this article because it gives a few suggestions for simple poses that might be helpful to your baby too. I know I put YogaBaby into knees-to-chest and it seemed to feel good to her.
Postpartum Yoga for New Moms (BabyZone.com): This article discusses some of the same postures as the YJ article, but it adds a few more strenuous asanas as well, good for when Mom’s feeling a little stronger, and a few different postures to try for strengthening the abdominals. I love practicing cobra again!
It looks like Shiva Rea has a few popular DVDs for new moms. Her Postnatal Yoga DVD has received some good reviews on Amazon, but it should be noted that the DVD doesn’t include any “mom and baby” postures. Rea addresses this in her new DVD, Mama & Baby Yoga. This looks to be brand-new for 2012!