As of yesterday, I am officially the mother to a 10 year old.
And in honor of my utter disbelief at a decade of motherhood, I wanted to share a few poses that are great for new moms!
Before I do, however, I’d like to preface that this is not about body shaming new moms and postpartum bodies, because God knows that is NOT what I am about. This is about honoring and assisting your incredible gift of body while it heals itself from what is a totally naturally but also really traumatic physical (and sometimes emotional) event.
So, with that said, here are a few of my favorite poses!
Rag-Doll with an Arm Bind
Plant your feet about hip width apart. Taking a deep breath in, reach your arms up overhead, creating length through the spine. As you exhale, keeping your back straight, fold your torso over your legs, bending at the hip. Soften your knees and swing your arms up and behind your back. Interlace your fingers at about your lower back and begin to lift the arms upward and over your head toward the floor in front of you. If you don’t quite reach to interlace the hands, use a small towel (or burp cloth!) to bridge the gap. Drop your head and give your upper body over to gravity, letting your head be heavy.
This pose can help relieve tension in the head, neck and shoulders that can occur from breastfeeding and carrying a new baby.
Forearm Plank Pose
This version of the plank is accessible for most, because it’s significantly less stress on the wrists than it’s extended sister. Begin by coming onto your forearms with your legs extended behind, like you were going to do a push up. Keep your elbows stacked beneath your shoulders. Imagine a straight line from your shoulders, though your chest, abdominal muscles, hips and into your legs; and keep your toes curled under. Hold this pose about 10-30 seconds, and breathE deeply while you do. If it’s too much on your back, drop your knees to the ground, and imagine the straight line is drawn from your shoulder to your knees. This will help to start strengthen and heal the abdominal muscles and your back.
Bringing yourself to the floor, allow the knees to be wide and the toes to touch. Reach the arms forward onto the floor and bring your forehead to the mat. Quiet your mind and bring your focus to the lower abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor. Engaging those muscles, imagine lifting the entire pelvic floor in and up. This will strengthen the pelvic floor while also helping to find a little bit of rest!
Laying on your back, bring your feet flat against the floor, as close to the body as you’re able, with your knees bent. Keeping your arms by your side, begin to press your hips upward. If you can, interlace your fingers underneath your back, using the bind to draw the shoulders even more under the chest. This helps open up the neck, chest, and back, and revitalize the spine, while reducing fatigue and anxiety. To make this more relaxing, try using a yoga block (or box of wipes) for support under your low back.Legs Up the Wall
Bring your hips to the wall and, as you lay down onto your back, swing your legs around and up the wall, placing the backa of your heels onto the wall. If this hurts your hips or tailbone, place a folded blanket or small pillow under your bottom. If it’s too much of a stretch for your legs to be up the wall with your bottom also against the wall, scoot away slightly. This pose is very relaxing and shouldn’t feel like too much of a chore. It is meant to ease stiffness in the legs, but also aids in digestion and coping with mild depression. Put an eye mask or towel over the eyes to really enhance your relaxation here.