Congratulations are in order! You’ve accomplished one of the toughest ordeals that a female body could go through. During pregnancy you must have heard people advise you to do pelvic floor exercises to better prepare your body for childbirth.
Your pelvic floor is the diamond-shaped group of muscles that runs from your pubic bone to your tailbone and from your sit bone. Imagine your core as a box. Now your pelvic floor is at the bottom of that box. Focusing on strengthening these muscles after birth is just as important as before. It also comes with other benefits such as:
6 Benefits Of Yoga Post Pregnancy
Childbirth can bring with it hundreds of other pains and itches. The mom tag comes with aching neck and wrists, sore lower back and tight shoulders. Doing some yoga and exercise means you’re treating these muscle imbalances and contributing to your overall better health. There are other benefits such as:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Toned abdominal muscles
- Speedy weight loss
- Increased energy levels
- Stress relief
- Controlled symptoms of postpartum depression
3 Tips To Remember Before You Begin
- If you’ve had a natural childbirth, you can kick start your workout after proper rest. In other cases, it’s best to listen to your doctor and do what’s best for your body. If you feel any pain, then stop immediately.
- Start with warming up your body. Start slowly and then pick up the pace gradually. Also make sure to keep your body hydrated.
- You can start with a simple walk and light stretches to ready your body. Yoga instructors and doctors suggest waiting upto 6 weeks before jumping into exercises. And, if you’ve had a C-section, then it is suggested to wait 12-16 weeks postpartum.
5 Yoga Poses To Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor After Pregnancy
The following yoga postures can help you improve your blood flow and strengthen your nervous system, and also relax your body and mind.
1. Child’s Pose
This gentle yoga pose focuses on alleviating your head, neck, and chest pain. It also opens the pelvic floor, hips, and low back.
How To Do It:
- Rest on your knees and kneel on your yoga mat, resting your butt against your heels. Place both your palms on your thighs and bring your feet closer. Relax your shoulders and breath slowly.
- Now lower your torso on your thighs as you exhale. stretch your arms out in front of you with your palms facing down on the ground. Keep your big toes touching and spread your knees so that they’re wide enough for your torso to fit between your thighs.
- Rest your forehead on the ground and relax your neck. For more comfort, consider adding a blanket or a pillow under your forehead.
- Allow your muscles to loosen and relax while you rest your forehead against your mat while breathing rhythmically.
Read: The Ultimate Step-By-Step Yoga Asana Guide For Women
2. Mountain Pose
This pose tones and strengthens your abdomen, pelvis, torso, and back.
How To Do It:
- Stand with both your feet together. Balance your weight evenly on both feet.
- As you Inhale, raise both your arms above your head and interlock your fingers with palms facing upwards.
- Now raise your shoulders upwards to your ears. As you exhale, roll your shoulders back and down your spine, opening your chest and straightening your pose.
- Relax all your face muscles, including your tongue.
- Hold a steady gaze for a few moments, then come back to normal.
3. Bridge Pose
Bridge pose is great for relieving discomfort caused by your spine. It helps strengthen your legs while at the same time stretching the hip flexors. It also opens your shoulders and chest. These can be quite tight after childbirth.
How To Do It:
- Bend both your knees and lay your feet flat on the floor hip width apart while lying on your back. Slide your arms beside your body, palms facing down. The fingertips should be softly in contact with the heels.
- Plant your feet on the floor, inhale, and push your hips up, rolling your spine off the floor. Squeeze your knees together lightly to keep the knees hip width apart.
- To raise your chest, press down into your arms and shoulders. Lift the hips higher by engaging your legs and butt.
- Hold your breath for a few seconds.
- Exhale and slowly roll your spine back to the floor to release.
Read: 6 Yoga Asanas For Pregnant Women (& 5 Do’s & Don’ts Of Pregnancy Yoga)
4. Cow Face Pose
Cow face is great for stretching your hips, as well as your neck and shoulders. Practising this pose on both your sides will help combat the shoulder hunch that happens when you’re holding the baby for a long time.
How To Do it:
- Slide your knees toward your centre line, stacking the right over the left. To do this, you might want to get on your hands and knees. The right knee should be directly in front of the left. Then separate your feet and return to your seat between them.
- Now bring your left arm up toward the ceiling.
- Bend your left elbow and raise your left hand to the back of your neck. You can gently shift your left elbow toward your midline with your right hand.
- Raise the right arm to the right side, bend the elbow, and bring it up to the middle of the back.
- Put your hands behind your back.
- Draw both elbows toward the centre and press the back of your head against your left arm to keep your head from tilting forward. Breathe slowly and evenly.
- On inhaling, release your arms and try the stance with your left leg and right arm on top.
5. Standing Forward Bend
Standing Forward Bend calms your brain and helps relieve stress. This pose also stimulates the liver and kidneys. It also stretches your hamstrings, calves, and hips.
How To Do It:
- Begin this pose with Tadasana (Mountain Pose), with your hands at your hips, at the front of the mat.
- Bend your knees slightly and bend your torso over your legs, hinging from your hips rather than your lower back.
- Your hands should come to rest next to your feet or on the ground in front of you.
- Now lengthen your spine, inhale and extend your chest.
- Exhale and gradually push both legs straight without hyperextending them. Raise your kneecaps and spiral your upper, inner thighs back.
- Exhale by extending your body down without rounding your back. Draw your shoulders down your back toward your hips, lengthening your neck and extending the crown of your head toward the ground.
Getting back to the same levels of physical activity before pregnancy can be challenging. #BeALittleMore open with your partner and family to share your responsibilities, so that you have some time to devote to rest and fitness. Get started right now to embrace self-love and self-care.
Open up like never before and participate in conversations about beauty, entrepreneurship, mental health, menstrual & sexual health, and more. Desi women, join our community NOW!