Yoga after Childbirth

Written By

Upama Misra

Yoga after childbirth.Nov6 2015. Final_yoga after child birth final-04 Loading

The nine-month-long wait has finally come to an end and the little bundle of joy is in your arms, at last.

But life all of a sudden seems to have taken a 360 degrees turn. Suddenly you realise that this was not the kind of life you were expecting. You are no longer what you were and you cannot manage what you are!

Most women after childbirth go through this state, and are unable to cope with the lifestyle and physical changes. This often gives rise to several problems like fatigue, anxiety, depression, backache, sagging of muscles, joint pain, hormonal imbalances, high blood pressure, weight gain, etc.

Good news for all you recent moms is that this can be taken care of only if you become aware of your condition and accept that what you are going through is normal. It is time now to adopt a healthy lifestyle of yoga, which is effective yet gentle and without any side effects. It makes you sensitive towards your body and the needs of your body.

Yoga can be safely practised after 3 months of normal delivery and six months of a C-section.  Pranayams and meditation, however, can be started whenever you are fit enough to sit. During the initial days, meditation and Yog Nidra can be done while lying down. It will help you relax and heal physically and emotionally. Anuloma Viloma, Brahmari Pranayama and Equal Breathing Pranayama can also be safely practised whenever comfortable, after normal delivery.

After consulting the doctor, Yogasanas can be practised later to regain strength and shape of the body. It is advisable to avoid strenuous poses that put excessive pressure on abdomen.

The key to weight loss after delivery is Patience. Accept that weight loss will take time and you should not rush to go on diets or a strict exercise regime for the time you are breastfeeding your child (for a minimum of one year).

There are several Yogasanas and Pranayamas that help you lose weight and gain strength after delivery.

NOTE:

All yoga techniques should be performed under the guidance of a qualified and trained yoga teacher.

It is important to warm up a little before starting the practise by rotating, moving joints and stretching the whole body.

Yoga should be practised on an empty stomach or  3-4 hrs after a meal.

Women with other health issues should consult a doctor before starting the practise.

Asanas

  1. Gomukhasana (helps to alleviate pain from neck and shoulders)
  2. Garudasana (tones the joints of arms, shoulders and legs)
  3. Setubandha asana (for strengthening the abs)
  4. Virbhadrasana (for stamina)
  5. Ushtrasana (toning of back muscles and activating thyroid glands)
  6. Balasana (for lower back and toning of hips)
  7. Tiger pose (tones abdomen, back muscles and hips)
  8. Bhujangasana (health of reproductive organs, tones arms, abdomen and shoulders, strengthens the spine, builds confidence)
  9. Trikonasana and Konasana (reduction of belly fat and waist size)
  10. Ardhamatsyendrasana (relieves back ache and tones the spine)
  11. Viprita Karni (supported against a wall)
  12. Moola bandha (form of Kegel’s exercise)

 

Pranayams

  1. Nadi shodhan Pranayama (alternate nostril breathing): It balances the rightand left hemispheres of the brain. It calms and rejuvenates the nervous system and helps in regulating hormone secretion.
  2. Abdominal Breathing: It helps to reduce stress, massages the abdomen and relaxes the entire body. It also helps to induce sleep if there is difficulty in sleeping.
  3. Brahmari Pranayama: It relieves tension, anger and anxiety and helps you to stay calm by stabilising the mind.
  4. Kapalabhbati Pranayama:¬†‚ÄėKapala¬ī means ¬īforehead¬ī and ¬ībhati¬ī means ¬īlight.It generates heat in the body which in turn helps reduce abdominal¬†fat, tones abdominal muscles which become lose post delivery. It also¬†removes toxins from the body and adds a glow to the face.

Sa tu d√Įrgha-kala-nairantarya-satk√§r√§vito drdha-bhumih [Patanjali‚Äôs Yogasutra 1.14]

(Practice becomes firmly established when it has been cultivated uninterruptedly and with devotion over a prolonged period of time)

One must remember that Yoga is not magic. It should be practiced daily and for a prolonged period of time before benefits can be experienced.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Upama Misra is an Independent Yoga Coach and trainer from world renowned "The Yoga Institute", Mumbai. She practices Ashtanga Yoga and Iyengar Yoga and also has exposure to alternate therapy. She is an expert in yoga related to women’s health issues and pre- and post-natal care. Apart from her passion to help women improve their health and well-being, she is the mother of two and a travel enthusiast.

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