On this Mother's Day, I would like to encourage new mothers to dedicate a few moments each day to relax their minds and rejuvenate their bodies through yoga. I understand that finding even a minute away from your baby can be quite challenging, but these yoga positions are incredibly simple and can be easily practiced while the little one is napping or even while they are nearby on the yoga mat. Yoga is highly beneficial for new moms, as it can help alleviate various post-delivery discomforts that arise from carrying and breastfeeding the baby. Additionally, yoga can reduce stress, mild depression, fatigue, and anxiety.
I draw great inspiration for maintaining good health strategies in my own life from my own mother. I vividly recall observing her as a young girl, inserting the Jane Fonda exercise tape into the VCR, swinging her arms in wide circles, breathing heavily, and yet, laughing and smiling throughout. I also remember hushing my sister when she would emerge from her room and request us to remain quiet while she meditated. Children imitate the actions of their parents, and I am immensely grateful to my mother for demonstrating that self-care is crucial for personal well-being and happiness.
Please practice these poses at your own convenience and pace.
Forward Fold With Arm Bind
Separate your feet hips width distance apart and fold your torso over your legs. Soften your knees. Interlace your hands at your lower back lift the arms and wrap your hands over your head toward the floor in front of you. If you cannot easily interlace your hands, grab a towel between your hands. Take deep breaths in and out. Let 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
You are welcome to perform the plank on your hands. However, this version of the plank is more accessible for people with wrist issues. Bring yourself into a plank resting on your forearms. Keep your neck neutral and make sure your shoulders are aligned directly above your elbows. Contract your chest, abdominal muscles, hips and legs. The toes should be curled under. This will help to start strengthen and heal the abdominal muscles and spine. Hold for 10-30 seconds. If you need to, bring your knees down to your yoga mat for support.
Lie on your back on your yoga mat. Bring your feet flat, bending your knees. Lay your arms by your sides - your fingertips should be able to just brush your heels. Now lift your hips up. And interlace your hands underneath you, if you can. This helps open up the neck, chest, and back. You can also use your shoulder to push your hips more and get a deeper stretch. This pose revitalises the spine and reduces fatigue and anxiety.
Bring yourself to the yoga mat in a kneeling pose and set your knees wide apart and your toes to touch. Push your knees out, bring your chest to the floor. Bring your forehead to the floor as you exhale. Now bring awareness to the lower abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor. Think about lifting the entire pelvic floor in and up. This will help a new mom strengthen the pelvic floor while also getting a relaxing stretch.
Legs Up the Wall
Shuffle your hips close as close to the wall as possible and then swing your legs up the wall into an inversion. You can place a bolster or pillow under the hips for a little extra support. This pose is very relaxing. It deepens one's breath and eases stiffness from the legs. You can also put on an eye pillow or towel over the eyes to increase relaxation. This pose can help ease anxiety and mild depression.