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What Is Postnatal Yoga?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2016
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Postnatal yoga can be a great way for women to get in shape, relax, and bond with their newborns after childbirth. These types of yoga classes allow a woman to participate in low-impact exercises that help tone important muscle groups that may have been compromised during pregnancy and childbirth. The controlled breathing exercises will also often help a new mother relax. One of the biggest benefits of prenatal yoga, however, is that it gives the new mother a chance to bond with her baby.

Yoga refers to a series of postures and breathing exercises, and there are several different types of yoga. Postnatal yoga, as its name suggests, is yoga that is geared toward new others. Women can participate in this type of yoga about a month after giving birth, depending on their postnatal health. A newborn baby is often a woman's yoga partner, and he remains as such until he is able to crawl.

A new mother can learn yoga in a couple of ways when recovering from birth. Some gyms or spas may offer these classes, for instance. Several books and DVDs are also available on the market.

Postnatal yoga is an excellent way for women to get back in shape after having a child. It offers low-impact postnatal exercise that is generally safe. It is sometimes even used to help facilitate postnatal weight loss.

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Several yoga positions and techniques can be used to strengthen various muscles after childbirth. Cross-legged poses, for instance, can be combined with Kegel exercises to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Some yoga poses can also be used to help strengthen abdominal muscles.

Mothers are not the only ones that can benefit from postnatal yoga poses. With a little help from mom, a newborn can also get into a few yoga poses. Some of these may help with common infant problems, like colic.

Recovering from childbirth can be a stressful time for a new mother. Postnatal yoga can help in this area as well. The controlled breathing and breathing exercises that are a part of yoga have been known to reduce stress.

A postnatal yoga routine can also help a mother bond with her infant. Mothers will often hold or interact with their infants during this type of yoga. Once an infant begins to crawl, however, mother and child may need to switch to yoga routine that caters to crawlers or toddlers.

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literally45
Post 5

@BubbleVoid-- Oh yea. I wouldn't do any serious reaching after a c-section. It can be very painful. One could even tear the stitches if they haven't healed yet. But I guess that's why mothers are expected to wait for at least a month before they sign up for postnatal yoga.

I gave natural birth and took a postnatal yoga course not just for my body but to de-stress. It's a huge responsibility to have a baby and caring for him is also tiring. My husband used to pick us up after the yoga session and both my little one and I would fall asleep in the car on our way back. So postnatal yoga really worked for that.

bluedolphin
Post 4

@ddljohn-- Yea, actually, you're right. Postnatal yoga does involve mothers doing yoga postures while the infants or toddlers just sit around. There are a few postures in which the infant can be held such as in the sitting down postures and stretches.

I'm not against postnatal yoga and I have done it myself. It did benefit me greatly but I was careful to make sure that my baby was comfortable and happy during the whole session. I actually saw a postnatal yoga session once where the mothers were doing the downward dog posture with their babies underneath. I gasped when I saw it because I think that's very dangerous. The mother could easily slip and harm the baby. I

have no idea how anyone in their right mind would do that. The postnatal yoga class I attended didn't have us do anything like that. I wouldn't even if they asked me to. We mostly did many stretching and strengthening exercises with our baby in front of us or in our lap. My daughter seemed to like it. She smiled at me while I did the exercises.

I actually think that yoga for mothers and toddlers would be far better because toddlers can do many of the postures with the mother.

ddljohn
Post 3

I don't understand how postnatal yoga works. How can an infant be a yoga partner?! Does the infant just lie there while the mother does the poses? How does this benefit the child exactly?

It may be a good idea because it helps the mother get some exercise without having to leave her baby alone. But I don't see how it is different than doing regular yoga. I also don't believe that most mothers need postnatal yoga as a bonding exercise. Holding a child, breastfeeding and speaking to him or her are already great ways for bonding.

BubbleVoid
Post 2

@Pelicancan Exercise can be very stressful after pregnancy--especially if you've delivered via Cesarean (C-section). Many doctors advise new mothers to wait about four to six weeks before exercising to lose baby weight. Post-natal yoga is a gentle way of reintroducing the body into physical activity before pursuing something more aggressive like running.

Pelicancan
Post 1

If a new mother wanted to do post-natal yoga to lose weight, how frequently would she do it? Considering that other forms of exercise might be more effective after pregnancy, I think running or something cardio-related would be a better form of exercise.

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