The days and weeks following childbirth can be difficult for new moms. You may be recovering from a C-section or an episiotomy in addition to the inherent physical exhaustion of labor, your abdominal muscles have stretched to inches within their limits and now need to regain their strength and pre-pregnancy shape, your back and hips may feel tight and inflexible, and you probably feel psychologically detached from your body—a stranger to the new you.
“Yoga is a wonderful way to get back in shape”, "It works the whole body and it is very adaptable. You don't have to have done any yoga before and there is plenty for you to do to build strength and flexibility." Says Sarah Perron, co-author and co-founder of Baby Om.
Although there are many yoga postures that you can practice within the first six weeks of delivery, you'll need to first meet with your physician. "All women should get the go-ahead from the MD or midwife before going back to yoga and exercising," "The following poses can be done by all women at any stage," including those who've had Cesarean sections, a visit to your doctor is always advisable before starting any exercise after birth.
§ Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
§ Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
§ The Son of Brahma Pose (Marichyasana I)
§ Cobra (Bhujangasana)
§ Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (Vipariti Karini)
§ Modified Boat Pose (Navasana)
§ Locust Pose (Salambasana)
§ Plank Pose
And don't forget about Kegels—contracting and relaxing the muscles of the pelvic floor (to locate these muscles, try stopping the flow of urine; then mimic this practice in your exercises). It's not yoga, but Kegels exercises are a pregnant woman's best friend and a new mother's closest companion. Don't stop practicing them after birth, as they are safe to perform even during your recovery period. And the wonderful thing about them is you can practice anywhere and at any time—while you are in traffic, at work meetings, or when washing dishes.