As I have mentioned in a previous article I put on around 50 pounds with each pregnancy. The weight didn’t just fall off either like people suggested if I breastfed, which I did! For me the opposite occurred and the weight came off after I finished breastfeeding, about 18 months after I had given birth. Some mamas want to drop the weight straight away. Doctors usually recommend 6 weeks of recovery time for new mamas who have had vaginal births and longer after your cesarean, so make sure you are given the heads up by your health care practitioner before embarking on physical pursuits. I started back up with yoga and surfing (which are Zen like for me) in that they nourish my mind, body and soul.
Now if you think of yoga as people in tight clothes folding themselves up like pretzels, you would be right in part, but there is also so much more to it. Realistically for most of us bending over and touching the floor is a great achievement, let alone sticking your foot behind your ear. Yoga helps strengthen your muscles and allows you to become more supple and present within your body. The emphasis on breath and moving simultaneously can be very relaxing, helping you to become calmer in all aspects of your life, which totally helps with the children. Yoga also helps you to open up your body, releasing tension and stress held in the muscle therefore allowing a greater flow of energy through out your body. It also encourages the brain, nervous system and endocrine system to all work together. Therefore regular practice of yoga helps to keep the body systems fluid and balanced…including your hormones!
It is also something you can do post birth and your teacher will advise you on positions that may need to be adapted to your changing body. Beth Lyons submitted an article that will be in a later issue on how Prenatal Yoga helped her throughout her pregnancy. She states, “In the first trimester, it improved my mood, eased my nausea, and allowed me to connect with my baby in the womb. Then as, my belly grew I was able to stay mentally and physically fit for the rigorous physical job of labor. Pranayama breathing kept my blood pressure at a healthy low. As my due date approached, I scaled back my practice, but I continued to reap the rewards of yoga. The practice helped me to relax as my labor started and kept me present with my breath as it intensified.”…way to go.
It is also a great way to meet other mamas and new friends (if you are able to get away for an hour) and is a beautiful way to do some self-nurturing for yourself.
Image Credit: Cadencia Photography