BY TRISHA ENRIQUEZ
Having a baby is a wonderful thing, but why does it always feel like it’s a race to get your “pre-baby body” back? It’s not. Social media can make us feel otherwise, so this post is a friendly reminder that you should embrace your beautiful new mom bod and ease yourself back into a regular exercise (after you have been given the green light from your doctor and pelvic floor physiotherapist, of course).
Put a hold on burpees and marathons for a moment. Instead let’s focus on some poses inspired by yoga that you can do at home even in the very early stages after having a baby that are safe and allow you to include your cuddly and cute newborn as well.
These poses will help to get your blood flowing and although they may seem “easy” in comparison to some of the moves you were doing pre-babe, they are incredible for strengthening the core, legs, and glutes. Plus, your baby gets in on the action too!
The Bridge Pose
This is a beautiful pose that not only benefits your lower body and core, but it also opens up your spine (the middle and upper back), your chest and shoulders. What’s more, the bridge has a way of calming the brain and easing anxiety. You can place your babe on your hips and thighs facing you and hold your baby around his or her hips. Your feet should be hip distance apart. When you exhale, press into your feet and lift your hips off the floor, keeping your thighs parallel. Hold for a few breaths. As you come down for rest and back up for another round, your child is sure to enjoy the ride!
As simple as this pose looks, the benefits are endless. You are improving balance, strengthening your legs, glutes, arms and core. Not to mention, you are engaging and strengthening your pelvic floor. Amen to that! To get the baby involved, simply just carry him or her while you balance and put those arms to work! The tree pose is also a great way to ground yourself and prepare yourself for the hectic day that may lie ahead with a newborn.
This pose can really turn the heat up in your arms, legs and butt. Your core will also get some love here too! Start by stepping your left leg back. Lay your torso on your right thigh and then lift your arms reaching through your fingers. Hold for 30 seconds and if you want to include your baby, hold him or her in front of you at your heart. Steal some kisses too!
Baby Kiss Push Up
Speaking of kisses … this is one of my faves because you not only get to work your arms, core and chest, but you also get a few kisses from your babe! Start in a modified plank position (knees on the ground). Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest until you can kiss your little babe who will be lying on the mat in front of you. Then slowly return to the starting position. You’ll feel some healthy tension in the muscles in your back, your abdominal area and your upper arms. Be sure to keep your back nice and straight. Contraindications include severe diastasis and wrist issues.
Listen to Your Body
The yoga poses mentioned are all safe to do early post partum, but of course always listen to your body. If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop immediately. Remember, it’s important to allow for proper healing and recovery before jumping right back into your regular fitness regimen. That’s why these poses are a great way to ease into movement without harm. Plus, your mental health is just as much a priority at this time and these poses will also help you reconnect and ground yourself. Lastly, but most importantly, always remind yourself that you are beautiful and that you just gave birth to the new love of your life … and that in itself was probably a workout that no bootcamp can compare!