Pregnancy is a roller coaster ride and no matter how much you gear up mentally, nothing quite prepares you for all the physical changes your body encounters. I used to gasp with horror at my monthly weighing sessions at the doctor, watching the needle move steadily up the kilogram mark! I worried I would never shed the extra weight and would remain a dumpling for the rest of my life! But four months on, I have an adorable little baby girl by my side and while I’m not yet back to my pre-pregnancy level of fitness, I am slowly and steadily getting there. A combination of Pilates, cardio workouts and yoga is my go to mantra currently, with yoga playing a very important part in soothing me, both mentally and physically.
Keep in mind though that you get your doctor’s clearance before starting any fitness routine post pregnancy. If you’re looking for some extra guidance, try enlisting a personal yoga instructor from Urbanclap & get yoga at home.
Here are some basic yogasanas that can help you develop a stronger, fitter core:
Virbhadrasana or Warrior II Pose: After pregnancy you may frequently find yourself short of breath and huffing and puffing up the stairs. It’s perfectly natural to experience reduced stamina – giving birth does feel like a marathon, so don’t be too hard on yourself!
Standing poses like Virbhadrasana help to build strength. Keep your feet apart, with the right foot at 90 degrees and the left one turned in. Bring your arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor and turn hips and shoulders to the right while bending your right knee over the right ankle. Sink your hips down towards the floor and feel your spine lengthen, while keeping the shoulders relaxed. Hold for five breaths and then straighten the leg. Repeat on the other side.
Salabhasana or Grasshopper Pose: This asana simultaneously relieves lower back and upper body strain, by opening up the chest and shoulders and working on your core.
Lie flat on your stomach with your legs a hip distance apart. Rest your head on your hands. Clasp your hands together behind your lower back to feel your shoulders and chest open up. Lift your head, shoulders, chest and legs off the mat, pressing hips to the ground and keeping the spine strong while clenching your buttocks. Be sure to tuck your tailbone and keep the stomach contracted when lifting off the mat. Hold this pose for 3-5 breaths and then lower yourself to the starting pose.
Trikonasana or Triangle Pose: This pose improves balance and strengthens the lower body by stretching calves, hamstrings and the spine.
Stand with your feet about 4 feet apart, with your right leg at 90 degrees and the left less than 45 degrees to the inside. Make sure your heels are in line with the hips. Spread your arms out to the side, keeping them parallel to the floor. Lengthen your spine as your raise your hands and then bend to the side so that the right arm touches the right foot. Keep the left arm strong and pointed towards the ceiling, with your gaze towards the left palm. Hold for five breaths and then repeat on the other side.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or Bridge pose: This is a great way of incorporating pelvic tilts into your fitness routine and helps make the hips and legs stronger.
Lie flat on your back, with your legs hip width apart. Try and push your spine flat onto the floor. Inhale and then exhale lifting your hips off the ground , keeping hands, shoulder blade and feet firmly planted on the mat. Lift your hips as high as you can hold for five breaths and then slowly exhale down.
Cat – Cow Pose: If you’re nursing your baby frequently, chances are you’re dealing with an achy back and shoulders from always sitting hunched over. This pose helps loosen up the back and shoulder muscles, helping you improve your posture.
Start in the tabletop position, with hands and knees on the yoga mat. Ensure that your knees are in line with your hips and wrists in line with shoulders. Keep the head in a neutral position, eyes looking down at the floor. Inhale and arch your back as deep as you can, allowing the belly to sink into the floor. Lift your head up to the ceiling. Exhale and round your back with head lowering towards the floor, without it being forced towards your chin. Repeat a few times to feel your spine and shoulder muscles relax.
Once again, we can’t stress enough how important it is to get medical clearance for any form of exercise post pregnancy. Once you begin, take it slow and steady and don’t be too hard on yourself – returning to your pre-pregnancy level of fitness is a slow journey and one you should undergo with patience and calm. Here’s celebrating a fitter, happier and healthier mother!
Get post natal yoga at home from UrbanClap and get back in shape!