Natalie Roberson, RYT-200 guest posts for us on the benefits of Postnatal/Postpartum Yoga. You can find her teaching our Postnatal Yoga class on Sunday mornings, 10:00-11:30. She also teaches our Meditations for Labor workshop. ~Deena
Women are givers, but giving themselves priority doesn’t always happen. Taking some time for yourself should be a priority. During Postnatal Yoga classes, the focus is on you, mama, so you will be refreshed and ready to parent again after class.
A Postnatal Yoga class provides new mothers an environment where they can have some time for themselves. This is a great time for a family member to help out by spending time with the baby. Postnatal Yoga offers mothers precious “me” time during the first few months when there is almost zero time away.
Physical and Emotional Benefits of Postnatal or Postpartum Yoga
1. Community: Connect with your peers about the challenges and joys of being a new mother.
2. Rebuild flexibility and muscle tone: Help your body handle the new demands of caring for your baby. Developing strength in abdominal and back muscles reduces postpartum back pain (Gustafsson and Nilsson-Wikmar 2008).
3. Maintain spinal integrity: Relaxin looses joints everywhere in the body, not just the pelvis. Some researchers believe these ligaments may stay loose and are prone to overstretching up to eight months following giving birth (Karadeli and Uslu 2009).
4. Tone and stretch your upper body: Toning your arms can stave off soreness that comes from constantly picking up your child. The average newborn weights 7.5 pounds and gets picked up about 50 times each day.
5. Stretch those achy shoulders and back: Breastfeeding can cause the spine and shoulders to become rounded and sore.
6. Routine exercise may prevent postpartum depression (Norman et al. 2010).
7. Cultivate patience: A newborn requires an intensive amount of energy. Stay with one breath at a time, one pose at a time. Cultivating connection on the mat can help new moms be connected through the long hours and days and months of a new baby’s life.
The postpartum period lasts up to two years, so practicing yoga is a great way to get your strength back, take time for yourself, and even prepare for the next baby. You deserve this time for yourself!
Postnatal yoga provides numerous physical and emotional benefits. Shining Light’s Postnatal Yoga classes are appropriate for most women six weeks postpartum–eight weeks if they have had a Cesarean birth. Please check with your midwife or doctor before returning to class.
Join us for class – Every Sunday, 10:00 – 11:30 am
Natalie Roberson, RYT-200 is a graduate of the 3rd Street Yoga Teacher Training Program and has been a yoga practitioner for over ten years. Her classes focus on teaching a varied practice with emphasis on accessibility, challenge and fun. She has been fortunate to have studied with Joanne VanDenHengel, Kundalini with Mary Beth Kelly and Yin Yoga with Richard Gartner. Natalie is continuing her education with prenatal yoga certification from Yoga Matrika. Natalie has experienced both the physical and emotional benefits of yoga and is grateful to be able to share them with others. Her technical background influences her detail-oriented yoga teaching style.
- Gustafsson, Johanna, and Lena Nilsson-Wikmar. 2008. “Influence of specific muscle training on pain, activity limitation and kinesiophobia in women with back pain post-partum: A ‘Single-subject research design.’” Physiotherapy Research International, volume 13, issue 1: pages 18-30.
- Karadeli, Elif, and Nihal Uslu. 2009. ” Sacral Fracture Presenting as Lumbar Pain.” Journal of Women’s Health, volume 18, issue 5: 663-65
- Norman, Emily, Margaret Sherburn, Richard H. Osborne, and Mary P. Galea. 2010. “An Exercise and Education Program Improves Well-Being of New Mothers: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Physical Therapy, volume 90, issue 3: 348-55.