134
POSTNATAL YOGA
These stretches tone your dorsal muscles, which supported your
baby during pregnancy. Enjoy regaining ownership of the space
where your baby once was, sealing it with your yoga breathing while
you remain relaxed. As you breathe from the pelvis or lower back,
you also regain your physical and inner strength, realign your back,
and achieve in-depth toning—all with minimal effort.
GENTLE BACK STRETCHES
Lie on your back with a cushion under your head and your
baby lying on your chest if you are doing yoga together.
Bend your left knee and extend your right leg. Inhale and
Lie in the same position, but with your left leg crossed over
your right leg. If possible, press the whole sole of your left
foot on the floor. This gentle twist tones the transverse
stretch your right arm along the floor behind your head.
As you exhale, deepen the stretch from heel to fingertips.
Repeat on the other side.
abdominal muscles. Take four deep breaths, stretching
more deeply as you breathe out. Relax at the end of
each exhalation. Repeat on the other side.
BENEFITS
All poses are suitable if you
have had a cesarean section.
They are most effective if you:
Relax completely.
Use deep abdominal breathing.
Keep one or both knees bent at all
times to protect your lower back.
Keep your neck
and shoulders
relaxed throughout
If you cannot extend your arm
straight, stretch it sideways to
where it feels comfortable
Stretch out your left
arm if you want to
create a diagonal twist
ALIGNED POSE
GENTLE TWIST
Stretch into
your heel
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ALIGNED ROLL
1
2
Turning sideways on your back with an aligned
spine is easier than shuffling your body to turn.
Lie on your back, either alone or holding your
baby across your chest, and bend your right knee.
Roll onto your right side, keeping your
body relaxed. Bend your left leg and roll
onto that side. Breathe more deeply as you
roll to and fro a few times.
If you are holding your baby on your chest,
let this be the first of many gentle rolls
This floor roll and twist eases
and stretches your lower back
and oblique abdominal muscles
ROLL & TWIST
Rolls are fun, empowering, and very useful to change
side without strain and move from a lying to an all-
fours position. They are also an embodied way of
addressing the conflicting emotions and restlessness
often associated with the hormonal changes that follow
childbirth. Use back stretches followed by rolls as a
sequence that you can repeat several times a day or
if you have difficulties getting back to sleep after night
feeds. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Cross
your arms loosely over your chest, lift your knees
slightly, and let yourself roll gently onto your right
side on the small of your back. Try to keep your knees
together. If you have had a cesarean section, keep your
knees apart and lift one knee at a time. If you are fit
and want to do more, extend your left arm along the
floor in a gentle twist. Breathe deeply, relax your
shoulders, and feel your upper back widening. Repeat
several times each side. If you find it difficult to keep
your legs and feet parallel as you roll to the floor, let
the knees move apart as you roll to the other side.
GENTLE BACK STRETCHES
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