We already know yoga can be a wonderfully restorative and body strengthening practice, but the challenge is working it into our busy schedules, especially with a new baby at home. Luckily, there are a few poses that are perfectly suited to both of you! Here are some of our favorite mindful exercises:
Start off easy! Kelly Newsome Georges, a yoga instructor and mother, loves this pose for its versatility.
“You can do this anywhere, from your living room floor to your favorite park. It’s a great pose to start with if you’re building a sequence. You’ll love the wave of calm that starts to permeate through your body, and your baby will love taking in the beauty of the world around her. Begin by sitting up straight and crossing your legs. Next, place your baby on your lap, facing outward. Close your eyes and stay mindful of your posture and breaths as you get centered and find your happy place.”
Mind Body Green suggests laying your baby underneath you as you get into a Downward Dog position, which strengthens your core and legs.
“As you exhale and return back to Dog Pose use the contraction of your inner belly and pelvic floor, along with strong legs to pull you back to starting point. Repeat these lovely kisses up to ten times, after which thank your little yogi for being a part of the fun.”
Fittricion Life offers the Half Boat Pose for mom and baby, which builds abdominal strength.
“From a seated position, lift your legs up so that the calves are parallel to the floor. Make a “V” shape with the body (if you feel discomfort in the back, drop your feet to the floor and make a “C” curl with your body). Bring the arms out straight from the body or hold your baby. Aim to hold for 10-30 secs and then repeat up to 5x.”
This pose might be our personal favorite, and Spoiled Yogi agrees.
“This one is always a favorite of both moms and babies in my classes. (Note: This one requires baby to be able to lift up his head.) Start by lying on your back. Lift your feet off the floor, bend your knees to about 90 degrees and position them over your hips so your shins are parallel to the floor. Lift your baby up and put him onto your shins. Bounce your legs up and down gently to give baby a chance to feel like he’s flying.
Challenge Modification: Try pulling your knees in toward your face, lift your head and shoulders off the floor, and give baby a kiss. For extra core work, straighten your legs out at an angle, and pull them in for another quick smooch.”
Each link in this post offers a handful of yoga stretched suitable for mother and baby. Good luck getting your “om” back!
Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise, especially if your body is still healing from pregnancy.