Yoga After Pregnancy: Get in Shape with Peaceful Postnatal Practice
Starting a physical activity program after pregnancy provides numerous physical and mental benefits to new mothers, and yoga is an excellent form of exercise for this special time in life. In general, new mothers should wait six weeks after giving birth before starting a fitness program. It is important to get approval from a physician before starting a new program of physical activity, particularly if the baby was delivered by c-section, or if there were complications with the birth. Pregnancy has profound health effects on a woman’s body and mind, and practicing yoga helps her regain physical strength and fitness while losing extra pregnancy pounds.
Effects of Yoga after Pregnancy
Yoga addresses physical, mental, and emotional health, and that’s why it is one of the best forms of exercise for new mothers. Yoga is gentle in that it doesn’t require fast, jarring movements like other exercise programs, and it can be adapted to people of any age, and any stage of physical fitness. A new mother whose body is still recovering from pregnancy and childbirth benefits greatly from the calm and nurturing environment of the yoga class. Having a brand new baby can be mentally and emotionally exhausting, and the breathing and meditation techniques used in yoga classes improve mental resilience and can be used at any time when stress seems to get out of control. Yoga’s effects on the body are also noteworthy. It not only improves the flexibility of the body, but also strengthens muscles, many of which may have relaxed or atrophied during latter stages of pregnancy. Many poses specifically improve the strength of the pelvic floor muscles, which are severely taxed during pregnancy and childbirth. Becoming attuned to a post-pregnancy body makes the new mother aware of what her strengths and weaknesses are, and helps empower her for this new and exciting stage of life. As yoga helps a new mother regain her figure, it also helps her have the emotional tools to gain confidence in her role as a mother. Yoga is not about competitiveness or trying to be “the best” at something, and that makes yoga classes a peaceful, supportive environment in which the new mother may regain her strength and fitness.
Bikram Yoga after Pregnancy
Once a new mother has been cleared by her physician to engage in physical activities again, she may want to try Bikram yoga as a way to get back into shape after childbirth. Bikram yoga takes place in a studio heated to 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat helps the muscles regain flexibility, and it also causes the student to perspire heavily. For this reason, it is vital that Bikram yoga participants remain well hydrated before, during, and after class. This is particularly true for nursing mothers, who must ensure they take in enough water. Even with proper hydration, however, new mothers may find that they lose weight quicker, as the body gets rid of excess water weight and bloating. Bikram yoga is one of the more intensive yoga workouts, so if a new mother is unfamiliar with yoga, she may want to spend time participating in gentler forms of yoga before stepping up to the demands of Bikram yoga. Once a woman feels ready to do the hard work of regaining her strength and shape, however, Bikram yoga is an excellent choice. Those who are put off by the thought of exercising in the heated conditions Bikram yoga uses may want to try another intense form of yoga, such as Power yoga or Ashtang yoga.
Tips for Getting Back into Shape after Pregnancy
New mothers who are anxious about leaving their newborn while they exercise may be able to find yoga classes specifically designed for new mothers, where they can actually bring their babies with them to class. Many new mothers find these classes to be very supportive and encouraging. Regardless of the type of yoga class a new mother chooses, she will have the best results attending at least two to three times per week. This will allow her to improve fitness and lose excess weight in a healthy manner, without overtaxing her body. Many yoga poses can be adapted for use at home, so that when the new mom finds a few minutes of precious free time, she can use them to relax and rejuvenate. Mothers who practices yoga before giving birth should not be discouraged if they cannot immediately undertake the poses and exercises they were doing before having a baby. Childbirth has major effects on the body, and it takes time for the postpartum body to regain all its abilities. By doing the best she can, a new mother will gradually improve her fitness and will eventually find herself to be physically fit once again. The human body is capable of amazing things, and nobody knows this better than a woman who has brought a new life into the world!
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