What Is Postnatal Yoga?

Postnatal yoga is one of the best ways to start exercising following the birth of your baby.

As a practice, postnatal yoga is particularly beneficial in the first three months after birth. It can help increase calm, reduce anxiety, and rebuild strength in your spine and core.

In this article, we will learn about the benefits of postnatal yoga, what it is, and how to practice it. We’ll also be sharing a few of our favorite poses and online classes so that you can get started today!

Postnatal Yoga Definition

Postnatal yoga is a style of yoga designed to support mothers after giving birth. It’s an opportunity to introduce gentle exercise back into your life while relieving stress and getting some time for yourself.

During a postnatal yoga class, you can expect a combination of restorative and strengthening poses that support your postpartum body. Instructors will be able to give you advice on specific poses depending on your body and birth experience.

Postnatal yoga classes are a great way to meet other moms in the postpartum stage – you’ll probably find that these classes provide you with exactly the kind of support that you’ve been looking for!

Benefits of Postnatal Yoga

Postnatal yoga has many of the same benefits as any other yoga class, with the added benefit of being supported as a new mom! Here are some of the benefits you will likely experience from attending postnatal yoga classes.

Calmness

Life as a new mom can be stressful – dedicating time to self-care through yoga practice can help restore calm and lower stress levels. Meditation is also a great way to relax and alleviate the symptoms of stress and overwhelm.

Less anxiety and depression

Anxiety, baby blues, and postnatal depression are experienced frequently by new moms. Postnatal yoga can help reduce any feelings of stress and anxiety by helping you feel empowered and supported.

More energy

Often, the best remedy to having low energy levels is to move your body! And postnatal yoga is one of the best ways to do this as a new parent.

Reduced muscle tension

Birth, breastfeeding, and life with a new baby can lead to muscle tension and discomfort. Practicing gentle stretches and moving your body can help alleviate any pain you’re experiencing.

Element: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga

Element: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga

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When to Practice Postnatal Yoga

Generally, you can start practicing postnatal yoga once you’ve reached six weeks postpartum and are given the all-clear by your healthcare provider.

Postnatal Yoga Poses

Postnatal yoga poses include:

Legs up the wall

Legs up the wall is a wonderful pose for postpartum recovery as it can help reduce swelling in the legs and ankles while reversing energy back towards your heart.

To practice, sit with your right side against a wall. From here, turn to lay on your back as you bring your legs up the wall and your hands to rest at your side. Spend 5-15 minutes here and relax. You might like to add a blanket underneath the lower back for extra comfort.

Shoulder opener

This pose will feel particularly wonderful if you’re breastfeeding your baby or struggling with tight shoulders.

Start by laying on your belly. Bring your right arm straight out to your right side, lying on the ground. Step your left leg over your right leg and bring your left toes to the ground just behind your right knee as you roll onto your right-hand side. Wrap your left arm behind your back for an extra stretch.

Knees to chest

This pose is a great big hug as well as an effective way to ease tension in your lower back and hip flexors.

Start by laying on your back. Bring your knees to your chest and wrap your arms around your shins to give yourself a big hug. You might like to rock from side to side to give yourself a soothing back massage!

Sphinx pose

Sphinx pose can help relieve tightness and discomfort in the spine while opening the chest and stretching your psoas muscle and hip flexors.

Start by laying on your tummy, then bring your elbows beneath your shoulders with your forearms stretched in front and laying on the ground, palms down. Bring your feet hip distance apart, then point your toes and gently turn your heels towards each other to engage your glutes. Push into the elbows to avoid dropping into the shoulders and gaze ahead. To add a gentle quad stretch, bend one knee and reach back to grab your foot.

Element: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga

Element: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga

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How to Practice Postnatal Yoga

Once you’ve spoken to your healthcare provider, you can start postnatal yoga at home or in a studio!

Why not get started with a couple of the poses outlined above or follow a YouTube video? We’ve shared a few of our favorites in the next section.

Start Postnatal Yoga at Home

Check out these follow-along videos if you can’t make it to a yoga studio or want to try postnatal yoga at home.

Postnatal Yoga for Strength and Flexibility

Postnatal Yoga with Diastasis Recti Exercises Postpartum

Postnatal Yoga Workout | 10 Min Fun Post Pregnancy Fitness with Baby

Element: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga

Element: Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga

Price:
Buy Now on Amazon

Clicking this link to make a purchase may earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

Postnatal Yoga FAQs

How Long After Giving Birth Can You Do Yoga?

Generally, it’s recommended that you wait until six weeks after giving birth before starting any form of exercise other than walking. However, if you’re struggling with muscle tightness and discomfort, you might like to speak to your healthcare provider to see if any stretches would be safe to practice before the 6-week mark. The most important thing is that you avoid core exercises until you’re given the all-clear and listen to your body and what it needs (or doesn’t need!) every step of the way.

Why Is Postnatal Exercise Important?

Postnatal exercise is just as important for your body as it is for your mind. As well as helping to relieve muscle tightness and joint pain, exercise will help strengthen your spine and core following pregnancy and birth. As a new mom, it’s important to make self-care a priority for your well-being and the well-being of your baby. Even if you can only manage 10 minutes of movement a day, you’re likely to find that it’s enough to leave you feeling less irritable and more relaxed.

Is Yoga Good for Postpartum?

Yoga is a wonderful form of movement for your postpartum body and your postpartum mind. In fact, it might be one of the very best ways to start moving following the birth of your baby! If you’re unsure whether postnatal yoga is a good idea for you and your specific experience of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period, speak to your healthcare provider or a certified postnatal yoga teacher. They will be able to give you all the guidance that you need.

Important: Check with your doctor before trying postnatal yoga for the first time if you have any injury, illness, or pain.

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