The benefits of yoga have been proven to be outstanding, especially for new mothers. To curb postpartum depression, yoga benefits the mother in terms of fitness and mental health.
The possibility of postpartum yoga with infants has provided new mothers with the chance to enjoy gentle fitness and bond with their new baby while at it.
How Yoga Benefits New Mothers
Yoga is famous for not only benefiting the body but the mind as well. It clears the mind and helps new moms relieve stress from their new responsibilities. It is also quite helpful for mothers suffering from postpartum depression, anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia.
Postpartum yoga benefits the body by helping mothers build their flexibility and strength after nine months of carrying around a baby bump. Newborns come with added responsibilities such as nursing, cradling, and carrying them around.
While yoga aids the mind and builds strength and flexibility, it also enhances the mom’s stamina and improves their posture. After delivery, confidence becomes a gone concept for new mothers. Postpartum yoga will help build your confidence and help you gain back your strong, healthy body.
How Yoga Benefits Infants
In an article by Marsha Wenig in the Yoga Journal, ‘Yoga for Kids,’ she describes how yoga helps provide a chain of incredible benefits for kids. Parents who introduce their babies to yoga while they’re young help enhance their coordination, strength, flexibility, and body awareness.
Yoga further aids their sense of calmness and concentration, and also improves their relaxation. Yoga can also be an exercise substitute for children. It will help them play and even connect more deeply with their inner self and enforce an intimate association with the natural world around them.
According to the authors of ‘Born Yogis,’ babies who were introduced to yoga at a tender age develop into adults who can naturally accomplish over 100 yoga asana.
Yoga helps infants relax, less fussy, and sleep better. Some poses also aid with their digestion, which could come in handy for kids who get cranky after feeding. Since infants are still too young even to grasp the idea behind yoga, it helps new moms bond with their infants when they’re practicing yoga.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional to practice yoga. If you see the need for yoga after a few weeks of delivery, yoga always begins in the comfort of your own home or find a yoga studio that offers yoga programs for new moms and their infants.
Postpartum yoga has tailored ‘mommy and me’ yoga asanas that suit both the experienced and amateur yogi.
7 ‘Simple’ Yoga Poses You Can Practice With Your Infant
1. Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
Handling an infant is all about finding balance. Vrksasana, also known as tree pose, is one of the best poses to ensure that you find your newborn as soon as you start carrying your baby around.
To achieve this pose, stand close to a wall while holding your baby, especially if your posture is a bit faulty. Gauge how stable and reliable you are by first rooting through both feet. Then shift your weight into your right and left leg foot and root down firmly.
Bend the right/left knee and place it on the inside of your thigh or calf, depending on how stable you feel. The wall is meant to help you with your balance before you can hack this pose. To also help with your balance, keep your toes like a kick-stand on the floor.
While holding the baby, practice lifting your chest and relax your shoulder. Consider lifting the bent foot higher if you feel stable and comfortable while holding your infant.
2. Cat and Cow
With your infant on the mat, start on your hands and knees. Keep your shoulders over your wrists and hips over knees. With your baby face-to-face, tilt your tailbone up while inhaling, and lift your chest forward and up to make the cow pose.
Tilt your tailbone down as you exhale, round your back, and look down at your infant to achieve the cat pose. Keep moving with your breath as you entertain the baby. Maintain eye contact and make silly faces to keep him engaged. Cat and cow help stretch your spine and helps with low back pain.
3. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
Lying down on the floor, bend both knees with your feet on the floor at hip distance wide. Feel free to place your baby on your thighs, facing you with his or her back supported on your thighs.
Pressing your feet down, lift your hips away from the floor, and hold the position while keeping both hands on your baby to keep them from falling off. With every inhale, lift your chest and stay there for a few breaths. Lift your hips up as you inhale and release them down as you exhale.
4. Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall)
All you need for this pose is a wall and your baby. Find a cozy wall, lie on your back with your legs up the wall with your hips as quite close possible. While holding this pose, hold your baby on your chest or have them sitting against your hips if they are old enough to hold their head.
You can stay here for as long as you want. This pose will help you relieve backache, tired feet, stretch your legs, calm your mind, and help with anxiety. It also helps provide relief migraine, insomnia, digestive issues, and varicose veins.
5. Leg Lifts
Begin this pose sitting up with your knees bent. Feel free to keep your infant against your shins. Roll to your back, firmly holding your baby above you. Holding the infant’s hands and body, play around with moving your legs back and forth, side to side, and move your shins up and down.
In this pose, your baby acts as added weight, which will go a long way in strengthening your core. This pose also helps new moms practice using their pelvic floor.
Sitting on the floor with your legs bent, place your baby on your laps in front of you. While holding him, slowly lift your feet with your legs parallel to the floor. Hold and breathe while slowly straightening your knees. Hold this pose for a couple of seconds to help build your abdominal strength. This pose will also help you relieve the stress of new parenthood.
This pose only requires you to lie on your back or on your side. While holding your baby, let go of your breath, thoughts, and just relax.
You can stay in this pose for as long as you need to. This pose helps new moms learn how to be compassionate with their bodies. Most importantly, remember to breathe.
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