Relieve tension, improve physical appearance and recover energy: these are the benefits of yoga after childbirth. “This practice allows you to find yourself and find your new self, because now you are no longer just a woman, but also a mother” explains the yoga teacher Gioia Boccadoro, whom we met at the presentation of the book “Pregnancy Wellness Yoga” by Tara Lee and Mary Attwood. “Even just 10 minutes of exercise a day are enough, if done well, to get better.”
When to start and how?
The advice is to start 6-8 weeks after giving birth, «Picking up in a gradual, gentle way, without ever forcing and starting from basic positions», Also because it is good to give yourself time to go back to doing the more difficult ones. At the beginning, then, it is good do not act on the abdominals, while it is good to focus on pelvic floor, to reinforce it. In the fifth, sixth month of the baby, you can also start working on the abdomen.
“By following this pattern every day, which lasts more or less 20-30 minutes if you hold each position for five breaths, you will be able to get back into shape.” After doing the Salute to the Sun initial, which consists of a series of precise movements, follow this pattern of positions suggested by the expert:
- The Warrior (Virabhadrasana I).
- L’Eagle (Garudasana).
- The Cobbler (Baddha Konasana).
- There Garland (Malasana).
- There Locust (Salabhasana).
- The Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana).
- There Candle (Sarvângâsana).
- The Dead body (Savasana).
The Warrior (Virabhadrasana I).
A position that stimulates your whole body by opening the chest and lungs, strengthening arms, back and legs. Stand with your legs spread hip-width apart and your toes forward. Move your left leg back with both heels on the ground. Raise your arms until they touch your palms. Then, as you inhale, flex your left knee until it touches the floor. Remain in the position and, exhaling, return to the starting position. Repeat three times and then switch legs.
You are standing with your arms at your sides and your legs slightly bent. Raise the right knee and wrap the leg around the left. Cross your arms and stay balanced. If you are stable, bring your right arm over your left, bringing your palms together in line with your nose and flex your supporting leg again. Remain in this position, then loosen and repeat on the other side.
The Cobbler (Baddha Konasana).
Sit with your legs stretched out and, exhaling, bend your knees by pulling your heels towards your pelvis. With the soles of the feet touching and the knees towards the ground, try to bring the heels as close as possible to the pelvis, grasp the big toes always keeping the feet on the ground. Maintain the position and then, inhaling, lift your knees and stretch your legs back to the starting position.
There Garland (Malasana).
Squat with your legs spread out in rotation, your arms bent in front of your knees and your palms touching. Contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles. The sensation you should feel is that of holding your pee to relax immediately afterwards. Hold for 5 breaths and then loosen.
There Locust (Salabhasana).
It is an exercise that serves to give energy when you are tired and strengthens the lower back by improving posture and relieving back pain. Lie on your back and interlace your fingers behind your back, pushing your arms back until your shoulders and head are lifted. Squeeze your buttocks and bring your shoulder blades closer, extending your legs to the ground. Look in front of you and hold the position. As you exhale, relax and rest your head on the ground.
The Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana).
Lie on your back and bend your knees keeping your heels as close to your buttocks as possible. Exhale and lift your buttocks. Stretch your arms towards your heels and stay in this position while breathing. Then, throwing out the air, return to the starting position.
There Candle (Sarvângâsana).
One of the classic positions that is achieved by lying on your back with your legs extended, together and rigid, your arms at your sides. Raise your legs to vertical, then contract your abdomen, press your palms to the ground and lift your torso and legs into a line perpendicular to the ground. Remain in this position and then, exhaling, return to your back.
The Dead body (Savasana), to reap the rewards of the practice.
Lie on your side and put pillows under the leg or between the legs, close your eyes and relax by relaxing all the muscles starting from the eyes, then the jaw, the root of the tongue, and so on. Go from the head, to the neck, to the throat. Then the shoulders, chest and abdomen; relaxes the neck, the back up to the lumbar area and the pelvis. Go down the buttocks to the legs while continuing to breathe deeply. Free your mind and stay in this position as long as you want. Then get up very slowly.