Postnatal Yoga Poses and Their Benefits

Postnatal Yoga Poses and Their Benefits

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In this article, we discuss the various benefits of postnatal yoga poses. We’ll also explore what experts have to say about postnatal yoga, and we’ll also explain the benefits of post-baby yoga, as well as which postpartum yoga poses are best to help your body heal.

The care of a woman and her baby in the immediate hours, days, and weeks following birth can make an enormous difference to their long-term health and well-being. So, once you’re cleared for exercise following childbirth, yoga can be a great way to build strength, improve posture, increase energy levels, and reduce symptoms of postpartum depression.

Adding certain postpartum yoga poses to your weekly routine also helps the recovery process when it comes to a weakened pelvic floor, tight hips, sore shoulders or neck, lack of endurance, and over-stretched abdominal muscles.

Things to Consider Before Attempting Postnatal Yoga Poses

Take it slow, at first.

“So many new moms want to rush back to drop the baby weight and hit the gym hard-core. But, in reality, yoga is a much better way to initiate the mindful healing process and understand your body and where it is,” says a professional trainer. “So, I suggest for all new moms to start very slow and carefully. You have to re-familiarize yourself with your body. Remember, you just changed your entire body for nearly one year. So give it some relaxed and mindful time before you try and bounce back.”

While it’s best to consult with your doctor before starting a gentle, postnatal yoga poses routine, Yoga gurus who specialize in pre-and postnatal yoga, often recommend waiting at least six to seven weeks after childbirth, unless you’re doing specific pelvic floor exercises recommended by your doctor. And, if you’ve had a cesarean section, then professionals suggest waiting at least 12-16 weeks postpartum.

Understand the benefits of postpartum yoga.

Professionals often note three key benefits to practicing postpartum/postnatal yoga poses. These are rebuilding muscle tone, maintaining the integrity of your spine and pelvis, and preventing postpartum depression.

They also state, “You’ll develop strength in your pelvis, abs, and back, all of which have taken a serious toll during the prenatal and labor period”. “During the prenatal period, your ligaments and joints loosen due to the relaxing hormone. These may remain loose and are prone to overstretching for several months after giving birth. But with postnatal yoga poses, you can gently ease back in as a low-impact option. Finally, postnatal yoga poses to promote a positive outlook, gives you time to focus on your well-being, and decreases the risk of depression.”

Of course, adds professional yoga teacher, postpartum depression is a real illness and requires medical attention. So it’s vital to get the help you need, if necessary. Postnatal Yoga Poses can certainly help alleviate general stress, depression, and anxiety, as well as support your transition into motherhood. But it doesn’t replace professional guidance. So, make sure to consult your doctor in case it’s necessary.

From a physical standpoint, many new mothers find themselves hunched over frequently, which leads to pain in the hips and lower back, says another professional.

That’s where postnatal yoga poses can release tension in the body, plus support better posture, flexibility, and core or pelvic floor strength, all without creating abdominal pressure.

Know what yoga poses to skip.

For the most part, says a yoga guru, to prevent abdominal separation, known as diastasis recti, don’t do crunches and deep twists during the postpartum period. “You want to avoid exercises that build abdominal pressure or stretch your abdomen too much, like wheel pose or any intense backward bends.” “When you do postnatal yoga poses, make sure to hold your core muscles tight and do not overextend your stomach. Avoid overstretching the abdomen, as you are trying to strengthen it again.”

Here are a few specific yoga poses to skip

Here are a few specific postnatal yoga poses to skip, particularly if you’re suffering from diastasis recti or experienced any kind of tearing during delivery, says a professional.

Also, be mindful of poses where your belly faces downward, due to gravitational pull, or poses that stretch the midline. You can slowly introduce these poses back into your yoga routine as you continue to heal.

  1. Cat pose
  2. Cow pose
  3. Plank pose
  4. Revolved triangle pose
  5. Malasana
  6. Hanumanasana

“Poses that involve major abdominal strength should be avoided until cleared by a midwife, doctor, or pelvic floor physical therapist,” concurs Yoga Teacher. “Many women experience abdominal separation, which, if not healed properly, can cause abdominal weakness, pelvic floor weakness, or other more serious problems. These poses include major back bending poses like an upward bow and boat pose. Other poses depend on your physical readiness. So consulting with a doctor would be best in any situation, even for advanced yoga practitioners.”

But, definitely add these six postnatal yoga poses to your postpartum yoga practice.

The below-mentioned postnatal yoga poses can help improve blood flow, strengthen your nervous system, and relax your body and mind. Our experts explain why.

Looking to get your pre-baby body back faster? Read about the benefits of postpartum yoga and learn five poses for a calming routine.

Short Breathing Tips

Generally, you should:

  1. Exhale when bending forward.
  2. Inhale when lifting or puffing the chest.
  3. Exhale as you twist.

Postnatal Yoga Poses #1: Legs up the wall

“This is relaxing, meditative, and helps bring blood flow in opposite direction,”. “It’s a great pose to do before savasana. “You can rest your body on your chest, close your eyes, and notice the inhale and exhale [of breath] for both of you.”

Postnatal Yoga Poses #2: Child’s pose

“This a gentle postnatal yoga poses that focuses on alleviating head, neck, and chest pain, and opens the pelvic floor, hips, and low back,” says a professional. “Relieving back pain is helpful for any nursing mother. Adding Kegel exercises here is also a great way to start to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that become weakened in the process of childbirth.”

  1. Focus: Ankles; hips; thighs
  2. Level: Beginner
  3. Sanskrit Name: Balasana
  4. Time: 30 seconds to 2 minutes
  5. Indications: Stretching; relieving pain; mental relaxation
  6. Contraindications: Diarrhea; pregnancy (especially late-term); knee injuries; back injuries

The Child Pose is a restive pose that can be performed in between other asanas in sequences.

It stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles, and it allows us to calm our mind and brain, relieving stress and fatigue. You can start this pose from the Hero Pose.

To perform this exercise, you must:

1. Kneel on the floor, touching your big toes together. Sit on your heels and then separate your knees as much as your hips will allow.

2. Exhale all the air in your lungs and then lay your torso between your thighs.

3. Broaden your sacrum across the back of your pelvis. Narrow your hip points towards your navel, nestling them down onto your inner thighs.

4. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis while you lift the base of your skull away from your neck.

5. Place your hands, palms up, on the floor alongside your torso. Release the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor. Let the weight of your front shoulders pull your shoulder blades across your back.

6. To end the pose, you must lengthen the front torso, and then lift from the tailbone as it presses down and into the pelvis.

The Child Pose is excellent for resting in between other asanas. Initially, you might struggle to stay in it for 30 seconds, but the goal here is to stay a few minutes.

Start with 30 seconds to 1 minute, but work your endurance up to 3 minutes. Count 3 to 5 even breaths, or end if you feel too strained.

If you want to increase the length of your torso during the exercise, try stretching your arms forward while lifting your buttocks slightly above and away from your heels. Extend your arms while you draw your shoulder blades down your back. Without moving your arms or hands, sit your buttocks down on your heels again.

Postnatal Yoga Poses #3: Mountain pose

“This pose tones and stimulates the abdomen, pelvis, torso, and back,” says a professional. “Keep the muscles in your neck soft, and lift your arms in front of you with palms open facing each other. Raise your arms over your head, and push your shoulder blades down. Extend your palms toward the ceiling, stretch the body sides of your body, and suck in your lower belly. Hold for 30 seconds.”

  1. Focus: Thighs; knees; ankles; abdomen
  2. Level: Beginner
  3. Sanskrit Name: Tadasana
  4. Time: At least a minute
  5. Indications: Strengthening; stretching; improved pose
  6. Contraindications: Headache; insomnia; low blood pressure

The Mountain Pose is the quintessential pose from which most standing poses begin. It improves your alignment; strengthens your thighs, knees, and ankles; and firms your torso and buttocks.

It’s a great pose to follow up (or prepare for) the Downward Facing Dog Pose, and it can be used before or after most standing poses.

To perform this exercise, you must:

1. Stand firmly, with the bases of your big toes touching. Your heels should be slightly apart so that your second toes are parallel.

2. Lift the toes and balls of your feet, spreading them thoroughly as you lay them gently on the floor. Move them back and forth and side to side. Gradually, come to a stop, balancing your weight evenly on your feet.

3. Firm your thigh muscles and raise your kneecaps. Don’t harden your lower belly.

4. Lift your inner ankles to strengthen the arches, then turn your upper thighs slightly inward.

5. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and then move your pubis toward your navel.

6. Send your shoulder blades into your back, and then widen them and press them down into your back. Lift the top of your sternum toward the ceiling without pushing your ribs forward.

7. Widen your collarbones and then hang your arms along your torso.

8. Balance the crown of your head over the center of your pelvis, keeping your chin parallel to the floor.

9. Hold the pose for a minute.

As you become more skilled, try doing this pose with your eyes closed, while breathing easily and evenly. This will help you attain inner balance.

Note: Three even breaths should be long enough for this pose.

Postnatal Yoga Poses #4: Bridge pose

“Bridge pose is great for relieving thoracic spine discomfort,” says a professional. “It strengthens the legs while stretching the hip flexors, and opens the shoulders and chest. These are all areas that can become tight after childbirth and while spending many hours sitting or lying with the new little one. It can also help relieve anxiety, which many new mothers feel.”

  1. Focus: Chest; neck; spine; legs
  2. Level: Beginner
  3. Sanskrit Name: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
  4. Time: 30 seconds to a minute
  5. Indications: Stretching; abdominal stimulation; body relaxation; improved digestion
  6. Contraindications: Neck injuries

The Bridge Pose is an excellent restorative seated pose to rejuvenate the legs; stretch the chest, neck, and spine; stimulate the abdominal organs and lungs, and relieve stress and fatigue.

This pose is recommended for osteoporosis, sinusitis, asthma, and high blood pressure. I suggest you roll out a thickly folded blanket to soften the surface.

To perform this exercise, you must:

1. Lie prone on the floor over the blanket with your knees bent and your soles firmly planted on the ground.

2. Press your feet and arms firmly into the floor. Firm your buttocks as you lift them off the floor.

3. Keep your thighs and feet parallel.

4. Clasp your hands below your pelvis and then extend through your arms to stay on the top of your shoulders.

5. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor, and your knees should be directly over your heels.

6. Lift your pubis toward your navel while you raise your chin away from your sternum.

7. Hold the pose between 30 seconds to 1 minute. End by exhaling as you roll your spine down.

Given the weight placed on the neck and shoulders, those with neck injuries should avoid this pose. Slide a block or bolster under your sacrum to rest your pelvis on if you’re having a hard time keeping it away from the floor.

Postnatal Yoga Poses #5: Standing forward bend

“With this forward stretch, bend forward at your waist with equal weight [in your feet],” says Pearce. “You can use props and rest your hands on them with legs straight, or bend knees slightly and rest your fingertips on the floor or your shins. Exhale and push your torso closer to your legs, then hold for 30-60 seconds.”

  1. Focus: Torso; back; belly
  2. Level: Beginner
  3. Sanskrit Name: Ardha Uttanasana
  4. Time: At least 30 seconds
  5. Indications: Stretching; strengthening; abdominal stimulation; improved pose
  6. Contraindications: Neck injuries

The Standing Half Forward Bend Pose is a beginner forward bend pose that stretches the front torso, strengthens the back, improves the pose, and stimulates the belly.

To perform this exercise, you must:

1. Part from the Standing Forward Bend Pose and press your palms (or fingers) into the ground beside your feet. If you can’t rest your hands comfortably on the floor, use a couple of blocks as support.

2. Inhale deeply, and then fully extend your elbows, arching your torso away from your thighs, making as much distance between your pubic bone and navel as possible.

3. Use your palms (or fingers) to push down and back against the floor. Lift your sternum up and forward from the ground. Feel free to bend your knees slightly for movement.

4. Set your head in a neutral position and gaze forward, making sure you don’t compress the back of your neck.

5. Hold the pose for 3 to 5 breaths. End by calmly releasing your grip from the floor and coming up. The Standing Forward Bend Pose is a common follow-up for this pose.

Postnatal Yoga Poses #6: Cow face pose

“Cow face is great for stretching the hips, as well as the neck and shoulders,” says Minos. “Practicing this pose on both sides can help combat the shoulder hunch that can happen as a result of nursing and holding a baby for extended periods.”

  1. Focus: Ankles; hips; thighs; shoulders; chest
  2. Level: Beginner
  3. Sanskrit Name: Gomukhasana
  4. Time: 30 seconds to a minute per side
  5. Indications: Stretching
  6. Contraindications: Neck injuries; shoulder injuries

The Cow Face Pose is a challenging pose that stretches the ankles, hips, thighs, shoulders, armpits, and triceps.

Perhaps you don’t quite discern the cow face in the pose. Try to notice the likeliness of the crossed legs to the lips and the bent elbows and arms to the ears.

To perform this exercise, you must:

1. Part from the Staff Pose, then bend your knees to place your feet on the ground.

2. To stack your knees, slide your left foot under the right to the outside of your right hip, then cross your right leg over the left, sliding it to the outside of your left hip.

3. Try to keep your heels equidistant to your hips while you sit evenly on your sitting bones.

4. Stretch your right arm to the right, parallel to the floor, and then rotate inward; the thumb should turn to the floor and then the wall behind you, palm facing up. Now sweep the arm behind your torso, tucking your forearm into the hollow of your lower back, in line with your waist. Your right elbow should hug the right side of your torso.

5. Roll your shoulder down to work your forearm until it’s parallel to your spine. At this point, your hand should be between your shoulder blades.

6. Now stretch your left arm forward, parallel to the floor. Then stretch it straight up to the ceiling, palm turned back, and lift through your left arm to bend the elbow and reach down and behind for your right hand. Hook your fingers if possible.

7. Raise your left elbow toward the ceiling while you firm your shoulder blades and lift your chest.

8. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to a minute. Once done, release arms and uncross legs to repeat with your arms and legs reversed.

If your tight shoulders stop you from hooking your fingers, use a strap between your hands so they can pull each other.


Daily life can strain your body, causing nervous tension which then affects your mind. Postnatal Yoga Poses are not a cure-all miracle, but it helps. Any new mom can practice postnatal yoga and receive the benefits.

You can also take deep breaths at home, and send a message to your brain to send oxygen to points of tension in the body. Every mama is different. But bringing mindful awareness to your body is the main benefit of postpartum yoga, as well as dedicating time to relax when you have a new baby to focus on, too.

Also Read: Beginner’s Guide to Yoga Poses for Chest


What is postpartum yoga?

Postpartum yoga is a modified, low-intensity yoga practice for women who are new moms (or who just gave birth). A lot of changes happen to your body after childbirth. This type of low-intensity yoga is designed to help your mindful body recover. Postpartum yoga offers the most mindful benefits during the first three months after childbirth.

Yoga after c section?

If you’ve had a C-section delivery, wait to jump into your post-pregnancy exercise or postnatal yoga regimen until at least six weeks postpartum, after you’ve consulted your health care provider. Passing these two milestones before you begin exercising is vital to ensuring that your recovery goes smoothly.

Abdominal yoga exercises?

Watch here: Yoga for Abdominal Wall | 14 Minute Core Practice | Yoga with Adriene

Source: Yoga With Adriene

Can we do Surya namaskar during periods?

Surya namaskar (Sun Salutation) can be practiced during periods if there is no heavy bleeding or cramping. But it should not be performed in a very fast manner, and professionals often recommend sticking with light yoga sequences during periods.

Such as Moon Salutation. Chandra Namaskar (Moon Salutation) is another more soothing alternative, harmonizing and calming at this time, and helps to cultivate the feminine aspects.

Light yoga stretches

Yoga is more than physical exercise. Some of us tend to forget about this, but we will reconnect with the meditative aspect of yoga in this sequence. Hold the poses for at least 30 seconds, but keep your breathing even and controlled.

1. Open with the Mountain Pose. Try to hold it for nine even breaths.

2. Open your chest with the Reclined Hero Pose. Feel free to use a bolster below the fifth thoracic vertebra, and there’s no problem with fully extending your legs either.

3. Go into the Cobra Pose.

4. Go into the Reclining Hand to Toe Pose.

5. Go into the Standing Half Forward Bend Pose.

6. Lie supine on a folded blanket and concentrate on your breathing for 10 minutes. Keep your palms up.

7. Enter into a comfortable seated pose (such as the Hero Pose) and meditate. Use one hand to massage your chest, and think of love and gratitude for your life. Hold this meditation for 5 minutes, then release gently and open your eyes, slowly and smiling.

Best postnatal yoga poses?

Best Postnatal yoga poses are as follows:

  1. Legs up the wall
  2. Child’s pose
  3. Mountain Pose
  4. Bridge Pose
  5. Standing forward bend
  6. Cow Face pose

For more details, watch this: Postnatal Yoga for Strength & Flexibility (30-minute Yoga) Postpartum Yoga | Sarah Beth Yoga

Source: SarahBethYoga

Prenatal yoga sequence pdf

A yoga sequence is the combination of a few poses together in a continuous flow. A good yogi trains with specific sequences. For every need you might have, there’s a sequence, although you can always make your own! You will find here prenatal yoga sequences that are great for pregnant women.

Download here:

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