Pre + Postnatal Sun Salutations
Yoga is truly for every body at every stage of your life.
During Pregnancy yoga helps to develop strength in the arms and legs, to open the hips, to learn breathing techniques which will help you during labour. But also provide you with some much needed relaxation, to help improve the quality of your sleep and process the many worries, fears and concerns which are moving around the mind thinking about motherhood.
During your postnatal phase your body is repairing and rebuilding and you will need rest. One thing our society doesn’t seem to make time for. Yoga helps physically to keep you strong (those car seats are heavy) as well as working on opening the upper back, chest and shoulders which tend to be tight from lifting, carrying and feeding.
Below is the basic Sun Salutations which has be modified for you during your pregnancy and then another version for after baby arrives.
Sun Salutations are a simple, repetitive sequence (so great for baby brain) once you practice a few rounds of these you’ll know what to do without looking at images.
PREGNANCY SUN SALUTATIONS
The biggest modification of Sun Salutations for pregnancy is the fact that you have a baby bump and can’t lie on your stomach, so cobra is removed and replaced with Cat / Cow.
POSTNATAL SUN SALUTATIONS
Start off gently moving through sun salutations, starting with supported plank and perhaps child’s pose instead of downward dog. With practice you can start to build up strength and number of rounds.
Whether you have practiced yoga before or not. Sun Salutations may feel different. I remember going back to my yoga practice after having hip surgery. I knew what I could do before surgery and simple movement of stepping forward was difficult. I got so frustrated with myself that my body didn’t move the way it used to.
MODIFYING FOR POSTNATAL PHASE
Mentally - Exhaustion
You’ll be exhausted, be kind to yourself. Know that it will take time to build up strength again.
Physically - Avoiding lying on your stomach
For obvious reasons, it may feel really uncomfortable lying on your stomach and breasts which is why chaturanga and cobra have been removed from Postnatal Sun Salutations.
It may still feel more comfortable to have your hips wider during sun salutations for example stepping forward and back, in child pose or in cat / cow, feet or knees may be slightly wider than hip width. Engage inner thighs and draw up through pelvic floor, gradually working towards brining hips closer together.
Be gentle with yourself, take time to rebuild, repair and restore. Look after you so you are then able to look after your family.