New motherhood can be confusing, stressful and overwhelming. It's beautifully intense and magical. It’s opposing forces at work. It’s ALL the emotions.
Your mind is cluttered and you feel like a zombie from getting so little sleep, you go back and forth from feelings of anxiety to pure blissed out love. At the same time, you’re trying to figure out this whole motherhood thing (or trying to figure out life with a new member of your family), your body is healing and you’re more than likely dealing with aches and pains.
If you can nap during the day, I applaud you! If you’re like me and your circadian rhythm is ruled by daylight, you find it tough to sleep during the day. In that case, anything you can do to help you rest your mind and body is beneficial.
Enter restorative yoga.
Restorative yoga can help you connect back with your own body and breath. As you rest and breathe, you'll switch on your parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system. You'll alleviate some of the common aches and pains from carrying your baby and nursing or bottle feeding.
Here are 3 restorative yoga poses that are safe and nourishing for the postpartum body and that I suggest for all my mama students. I also recommend practicing these poses at night to help you get more restorative and restful sleep (even if it’s realistically a few hours at a time).
A yoga bolster and blanket will come in handy for these poses. If you don’t have any yoga props at home, you can make a firm cushion or even a body pillow work. You can use any cotton/wool folded blanket. Just make sure you fold it flat with the edges neatly stacked. (If you’d like to purchase props from me or want recommendations, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
I'd love to hear from you on how these poses are working for you and if you have any questions. Drop a comment below!
Supta BAddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)
- Lie back on a bolster or cushion, set up vertically on your mat.
- Place the edge of the cushion at your sacrum and lay back.
- Bring your feet together and drop your knees out to the sides.
- Bring the soles of your feet together and allow your knees to spill open wide.
- You can place rolled blankets, towels or blankets under your knees for extra support.
- Allow your hips to soften and release any tension in your jaw and face.
- Place one hand on your heart and one hand to your belly.
- Take deep, smooth inhales and exhales into your hands, staying for at least 10 full breath cycles.
- If this pose gets too intense for your hips, place your feet flat on the floor with your knees hip-width distance.
Balasana (Child’s Pose)
- Place a bolster, firm cushion or pillow vertically on your mat. You can pad the cushion with a folded blanket on top.
- From hands and knees with your hips stacked on top of your knees, slide your knees open wide and bring your big toes together.
- Slide your bolster/cushion down to your pelvis.
- Sink your sit bones back towards your heels and bring your hips up and back (for extra bum support, place a blanket on top of your calves).
- Stretch your arms long in front of you as you relax your torso onto your cushion support.
- Hug the sides of your cushion support as you rest your forehead or cheek on top. Allow your shoulders to relax.
- Close your eyes and rest. Enjoy feeling supported as you soften and release any tension in your muscles.
- Inhale and exhale through your nose taking deep, smooth breaths.
- Stay as long as you’re comfortable, at least 10 full breath cycles.
Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall Pose)
- Start in a fetal position on your right side next to a wall.
- Roll onto your back and slide your legs up the wall so the backs of your legs rest on the wall.
- Support your pelvis and uterus by placing a folded blanket/bolster/pillow horizontally under your hips.
- Extend arms out from your body into a T or bend your elbows into cactus with your palms facing up.
- Close eyes and take deep, smooth inhales and exhales through your nose.
- Stay for 5 minutes or up to 15 if you have the time.
- Press feet into the wall and slowly roll onto your side before sitting up.
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