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  • May 2 2014

    Why Yoga is Beneficial for New Moms

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    What is yoga?

    Yoga was first elucidated by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. It is a scientific system that is used to being the body, mind and spirit into alignment, creating mental and physical health.

    This system of beliefs and practices originated over 2500 years ago.

    Yoga is often thought to be about bending and stretching in class (‘asanas’) however in fact Yoga includes self-inquiry (meditation), an ethical lifestyle and positive thinking as well as the physical yoga postures.

    The asanas make the body strong and create the health required to carry out the more philosophical realms of yoga, such as compassionate actions and selfless service.

    What is meditation?

    In a nutshell, meditation is a way of training the mind so that we have more control over it. This is done in a kind and gentle manner.

    If we don’t have any control over our minds, our thoughts wander all over the place. We find it hard to concentrate and may feel depressed or overwhelmed at times.

    Through meditation, we expose any weaknesses in the mind, training it to become stronger. The way that we do this in meditation is just to sit and observe thoughts that come and go without getting attached to the thoughts or labeling them as good or bad.

    In a compassionate manner, we sit with ourselves without reacting in habitual ways or judging ourselves for the thoughts that may arise.

    With regular meditation, states of mind and events can be perceived as being temporary and subject to constant change.

    Everything arises and passes. Birth and death can be seen as important parts of this impermanence. When done regularly enough, meditation brings great happiness and peace of mind.

    Why yoga is beneficial for new moms

    Posture

    Having carried a child, your posture may need some gentle assistance to get back in alignment. Yoga asanas are fantastic for posture.

    Strength

    Yoga builds incredible strength – very useful for carrying babies and children and associated paraphernalia around!

    Karma Yoga

    Karma Yoga is the name given to acts of selfless service such as charity work and other forms of helping others. Caring for a helpless infant or child is a perfect example of Karma Yoga!

    Flexibility

    Kids have incredible natural flexibility. Why shouldn’t moms have too! An increase in flexibility is one of the more noticeable benefits of regular yoga practice.

    Stamina

    Moms need plenty of stamina! For the first year of baby, exhaustion can be overwhelming and hard to cope with. An extra dose of energy may be greatly appreciated to help deal with sleep deprivation. Yoga helps to build stamina and endurance to deal with not only post-partum tiredness but also to help with keeping up with energetic older kids.

    Yoga has a range of benefits to assist mothers of all ages to achieve optimal mental and physical health. If you have never given yoga a try, or if your practice has lapsed, now might be a perfect time to start!

     

    Postpartum Exercise Gauge (note this pertains to ‘exercise‘ and not gentle yoga):

    4th Trimester (Birth – 12 weeks postpartum): A woman will not usually be cleared to exercise until the six-week postpartum mark. Bodies are usually still in recovery. Moms may be suffering from sleep deprivation. Some are breastfeeding, and this new requirement on the body can take some getting used to. Exercise at gentle level for most 4th trimester moms.
    12 – 24 weeks postpartum: Women begin to hit their groove at 12 weeks postpartum. The baby may be on more of a schedule, and healing and recovery from delivery is usually complete. These women may be prefer a moderate or energetic workout, depending on their fitness level.
    25 weeks and beyond: Moms tend to be on the road to their pre-pregnancy body at this point. These women can try more energetic workouts, depending on fitness level. This is a good time for Moms to set fitness goals at this point postpartum.

     

     


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