Just had a new baby? You might have been dreaming of coming back to your normal active lifestyle and enjoying yoga practice the way you enjoyed it before getting pregnant. Perhaps your case is different and you want to start new wellbeing activities with the new life that your newborn baby brought. In case you can’t attend a yoga studio on a regular basis as you’ve got a baby but eager to start (or continue) practicing yoga, these tips on how to practice yoga at home might be a good guidance to you.
Before you start please CHECK WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN OR DOCTOR before you start any fitness or yoga activities, especially if you just had a baby.
1. When can I start and how often should I practice?
Do not rush with coming back to the intense practice straight after pregnancy, especially if you’re new to yoga. Yoga practice is different from intense cardiovascular training or fitness workouts. So, don’t put forward any challenges like being able to make a lotus pose in 3 weeks or get a full legs split in 1 month. Yoga is not about achievements but about your own pace and your own way.
2. How should I practice?
Your yoga session should have a beginning and an end. Neither of those should be missed nor omitted. So before making your yoga sequence at home make sure that you’ve got enough time to start your practice and to finalise it in 3-5 minute-long savasana. This is very important. Yoga practice can be as harmful as it is beneficial if it’s done in a hurry, when your mind is distracted or you’re rushing to come into and out of the poses.
3. How long should my session be?
As you’re a new mother we know you don’t have much spare time. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the time allocated to your own healthcare will remain yours till the last minute as you planned. The baby can wake up at any time and interrupt your sequence. So, if this is a case that doesn’t mean you have no chance of continuing and finalising your yoga sequence. Take your baby to join you for a final pose – let them rest on your tummy in Baddha Konasana pose, for instance.
4. How many poses should I do in one session?
Choose 3-5 poses to practice at one session, no more. You won’t have much time, we know that. Therefore, it is more beneficial to repeat the yoga pose twice rather than losing time on understanding one more pose from instructions.
5. How do I choose a sequence?
Sequencing is important. There are certain rules which are quite risky to ignore even if your choice of poses is simple and all of those are familiar to you. Saying that, we encourage you to find a way to get a sequence of yoga poses for your home practice. It might be from sources like YogaJournal, from your regular yoga teacher or any yoga mobile apps.
Define what’s your need at the moment that yoga can assist you with? Are your shoulders sore or your lower back aches? Do you want to calm your stressful mind or would you like to give your body an energy boost? You can find plenty of yoga sequences meeting your requirements on YogaJournal.com as well as in our Wellmama App. Before you begin the sequence, briefly estimate the poses you’ll be doing to make sure that you feel confident to follow every single one of them. If not, then substitute those that don’t look clear using a catalogue of poses in YogaJournal.com.
Always have a sequence of yoga poses in front of you, estimate the time the whole sequence will take you and only then start your session.
6. How should I breathe?
Just breathe. As you’re practicing on your own there will be no teacher correcting you in the poses or reminding you about your breath. That will be the thing to observe yourself. How to breathe? First of all, you should not restrain your breathing. Observe your cycle with equal inhalations and exhalations. The tension in your mouth, jaws and throat while you’re in the pose might indicate that you are restraining a vital energy flow. If so, then unclench your jaws or even, open your mouth a little to ensure your lips are not tightened.
7. How can I understand if I practice correctly?
Watch carefully how your body reacts to the practice. Do you feel well when you’re practicing and afterwards, too? Does your body ‘want’ to continue? If you’ve got any pain in shoulders, neck, lower back or head, that might be the signs that there is something not working for you. So either you better learn the pose, change the sequence or come to your yoga teacher for advice.
8. Where can I find advice on poses?
Each pose has its meaning so make sure you perform it correctly. If you follow instructions and you’re still not confident in your understanding of the pose, write it down and either ask your yoga teacher for advice the next time you attend a lesson or check the Right and Wrong of the poses in our WellMama app or YogaJournal catalogue.
9. Do I need to buy props?
Some yoga practices use yoga props to assist or achieve maximum work in the poses. You should not be discouraged if you don’t have any at home. Use thick books as yoga bricks, use blankets and towels if you don’t have yoga belts. You can find the tips of how to use home stuff as yoga props in WellMama app (take a peek in the ‘Details’ Section of each yoga pose).
10. How can I make progress?
In case you enjoy yoga and want to make progress in your practice, find an opportunity to attend yoga lessons with a teacher or at least a postnatal yoga class. Yoga is acknowledged as a healthy contemporary practice that brings strength and flexibility to the body as well as quietness and better spirit to the mind. Isn’t it what we all need, mothers? Our bodies made a first step of giving a life to the new person. However, these little ones need our Spirit of happiness, our Strength and our Energy to carry on day after day.
Take care of yourself and make your motherhood journey happy and satisfactory.