Mom and Baby yoga is a joyful and gentle way to regain strength and flexibility postpartum. The poses shared below are perfect for beginners, emphasizing posture, pelvic floor, and meditation to decrease stress. These poses are perfect for crawling and even pre-crawling babies four weeks post-delivery or six weeks post Caesarean with a doctor or midwife's clearance.
Alice is wearing the Restore Bra
Alice Oh is a yoga instructor and holistic nutritionist who will be sharing her favorite beginner yoga poses. While our multi-tasking mama's concentrate on learning these poses, Alice has made this flow easy for beginners to practice while keeping one eye on their baby. All you need is a yoga mat, supportive yoga pants, water and a supportive bra. We recommend our Restore Bra. It's specially ribbed so you can stretch further to give you the perfect fit that is free from restriction. It's also an ideal bra to bring if you want to take yoga classes with a group. It's easy and convenient to pull to the side to breastfeed during any necessary feeding breaks!
Seated Forward Fold
- Sit on the edge of your yoga mat with your legs extended in front of you. Beginners should bend the knees throughout the pose, straightening the legs only as flexibility increases.
- Inhale as you reach your arms out to the side and then up overhead, lengthening your spine.
- Exhaling, bend forward from the hip joints. Do not bend at the waist. Lengthen the front of your torso. Imagine your torso resting on your thighs instead of tipping your nose toward your knees.
- Hold onto your shins, ankles, or feet — wherever your flexibility permits. Keep the front of your torso long; do not round your back. Let your belly touch your legs first, and then your chest. Your head and nose should touch your legs last.
- With each inhalation, lengthen the front torso. With each exhalation, fold a bit deeper.
- Hold for up to one minute. To release the pose, draw your tailbone towards the floor as you inhale and lift the torso.
BENEFITS: Relieving stress, this pose stretches your spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. It also stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus—and can help improve digestion.
- Start on all fours, with wrists inline with shoulders and toes tucked.
- On your exhale, push your hips up and back, straightening your legs.
- Engage your arms while keeping in mind to keep your shoulders away from your ears.
- Engage your core and legs, lifting up through your kneecaps.
- Press through your heels, and “pedal” your feet back and forth if you feel tight.
BENEFITS: Stretches and widens the hamstrings, the calves, and the Achilles tendon. In downward dog, your head is lower than your heart, so it has the benefits of inversions and improves the blood flow through your body. Downward dog stretches and helps to relieve tension from the neck and back.
- Get into position. Tree pose often starts from mountain pose (or Tadasana), with both feet planted firmly on the ground and your weight adequately distributed to balance.
- Bend one leg at the knee. Choose the leg you are going to fold in first. If your left leg is your standing leg, keep your left foot planted on the ground and slowly bend your right leg at the right knee so that the sole of your right foot rests against your left inner thigh. Point the knee of your bent leg outward, away from your body.
- Lengthen your body. Clasp your hands together in the “prayer position” and raise your arms above your head. In this form, your head, shoulders, pelvis, and left foot should align vertically. The top of your torso should lift slightly, with your tailbone extending towards the ground. If you're holding your baby with one arm, raise your other arm above your head and lengthen it, reaching for the sky.
- Hold and repeat. Hold the pose for as long as necessary, making sure to breathe properly. When you’re ready to switch legs, exhale, and return to mountain pose to start again.
BENEFITS: Tree pose can help stretch and strengthen the ligaments and tendons in your feet and core.
- Standing in Mountain Pose, place the feet a little wider than hip-distance apart and bring the hands to the chest in Namaste.
- Slowly bend the knees and squat down, being careful not to let the knees extend forward beyond the alignment of the feet.
- Squatting down as far as possible, wiggle the shoulders in between the knees, using the elbows to push back against the inner knees, keeping the hands at the chest in Namaste with the back straight and feet flat to the floor.
- To come out of the pose, you could either (a) push down through the thighs and stand back up, (b) sit on the floor and then stand up, or (c) stretch the hands out on the floor in front of you to give you a bit of extra help in getting up.
BENEFITS: Improve balance, concentration, and focus. It can also increase circulation and blood flow in the pelvis, which can help regulate sexual energy. It is particularly good for pregnant women as it can later help in childbirth.
- Begin on your hands and knees in a table pose, with a neutral spine. As you inhale and move into cow pose, lift your sit bones upward, press your chest forward and allow your belly to sink.
- Lift your head, relax your shoulders away from your ears, and gaze straight ahead.
- As you exhale, come into a cat pose while rounding your spine outward, tucking in your tailbone, and drawing your pubic bone forward.
- Release your head toward the floor — just don’t force your chin to your chest. Most importantly, just relax.
BENEFITS: The benefits of this synchronized breath movement will also help you relax and ease some of the day’s stress.