By Gopi Rao
For those of you who are considering teaching prenatal or postnatal classes take your time with your prenatal Yoga instructor training course. Do not be in a big rush to complete it without learning the details. Every prenatal and postnatal Yoga teacher certification requires you to have a 200-hour credential in foundational teacher training, but working with mothers and mothers to be is a special field with many precautions. Below this paragraph, I have prepared a handout for your postnatal class. Please feel free to add or modify it to meet your student’s needs.
Postnatal Yoga Care
You have a beautiful new baby, and you’re ready to shed those maternity clothes and be your old self. Well, that probably won’t happen right away. Of course, you can be attractive and healthy, but your body is still going through a transition. Chances are you aren’t getting a lot of sleep, and taking care of a newborn can be tiring and stressful. Don’t panic. Just adapt your Yoga routine to fit your changing lifestyle.
Developing a Postnatal Yoga Practice
• Living a healthy lifestyle is as important now as it was when you were pregnant. A balanced diet, breathing exercises and meditation relieve tension and make it easier to maintain an exercise routine and get adequate rest.
• The baby doesn’t weigh a lot yet, but tasks like breastfeeding and changing diapers require bending forward for long stretches of time. Hunching causes tightness in the neck and shoulders. Shoulder rolls and side-bending neck stretches keep muscles relaxed, and poses like Dolphin Pose and Cow Face Pose open the shoulders and lengthen the neck.
• Pregnancy and labor can be hard on the pelvic floor, causing weak muscles that make it difficult to control the flow of urine when coughing or laughing. You’re probably already doing Kegel exercises; if not, it’s time to start. The good thing is that they’re easy and can be done almost anywhere at any time. Simply squeeze the muscles that stop the flow of urine and hold, repeating and lengthening with time.
• New mothers rarely have as much energy during the postnatal period as they did before their pregnancy. Postures like Warrior II and Mountain Pose strengthen the core align the spine and increase stamina.
• Nothing stretches the abdominal muscles quite like having a baby. Although you may want to work on the flabby tummy right away, wait until your doctor says it’s OK. The usual recommendation is four to six weeks. To avoid overexertion, start with gentle pelvic rocking before you move on to more strenuous poses.
• Fatigue is a common problem for all new moms, and it’s hard to take care of yourself when you’re not getting enough rest. Restorative poses; particularly Child’s Pose and Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose help you to breathe more slowly and deeply. They also improve circulation and slow down the release of harmful hormones into the bloodstream.
Most of all, don’t feel guilty about taking time to care for your body. When you are calm and relaxed, everyone benefits, especially your baby.
© Copyright 2013 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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