Postpnatal Basics Practice

These are moves you can do everyday once you are cleared to exercise, they are simple yet effective on keeping you connected and strong. 

I recommend viewing the transverse video before this practice and trying those few exercises to connect you to the actions of the transverse abdominal muscles.

Cat/Cow Stretches: Work these stretches with the cow pose on an inhalation and the cat pose on an exhalation. Keep your limbs active by pressing the hands and shins into the ground and try not to over extend the anterior tilt of the pelvis in cow pose (no dipping into the lower back) - to do this keep the lower belly toned, not gripped while moving through 5-7 of these. *See video on the difference between toning the lower belly and gripping the abs.

Opposite Arm and Leg Balance: Using the block on the back ribs here and taking it in steps will ensure that you are engaging your deeper core, the transverse abdominal muscle, thus protecting your low back. With the block on the back ribs work to lift the ribs up into the block, this is not cow pose, just a slight toning and lift.  You can start with the opposite arm and leg balance with the limbs on the floor working not to collapse into the supporting shoulder or lift into the air.

Downward Facing Dog:  Great back body stretch as well as enhancing thoracic mobility.

Downward Facing Dog:  Great back body stretch as well as enhancing thoracic mobility.

Lunge Pose:  From about 6 weeks - 24 weeks post labor I recommend that when you step forward from downward facing dog that you step behind your hands (use blocks too if that is helpful!). My reason for this is (A) you do not want to tax your core muscles especially if you are post op or have some separation of the rectus muscle going on and (B) chances are your stepping gate is still wider than before you were pregnant so stepping behind the hand rather than into the inside of it) ensures that you are slowly bringing your gate back in.

Lunge Pose:  From about 6 weeks - 24 weeks post labor I recommend that when you step forward from downward facing dog that you step behind your hands (use blocks too if that is helpful!). My reason for this is (A) you do not want to tax your core muscles especially if you are post op or have some separation of the rectus muscle going on and (B) chances are your stepping gate is still wider than before you were pregnant so stepping behind the hand rather than into the inside of it) ensures that you are slowly bringing your gate back in.

High Lunge:  Keep the stance short so you can (A) bend the back knee and (B) work the posterior tilt of the pelvis.  Think about those transverse muscles here (see video).

High Lunge:  Keep the stance short so you can (A) bend the back knee and (B) work the posterior tilt of the pelvis.  Think about those transverse muscles here (see video).

Warrior II at Wall:  Warrior II can be a lot for the pelvis after childbirth.  I recommend keeping this stance shorter than usual again for 6-24 weeks (or longer) after the birth. Your ligaments are still loose and you want to continue to avoid overstretching them.  Here I've put two blocks under the front foot, this can help you get the opening of the inner line of the leg while keeping your stance short.  Be sure to engage your outer hips here.

Warrior II at Wall:  Warrior II can be a lot for the pelvis after childbirth.  I recommend keeping this stance shorter than usual again for 6-24 weeks (or longer) after the birth. Your ligaments are still loose and you want to continue to avoid overstretching them.  Here I've put two blocks under the front foot, this can help you get the opening of the inner line of the leg while keeping your stance short.  Be sure to engage your outer hips here.

Easy Open Twist:  When you set this up, have your feet as wide as the mat. Use a block under the outside leg to support the hip here.

Easy Open Twist:  When you set this up, have your feet as wide as the mat. Use a block under the outside leg to support the hip here.

Supine Gomukasana:  You may not want to do this one until 12 - 24 weeks after the birth. This is a great pose for those hip muscles that get tight very quickly.  The blanket under the hips allows for and easy access to grabbing the feet or ankles. Draw the feet out to the sides and hug the knees in towards the chest. 

Supine Gomukasana:  You may not want to do this one until 12 - 24 weeks after the birth. This is a great pose for those hip muscles that get tight very quickly.  The blanket under the hips allows for and easy access to grabbing the feet or ankles. Draw the feet out to the sides and hug the knees in towards the chest.