Yoga at home for new mums
Connect to yourself and your baby: six ways yoga can support you emotionally and physically as a new mum. By Kat Farrants and Joanna Gilbert
No matter how prepared or experienced you are, becoming a mum is a huge change, physically, mentally and emotionally. It can be challenging to process these changes, as priorities shift and ‘free’ time becomes harder to come by.
Even if you previously had a regular yoga practice, it’s now way harder to get out and about to a studio, and disturbed night sleep may be leaving you physically exhausted and with less capacity to keep up with an hour’s full-on yoga class. Plus, your body has adapted and serves a new and very important function: to grow, feed and nurture a human! As a result it may not feel like your own anymore.
I see you and I acknowledge what you are going through.
As a new mum, post-partum, it is unlikely you will jump back into your old practice, but have no fear, there are ways and tools to adapt your yoga to make it more aligned with your new body, your new mindset and your new baby-oriented life!
It’s just so important that our practice should be a practice of change, of adaptability to welcome all that is new in our lives!
How can yoga help you to process these changes? Here are six ways yoga can support you emotionally and physically as a new mum:
1 Connect back to your body
Your body has become a home for a human to grow and now to feed. There’s a good chance your body feels different from before and you may be out of touch. Doing a gentle yoga practice can help you reconnect to your body. For these 10/20/30 minutes, tune in to how your body feels and what your body needs.
2 Deepen sleep
Let’s be honest, as a new mum your sleep patterns are all over the place! A short restorative practice or yoga nidra class before bed can ensure that the sleep you do get is deeper and more reviving.
3 Improve the connection with your baby
By taking time out to do a yoga practice, you can return to your child with more mental capacity, patience and energy to give to them. You had the time to connect to yourself, and in turn you have more to give to them.
4 Breathing and meditation to support overwhelm
In a period of big change it is completely normal to have moments of overwhelm. Our nervous system is in overdrive trying to process all the new information. When I am overwhelmed or feeling anxious, I always come back to breathing (pranayama) or meditation practices.
5 Build strength back slowly, at your own pace
You have most likely had time away from exercise as you recovered from your birth. Building back in a yoga practice can help you slowly regain strength. It is important to do this at your own pace and when you are ready.
6 Time for you
You have permission to take this time for you. When you are a new mum this time for yourself is particularly limited. Put time aside, no matter how small; it is powerful. You are giving yourself space and telling yourself that you are important too.
How can a home yoga practice help you to adapt your practice to fit your needs as a new mum at home?
- There is zero travel time!
- You are still available if or when your little one needs you and you can hit pause any time.
- There is no need for childcare (making it cheaper!).
- You can practice with your baby, deepening your connection e.g. hold your baby whilst meditating or breathe with them close to your chest during pranayama.
- You choose exactly what you need, when, and how long you want to practice for.
- There is absolutely no need to get dressed, you can literally practice in your PJs.
- Online community support, which can be vital in these moments of transition.
There are classes and courses out there that are designed specifically to support you.
For example on Movement for Modern Life we have a post-natal home retreat that helps you to rebuild a yoga routine whilst also offering you something to regularly look forward to.
I know it isn’t easy to get started and to build new routines, but why not give it a try? Online yoga classes, like the ones on Movement for Modern Life can be a lifeline for new mums.
Kat Farrants is Founder of Movement for Modern Life. Join with a free 14-day trial and 30% discount against all subscriptions, forever, with the code OMSUMMER. Discover just how easy it can be to stay connected to your practice. Visit: movementformodernlife.com
What the mums say:
Here are some things that new mums have said about their online practice with MFML:
“I practice on alternate days in the early evening after she goes to bed; it’s soooo much easier than getting out to a class!”
“It’s been a lifeline. It has also helped me with the physical and emotional challenges of single parenting. Having short classes made a massive difference.”
“This resource has been a life saver for me. I’ve spent the last year on MFML and in an ideal world fit three short classes in a day! But one a day and I’m still feeling better.”
“MFML is such a convenient way to fit yoga into my day. And more than that, it’s helped to reframe my mindset about what’s achievable and that it’s OK to do what my body feels like at the time.”
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.