Tag Archives: pregnancy

Yoga Helps Post-Baby Body and Mind

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Postpartum yoga in Santa Monica

It seems there has never been a time with so much attention drawn to the Post-baby body. Celebrities and royals are having babies and the whole world is watching, and talking. And the dialogue is shaping up to encompass the complexity of this topic.  There is a balance to be struck here where we consider the gestalt of new motherhood, rather than looking at women as just a body.

A new mother has just transitioned from pregnant woman to mother.  This transformation is mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical. Her hormones  make a huge shift in the moments after birth and her body rapidly begins a post-birth process. There is bleeding, discomfort, healing, sleep deprivation, and a new baby…all before you leave the hospital! And every new mom wonders if her body will ever be the same. All the while, she takes an emotional and mental roller coaster as she and baby go through the ‘4th trimester’.

Things are always changing, nothing is ever stuck in a moment for long.  Your newborn on day one looks a lot different to your newborn at month one. The same goes for the post-baby body and mind. The uterus has to shrink back to its normal size, the pelvis has to recover from birth, stitches need to heel, fluid sweat or peed out, and so on…not too mention your hormones need to regulate.

There need not be a rush to get back in shape or even to feel ‘normal’ right away.  Rather, motherhood is a new experience that ultimately will change the way we think and feel. In the first days and weeks the body needs rest and maybe some light walking. Easing back in and taking a slow and progressive approach toward rebuilding strength is the way to go.

At about 6 to 8 weeks postpartum the body is truly ready to start a regular yoga practice. The core strength that was once there won’t be and so the whole practice feels new.  If you compare yourself to your pre-baby self or even your pregnant self, you are apt to feel frustrated and overwhelmed.  Instead, relish in feeling your body move again in ways it couldn’t during pregnancy. You can enjoy lying on your stomach, lying on your back, doing twists, and deeper backbends. And the good news is your body will morph once again!  And that feeling of building strength is very empowering and motivating.

At 6 weeks post I felt like a truck had hit me.  But by month 3 I nearly felt like my old self.  Each month that goes by I feel more and more ‘in’ my body. Ultimately, yoga keeps me feeling good and feeling good is the open window back toward post-baby normalcy and health.  Yoga tightens the body and pulls things back in to the mid-line. That squishy, floaty, wobbly new mommy feeling goes away. Who knows, maybe some day soon I will be stronger than I was before I got pregnant. The saying goes, ‘9 months to put it on, 9 months to take it off.’

I utilized my post-baby journey to create a series of yoga classes starting at 6 weeks postpartum. I filmed one class each consecutive week until I had a total of 6 classes.  I teamed with nutrition expert, Lisa K. Beach to make our course, ‘Enviable Post-Baby Body and Mind’.  In these classes you will gain the tools to use yoga and food to get your ‘feel good’ feeling back, gain energy, slim down, and tone the body. You can find it here:

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2 Pregnancy Friendly Yoga Poses to Make You Feel Better Right Now

If you are interested in my course ‘Enviable Pregnancy’ with Lisa K. beach Ph.D., check it out here herhealthyglow.com/nyp and for a limited time get it for just $19 with coupon code summersale

Triangletriangle cropThis classic yoga pose is a great way to strengthen the muscles that support your loosening joints in pregnancy. It also allows you to create space in your torso and length in your spine. The added bonus during pregnancy: triangle strengthens the abdominal muscles that hug the sides of your torso and aid in supporting your ever growing baby bump.
Some keys for getting into the pose:
Have a block handy. Step your feet apart about three feet. Rotate your right hip open from the socket so your foot and knee move 90 degrees. Line up your front heel with your back arch and turn your back toes in slightly. Set your block to the outside of your right ankle. Press your feet firmly to the ground while you activate the muscles in your legs like you are hugging the muscles to the bones. You should see your quadricep lift. This is great for stabilizing loosening joints during pregnancy.
Reach your right arm in the direction of your toes while pulling your right hip crease back and pressing firmly through your big toe mound. Your hips will tilt. Think about lengthening the bottom side of your waist until both sides of your waist are long and straight. Take your hand down to your block or shin. Reach up through the left arm and then spiral your ribs open as if you were going to lean your upper
body against a wall. Feel how the muscles of the sides of your stomach now embrace your heavy belly. Feel the length of your spine as energy running out all the way through the crown of your head. Take 5 breaths here.
To come out of your pose, inhale, pressing again firmly through your foot and resisting the floor as you come to stand. Square off the feet and take the other side.

Revolved head to knee pose

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This seated stretching pose is an open twist allowing you to again find much needed length and space in your torso.
Some keys for getting into it:
Come to a seat and take your legs apart about 90 degrees. Make sure you are sitting up on your sit bones. If it is uncomfortable or you feel like tight hamstrings are pulling your tailbone under you, sit on the edge of a blanket or pillow. Make sure your toes and knees face up towards the ceiling and flex your toes towards you. Draw the left foot in to the groin. Heavy both sit bones, there can be a tendency here to rock the weight to one side. Stay grounded as you sit up tall and revolve your torso away from your extended leg, an open twist. You can extend your right arm along your leg towards your foot.
Inhale, reaching your left arm up and over in the direction of the extended leg. Keep your left sit bone heavy. Think of lengthening the torso rather than trying to come down towards the leg. Once again,
revolve your torso open towards the ceiling rather than the floor. Take 5 deep breaths. Inhale to release and switch sides.

Top 5 Things People told me when I was Pregnant

photo (92)Here I am 40+ weeks in Marina Del Rey, CA.

1.  “Enjoy your sleep now”

Nobody actually enjoys their sleep at 40 weeks pregnant..that is if they are sleeping at all.

2.  “Take the Drugs”

Sound advice.  But not useful if you are planning an un-medicated birth.

3. “You look like you are ready to pop”

Actually, I have three more months to go.

4. “Giving birth?  It feels like being mauled by a bear”

yep, that one is pretty much true.

5. “When you have a baby every day feels like Christmas”

Absolutely 100% true.

Do You have any fun ones to add to the list?

Nutrition and Yoga for Pregnancy and New Women’s Health Series Launch

I have teamed with Lisa K. Beach, Ph.D. to create a series of Women’s health courses blending nutrition and yoga.  Our first course for pregnancy has just been completed.  Our next course will be geared toward postpartum health and fitness.  We are really excited to be launching this program, called ‘Glow’.  I Will be posting more about this exciting series soon. Find our first course hereImage