Resources - Postnatal

Postnatal Yoga Part 2 – Stability

Stability (noun): the state or quality of being stable / firmness in position.

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This is an image of my favourite baby toy – it perfectly represents the subtle balance of alignment, strength and tone required to keep a body in good shape. If one of the elastic bands (muscles and ligaments) gets too tight or too relaxed, the whole structure loses its integrity (or tensegrity as the engineers call it!)

In the first few weeks and months after having a baby the body is often just as “soft” and mobile as in the last weeks of pregnancy. Our ligaments remain relaxed, compromising stability in our joints, and our spinal alignment has adjusted in the latter stages of pregnancy. Primarily the body simple needs time to rest and heal, but here we are with a small person to care for and so we are lacking in sleep, carrying our babies (they only get heavier!) and endlessly sitting in awkward positions. “Time” is not a commodity we feel we have a lot of.

Yoga practices from an all-fours base are all great for working with stability. They place less stress on the pelvic organs than sit-ups, and can easily be done with your baby nearby (or underneath you!)

Step 1: Cat Pose

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  • Kneel on the floor in a stable all-fours position.
  • Exhaling, gently round your back, as if lying over a large beach ball.
  • Inhaling, release.

You can use sounds like mmmmmmmmmmm, shhhhhhhhhhh or ahhhhhhhhh to help you lenthen your exhalation, fully empty your lungs – and entertain your baby!

Step 2: Cross-Patterning (Tiger)

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  • Kneel on the floor in a stable all fours position.
  • Reach one arm forward, and the opposite leg back. Try to keep your hips and shoulders level.
  • Exhaling, gently round your back (as if like the cat)
  • Inhaling, release.
  • Repeat on the other side.

You can use sounds like mmmmmmmmmmm, shhhhhhhhhhh or ahhhhhhhhh to help you lenthen your exhalation, fully empty your lungs – and entertain your baby!

Baby Massage and Yoga: Cross-Patterning with Your Baby

A leopard has lots of spots, what a lot of spots he’s got!
Tigers have stripes, like long thin pipes…
But a leopard has lots of spots!

Make ‘spots’ and ‘stripes’ with your fingertips on your baby’s tummy.

Singing to and smiling with your baby will help prepare them for some yoga fun and games.

  • Holding your baby’s right hand and left foot, apply a gentle diagonal stretch across their body – maintain eye contact if possible.
  • Now hold your baby’s left hand and right foot and apply a gentle stretch across the opposite diagonal.

Repeat this 2-3 times or for as long as your baby is enjoying it.

Finish by singing ‘spots and stripes’ (above) or simply stroking them lightly from shoulders to toes.