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11 best postpartum yoga poses for recovery

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After delivering a baby, try these 11 postpartum yoga poses to strengthen your body and recover. These poses will help boost energy and reduce muscle tension.

The postpartum phase involves facing physical and mental challenges. Prioritising your well-being while counting the days, weeks, and months with your newborn is crucial. That’s where yoga comes in! Incorporating specific postpartum yoga poses into your daily routine can help promote physical, mental, and emotional health. If you seek to rejuvenate and energise your body post-childbirth, you may want to consider performing these yoga poses as part of your recovery and strength-building journey.

Benefits of postpartum yoga

Postpartum yoga offers a holistic approach to recovery, addressing both physical and emotional aspects of your being. It targets pelvic floor muscles, which are crucial for postpartum recovery and preventing issues like incontinence. Yoga helps restore core strength and tone abdominal muscles that are weakened during pregnancy. With regular practise you may also see a difference in your flexibility and mobility.

Beyond the physical benefits, yoga eases postpartum stress and promotes relaxation through gentle movements and breathing exercises. It also encourages emotional well-being, reducing the risk of postpartum depression and anxiety. With your mental calmness, it can also help you bond with your baby. Health Shots got in touch with Yoga and Spiritual Leader, Himalayan Siddhaa Akshar to learn the yoga poses that you can perform in your postpartum period for recovery.

11 yoga poses for post-pregnancy recovery

1. Child’s pose (Balasana)

To begin with, practise a simple yoga pose that gently engages your muscles. The child’s pose helps release tension in the lower back and hips, promoting relaxation. Here’s how to perform it:

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  • Kneel on the mat, sitting back on your heels.
  • Extend your arms forward, lowering your chest toward the floor.
  • Rest your forehead on the mat and breathe deeply.
child's pose
Child’s pose or Balasana does more than help you relax! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Bridge pose (Setu bandhasana)

It strengthens the back, glutes, and thighs, providing stability to the postpartum body. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Lie on your back, knees bent and feet hip-width apart.
  • Press through your feet, lifting your hips toward the ceiling.
  • Clasp your hands under your back and roll your shoulders beneath you.

3. Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank pose)

The plank pose engages the core, arms, and shoulders, promoting overall strength. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Start in a plank position with your wrists directly under your shoulders.
  • Lower your body, keeping it in a straight line.
  • Hold for a few breaths before moving to an upward-facing dog or lowering to the mat.

Also read: Postpartum belly fat: 7 exercises for a flat belly post pregnancy

4. Trikonasana (Triangle pose)

It stretches the sides and hips and strengthens the legs, aiding in postpartum recovery. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Stand with your legs wide apart.
  • Turn one foot out and reach toward the toes of that foot, extending the opposite arm up.
  • Keep both legs straight and maintain a strong core.
trikonasana
Trikonasana can help strengthening of legs, hips, back, and shoulders. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)

This pose strengthens the back muscles and opens the chest, helping to reduce the strain of nursing and carrying your baby. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Lie on your stomach, palms beneath your shoulders.
  • Inhale, lifting your chest off the mat while keeping your pelvis grounded.
  • Elongate your neck and look upward.

6. Tadasana (Mountain pose)

Apart from promoting alignment and balance, which are vital for new mothers adjusting to these new body changes, this pose also strengthens your body. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Stand with your feet together, arms by your sides.
  • Lift your arms overhead, reaching toward the sky.
  • Engage your thighs and core, with feet grounded on the floor. Breathe and look forward.

7. Ustrasana (Camel pose)

It improves spinal flexibility and strengthens the back, providing relief from postpartum discomfort. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Kneel on the mat, tucking your toes under.
  • Reach back, placing hands on heels.
  • Arch your back, lifting your chest and hips.
camel pose for heart
Camel pose has multiple health benefits. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

8. Naukasana/Navasana (Boat pose)

Boat pose targets the core, enhancing abdominal strength and toning your body. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Sit on the mat, knees bent, feet flat.
  • Lean back slightly, lifting your legs and extending your arms forward.
  • Find balance in your sitting bones.

9. Cat cow pose (Chakravakasana)

In addition to enhancing spinal flexibility, this pose also relieves tension in the back and neck. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
  • Inhale, arching your back (cow pose).
  • Exhale, rounding your spine (cat pose).

Also read: 5 things every new mother needs to know about her first period post pregnancy

10. Savasana (Corpse pose)

To finish your yoga routine, practise Savasana. It is a restorative pose that promotes deep relaxation, which is crucial for postpartum recovery. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides.
  • Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and relax.
Savasana or corpse pose
Savasana is a great yoga pose to improve mental peace. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

11. Pranayama

After physical relaxation, you may also perform Pranayama to calm your mind. It helps reduce stress, enhances lung capacity, and fosters mental clarity. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Sit comfortably with your spine straight.
  • Practice deep, diaphragmatic breathing.
  • Gradually extend the duration of inhales and exhales. Here’s how to perform it:

Perform these poses regularly to see the difference in your post-pregnancy body!

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