Yoga for Mom, Yoga for Life
Metro Moms Fitness recommends these yoga poses for mothers of all ages, shapes, sizes, and fitness backgrounds. They’re perfect for pregnancy, too!
Fish pose can help to reduce many of the most common symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings, undue weight gain, or sleeplessness. Additionally, fish pose can help ward off wrinkles by increasing controlled blood flow to your head. This pose opens the hips and pelvis and revitalizes the entire digestive and reproductive areas.
For extra support, place several folded blankets or a firm pillow behind your back before lying down. You can support your neck with a rolled towel or small pillow or recline back far enough for your forehead to touch the ground.
To begin fish pose, you can choose to sit between or on your heels, with legs crossed or in butterfly pose, or with your legs straight out in front of you. Arch your back and recline as far backward as you can while resting on your forearms (if seated cross-legged or in butterfly, you can lie flat on your back). Try to rest your forehead on the ground or lift your chin up towards the sky without straining your neck. Breathe with inhales and exhales coming from the nose, each lasting about 2-3 seconds. Hold for 30-60 seconds, or as long as you can without feeling light-headed or dizzy.
Bridge pose massages and invigorates the digestive organs and is excellent for general strengthening of the ovaries and uterus. By squeezing your bottom and holding in (tensing) your abdominals, you can also tone and tighten your glutes and abs. You have the option to do this pose with or without your baby or toddler sitting on lower abdomen or pelvis for added resistance.
Start on your back with your knees bent. Place feet flat on the ground close to the buttocks. Reach down and grab your ankles or hold your baby on top of you. Keep your feet, head, and upper shoulders on the ground and lift your hips up towards the sky. Lift as high as is comfortable on your inhale, then slowly lower back to the ground as you exhale. Continue for 1-2 minutes. You also have the option to hold the bridge with hips lifted for 1 minute to work on strengthening your lower back, buttocks, and abdominals.
Pigeon pose increases flexibility in the hips and groin and stretches thigh muscles. It expands the chest, strengthens the lungs, and facilitates deep breathing. Pigeon pose has many variations (seated pigeon can be done in a chair and is the only variation suitable for pregnancy) and can strengthen the back muscles as it revitalizes the kidneys and the entire endocrine system (adrenals, reproductive glands, pancreas, thyroid).
On the ground, slide your left knee forward between your elbows and your right leg straight out behind you. Square your hips to the front and lie the right foot flat on the ground. Lower your left hip toward the ground and draw your upper body upright. As you relax your shoulders and lengthen your spine through the crown of your head, lift your sternum and press your heart center forward. Look straight ahead and hold for 30-60 seconds. For a deeper hip stretch, lower your chest towards the ground, using your forearms for support if needed. Hold for 1-2 minutes. Repeat on the other side.
This full squat pose is said to be the ancient birthing position. While we don’t buy it, we do appreciate its many benefits. Squat strengthens the muscles in your back while opening up your hips and toning your pelvic floor (pelvic floor consists of your urethra, vagina, PC muscles, and rectum). It is necessary for women to have strong pelvic floor muscles to help push their baby out during a vaginal delivery, to control the flow of urine when not able to make it to a restroom, and to increase the pleasure of intercourse.
Start standing with toes turned out and feet about hip-width apart. Inhale lifting your back up nice and tall and bringing hands to heart. Exhale lower all the way down to the ground so you are in a squat position. Use your elbows to push your knees open, straighten your back, and support your balance. Hold this position for 1-2 minutes. Once you complete this pose you can gently place your hands behind you on the ground and sit.
Frog pose is a very deep hip opener that is sure to increase flexibility while toning your pelvic floor (pelvic floor consists of your urethra, vagina, PC muscles, and rectum). Frog is a perfect pose for expecting mothers and mothers who run or need increased hip flexibility.
Start seated on your knees. Drop your forearms down to the ground and slowly open your knees are far as is comfortable (you can hold your weight up by having straight arms in this pose, if resting on your forearms is too intense). Your knees and toes should be turned out. You can place towels or blankets under your knees for added support. The further away your hands or forearms are from your body the easier the pose while the closer your forearms or hands are to your body the deeper the stretch. Hold frog pose for 1-2 minutes, breathing deeply with inhales and exhales through the nose, holding each breath for 2-3 seconds each.