Saturday, Dec 10, 2022

Jessica Gershman (The Zen Mommy), offers postpartum recovery poses

Postpartum yoga is a great option because it has so many naturally soothing effects. Motherhood is stressful and requires a lot of sleep. Your body..

Jessica Gershman (The Zen Mommy), offers postpartum recovery poses

Postpartum yoga is a great option because it has so many naturally soothing effects. Motherhood is stressful and requires a lot of sleep. Your body has undergone such remarkable changes in the past 9 months that traditional high-impact workouts may not be safe for you. After having my two daughters, yoga was my favorite form of exercise. It can reduce stress and pain and help you sleep deeper.

Jessica Gershman, also known as the Zen Mommy, says that she discovered yoga soon after giving birth to her first child. She said that it was "a great way to feel so relaxed in your body and have never regretted it."

After childbirth, what are the changes that every woman's body experiences?

Women's bodies undergo so many changes after childbirth that many women don't like their new post-partum bodies. Yoga helped me to reconnect with my inner beauty. Jessica says that yoga was a safe space where she could explore her emotions and connect with her thoughts. After that moment of profound change on the yoga mat, I kept practicing yoga regularly. The more I practiced yoga, the more I felt better. I still remember the many times I was in a dispute with my husband while on my way to yoga. It was about issues I don't remember. I called my husband 10 times out of 10 and would apologize and try to see the situation in a new way. Yoga allowed me to see things from a different perspective. My practice grew and blossomed to the point that I was regularly practicing yoga every day. My body began to become stronger, more flexible, and leaner. But, I also noticed that I was more patient. This is a quality that is just as important as being a parent, as kids can test your patience at any moment.

My yoga mat was the only thing I could take to the studio after having my second child. My yoga practice evolved as I became busier. Once a daily practice that lasted 7 days a week, it became a 10-15 minute routine that I do only a few times per week. I moved from intense, vigorous yoga to a more gentle and restorative practice. Yoga evolved with me.

As my children grew older, I found the time to meditate and create the space that I needed to connect with my inner child. As our lives change, the body of a woman is constantly changing. Mothering small children can be very demanding. Children need constant support and supervision. At this stage in life, yoga may appear as breath work, legs up to the wall pose, or shavasana. Your children will be more demanding of your time as they get older and you will need to give them more emotional intelligence. Yoga can look like warrior poses to awaken your inner goddess or to release stuck energy. Yoga can grow and move with you.

It has been a constant source of comfort for me, and it will continue to be so as I age and the demands of life change.

Postpartum Routine Yoga:

Postpartum and for up to three months, emphasize on breathing. This includes reconnection with diaphragmatic breath, child's pose and legs up the walls.

Postpartum 3 Months and Beyond: can incorporate mild inversions like down dog or strengthening poses like warrior II.

Supported Breath Work:

"I love the 7-11 breath. It gives me stress relief. Being a mom can be stressful. We need tools to help us regulate our nervous systems and reduce stress. Jessica

  • Start by reclining in a comfortable place. Place your hands on your lap.
  • For a count 7 and 11 respectively, focus on inhaling through your nose. Exhale evenly for 11 counts. You will feel the difference after 10 repetitions. You can do this as many times as you need.

Balasana: Child's pose

Benefits reduces tension in the back, shoulders and chest. This asana helps stretch the hips, thighs and ankles.

How to put it into practice

  • Kneel on your mat and keep your knees at the hip distance.
  • Place your toes together and sit on your heels. Once you're ready, lower your torso towards the mat between your thighs. Spread your arms in front, palms down. Spread your knees further if your body won't allow it. This will help you avoid placing pressure on your abdomen.
  • Relax your head on a mat or a block. Relax your neck, arms and shoulders. Relax your muscles and re-connect with your breath. (Variations: If your hip joints are tight, keep your knees together. Lower your torso to the top of your thighs.
  • To relieve the pressure on your ankles, place a towel under your shins. If you have suffered a knee injury, be careful when performing the child's pose.

Adho Mukha Shvanasana: Down Dog

Benefits - As a mild inversion and to increase blood flow, down dog helps to ease tensions and strengthen the arms.

How to put it into practice

  • Begin by standing in a plank, with your feet at hip distance, your toes tucked and your shoulders above your wrists.
  • To form a straight line between your shoulders and your heels, lift your hips. To form a pyramid-like shape with your body, lift your hips up and back.
  • Keep your focus on creating a straight line between your hands and your hips. Your abdominal muscles and upper thighs should be squeezed towards each other.
  • To open your chest, rotate your triceps down. Your neck should be relaxed, with your eyes looking down toward your feet. Then, lift your heels towards the ground. For 10 deep breaths, hold the position and breathe evenly.

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II).

Benefits: Opens your chest and lungs; energizes tired legs; develops balance and stability; stretches the hips.

How to put it into practice

  • Step your right foot towards the top of your mat. Place your left heel on the ground and then turn your face to the long side.
  • Your left foot should be slightly inward. Now, your right foot should point out towards the top of the mat. Your front heel should be in line with the arch of your back.
  • Engage your leg muscles until they reach the bone. Then, draw your pelvic floor muscles in and up. Keep your legs straight and bend your right knee 90 degrees. Your torso should be straight and your arms outwards at shoulder height.
  • Tend to the position for 10 minutes, focusing on your breathing. As a transition position, use down Dog. Then repeat the process on the opposite side.

Pose with legs up the wall (viparita Karani)

Benefits increase circulation, stress relief, and lower leg swelling.

How to put it into practice

  • Try to place your feet as close as you can to a solid wall.
  • Your legs should be extended so your heels are against the wall, and your legs should be above your heart.
  • For maximum comfort, support your upper body by using pillows and blankets.
  • Focus on your natural, calm, and gentle breath for at least 3-5 minutes.

About the author

Jessica Gershman, formerly known as Mom Slow Down, is the voice behind The Zen –ish Mommy podcast. She is also a passionate believer of the importance of self-care. As a yoga instructor, a home chef and a mindfulness practitioner, she helps moms to slow down, be themselves, and enjoy the'me-time' without feeling guilty.

This content is not meant to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any questions regarding a medical condition, consult your doctor or another qualified health provider.