August 31, 2022 3 min read

Motherhood can be exhausting with the sleepless nights, on-demand nursing sessions, the diaper-changing, the crying, and unexpected challenges that spring on you out of nowhere.

In all the chaos that new mothers find themselves in, taking time to find ‘calm’ can be very relaxing and rewarding. New mothers need to take care of themselves so that they are better able to take care of their babies.

As fitness expert Holly Ngiam tells us, postnatal yoga can be very effective for new mothers. We drop by Movement Labs, her fitness studio, and chat with her about yoga.

In this interview excerpt, Holly tells us all about postnatal yoga and how breathing exercises can help your mind and body calm down.

1. Why is postnatal yoga important for mummies?

Many of us think of yoga as fancy, complicated contortions - and while this is often what yoga studios sell, it couldn’t be further from “real” yoga.

Yoga is a path toward connection - a calming of the mind to find unity in ourselves. This can be done through mindset work, breathing exercises, and/or physical postures (asana).

Parenting is a practice that demands we stay connected and calm, often amid fatigue, uncertainty, and the fast-changing tides of our children’s emotions. I believe the mindset and breathing strategies that yoga teaches can be incredibly effective tools for navigating parenthood at all stages.

As for physical rehab - I can certainly teach physical rehab from pregnancy and delivery through yoga asana. This is a great approach for folks who enjoy a yoga practice; but there are actually many ways we can do this. I see the greatest value in yoga as the variety of tools it provides to better equip us for the demands of real-life parenting.

2. What kind of techniques will you apply to postnatal yoga?

We practice mindset and breathing exercises and bridge those to core and pelvic floor strategies, which we can then translate to yoga asana. 

We also discuss contraindications - what signals/signs indicate that certain positions or postures may not be right for you right now? How can you adjust them to continue with your practice? How can you build a stronger and more connected body to access these postures again?

Lots of instructors give black-and-white, do-and-don’t lists to their postpartum practitioners. But since every body, pregnancy, and delivery are unique - we prefer to educate you on what to look for in yourself, so YOU can identify what may or may not be serving your body right now.

When is a good time to start postnatal yoga?

You can begin (or continue!) mindset and breath work immediately postpartum, and some simple stretches and daily-life type movements shortly thereafter.

However, we will always ask you to have your OB’s clearance before returning to an asana-based practice or coming into the studio postpartum.

Generally, this is given at 6 weeks for vaginal delivery and 8-10 weeks for C-sections. Please remember that this clearance does NOT mean your body is “ready for anything” - it usually just means that your stitches have healed, and we can begin gentle postpartum rehab.

4. What yoga essentials do I need to start doing yoga at home?

If you are doing a physical practice, you may want a few props handy. We recommend a mat or non-slip surface to practice on, a wall or chair nearby, a pillow and/or blanket, and perhaps a scarf/belt to use in place of a yoga strap. Two yoga blocks, or dried beans/rice in a rectangular Tupperware container may also be useful.

Holly also showed us how simple yoga techniques that you can follow. These are great for mums who are taking care of little babies. You can follow these techniques and incorporate them in your daily routine with less than 3 minutes of your time.

Watch video to learn more:

Are you enjoying this post?

Feel free to share this with any mums. Join the mums community today and receive weekly motherhood tips and tricks directly to your inbox. Occasionally we will send you updates on new launches and exclusive events, and you will always be the first to know.

Shop Lovemère collection today.