Liberate your Upper Back, Neck and Shoulders: Yoga for New Moms

 

I don’t know about you, but I remember those days of being a mom with a new baby.  It’s around the clock care: breastfeeding, rocking, putting to sleep, diaper changing, and repeat.  I remember with the first baby, I hardly did anything else.  I remember feeling trapped and tied to the house.  I was so stiff from not exercising and exhausted just from the rigors of taking care of a new baby.  Not only did I need a mental relief, but I needed a physical relief.
 
I didn’t really think about this then, but yoga would have been the perfect opportunity to just relax those muscles from holding a baby all day to the breast, carrying, etc.  Plus, just to move would have made me feel a lot better.
 
Yoga-for-new-moms-health-fitness

Your upper back, neck and shoulder regions of the body can become stiff and sore when breast-feeding and carrying around a new-born or a toddler. In Iyengar Yoga we have many ways to relieve this tension and restore full range movement from this, and other parts of the body. Below are a few simple shoulder rejuvinaters that you can do with a yoga strap, tie, towel or exercise band. They do not require a lot of time and can be done anywhere. 
 

Shoulder lubrication:

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Motion is lotion! Try doing large arm circles like you are swimming the backstroke and the crawl stroke to increase circulation and get your arms, ribs moving, and your shoulder blades sliding and gliding on your upper back. Focus on making the largest circles that you can. Breath fully and freely. Do this until you feel warmth around your chest and shoulders. Now hold the yoga strap in front of your body with your arms straight. While holding the strap, take both arms above your head and back behind you in one smooth circular movement. You might need to widen your hands–sometimes we don’t realize just how tight or how restricted our shoulders have become. Repeat this about 5 times while synchronizing your breath and your movements. After a few repetitions, try pausing when your arms are at shoulder height behind your back. Then try and stretch the belt. You will feel a big stretch across your chest. Make sure you can take a full breath as you do this–that way your nervous system will realize it is not under threat. Again–you might need to widen your hands. Smiling softly while doing this shoulder extension work can really help if you tend to hold your breath!
 

 Upper Back and Chest

 


 

Supported upper back and chest opening Savasana (corpse pose): If you are in a place where you can lie down, try resting your upper back over a tightly rolled towel or blanket. Support you head with a yoga block or a book. Take your arms over your head and down toward the ground. Stay for several breaths, then take your arms to the sides of you body, with the palms facing upwards and rest for as long as you like. When you are ready to come up, roll to your side, turn your face toward the floor and come up to sit. 
 
 

Core

 

#tips Yoga-for-new-moms

 

Jathara Parivartansasna or stomach turning pose: Another great pose is a supine supported twist. Lie down with both knees bent at a right angle. Take your knees to the right side of your body and rest them on the floor. You might need a pillow or block between your knees if you feel any discomfort in your lower back. Turn your chest toward the ceiling and spread both arms out to the side. Stay here for several breaths, then repeat to the other side. Then lie flat on the floor in Savasana (corpse pose) for a few minutes. 
 
Try doing these poses daily if you can. Your upper back, neck and shoulders will thank you.
 

 
 
What offered relief for you as you adjusted to being a new mom?

 

Lisa
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About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile

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