Introducing our yoga and wellness expert: As part of our new Body Silk Seamless Yoga launch, we’ve connected with Latham Thomas, a yogi and expert on all things wellness, and a lover of our new Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra, our newest and most flattering fit for any active mom – expectant or new.
What poses help with back pain associated with pregnancy?
Back pain is really common for pregnant moms and it’s a product of the body constantly changing, so your center of gravity is always moving. The spinal discs tend to become compressed when we’re pregnant, and because of that there is less fluid between each disc, which can make the spine feel very tight, leading to pain and discomfort. I have a few key tips and poses to help.
So many of us sleep on our sides as were advised by our doctors, but we tend to collapse our legs. When you lie down on your side, simply place your top leg on a bolster or pillow to help keep the hip, knee and ankle in one line, which can relieve a lot of stress from the lower back and help promote better rest.
Wide leg child leg pose is also a very therapeutic pose. This gentle stretch calms the brain, helping to relieve stress and fatigue, along with back and neck pain. It also helps stretch the hips, thighs and ankles. Kneel down to your mat and touch your big toes together. Then, press your hips back toward your heels, separate your knees to hips-width and lay your torso down onto a bolster for low back pain relief. Simply breathe deeply and rest for 5-to-10 breaths to feel the benefits.
Another great pose to relieve back pain during pregnancy is pigeon pose. If you have a bump, place your leg on an angle that allows you space and elevate your upper body on pillows, forearms or a bolster. Also you can get the same benefits by sitting in a chair, on the edge and crossing your leg over to the knee- and leaning forward. That really opens your outer hip.
I just had my baby. What light exercises can I do to help restore my pelvic floor?
I suggest that new moms start exercising in a very minimal way, even within hours after the birth. From your hospital bed, your bed at home or anywhere you’re comfortable, lie on your back and place your feet directly beneath your knees and lay your arms alongside the body. Gently tilt your hips up and back down to engage the pubis up to the navel, lifting the pelvic floor. The motion does not need to be large. Use your strength to lift up every so slightly and then lower back down, repeating several times at your own pace. These small motions can make a huge difference to help the body reintegrate post-baby. Remember it’s not about the pushing yourself. This exercise is about reengaging with your body and getting to know your new body after baby.
Another exercise I like are gentle lateral side stretches to help engage Serratus interior and the obliques. When you’re pregnant, the abdominal muscles are pushed out to side so the belly can extend forward. Afterwards it’s about reintegration of those muscles.
The beginning of breastfeeding journey has been overwhelming. How can I find my calm again?
This is something I hear a lot from nursing moms. So know that you’re not alone. I have a few quick tips to help you find a place of calm during the course of your day.
Deep breathing exercises. Either lie on your back or sit up nice and tall on a chair or seated on the floor. Take a moment to connect to the place where you go to feel calm, such as your yoga practice, and close your eyes and imagine yourself there. Practice belly breathing. On the inhale, extend through the belly and contract on the exhale. Take 10 slow, deep full breaths. This simple exercise can help reset the brain and help take you from a place of frenzy to a place of calm. And the best part is, you can practice deep belly breathing anywhere, anytime.
Another thing you can do is practicing consistency by taking a few moments for yourself every day or as often as you can. With new motherhood, things are always in flux. There is so much change happening. Your baby is learning something new everyday. You’re learning new tasks and have so much on your plate. It’s really important to map out time for yourself that you can look forward to – even if it’s five minutes. So in the same way you plan and look forward to things like date night or a call with a friend, finding time for yourself is also incredibly important. Dedicate a few minutes of time during each day to enjoy your favorite yoga poses is something you can try to do with consistency. Some of you will find it easier to find time in the morning or before you go to sleep. Some of you may find it easier to carve out a few minutes for yourself when your baby is napping. The important thing is that you did it with consistency. Practicing self-care with consistency will go a long way to helping you reclaim that place of calm and comfort.
It’s been a month since my caesarean. Is postnatal yoga safe?
It’s generally advised that moms allow themselves to heal for 6 weeks post birth. But you should check with your doctor first before starting back with your yoga routine. A gentle practice is a great way to start back.
What is your favorite Yoga position to prepare for prepare for upcoming labour and birth?
My favorite pose to prepare for labor and birth is the goddess squat- which helps strengthen the legs, outer hips, and engages the pelvic floor. During a squat your pelvis is 30% more open.
What’s the alternative pigeon position when you have a baby bump?
If you have a bump you place your leg on an angle that allows you space and elevate your upper body on pillows, forearms or a bolster. Also you can get the same benefits by sitting in a chair, on the edge and crossing your leg over to the knee- and leaning forward. That really opens your outer hip.