I’ve practiced yoga for 20 years. I was a private yoga teacher for nearly a decade. But no matter how many downward dogs I helped my prenatal and postpartum mom clients ease into, there’s one benefit that I just didn’t appreciate until after I became a mother myself: how yoga can help with the often-touchy topic of sex after baby. Especially when you aren’t ready yet.
If you’re a new mom and your mind bends just thinking about sex, don’t worry.
That’s completely normal. This isn’t a post about yoga gets you “back in shape” so you feel sexier. Or how it helps you find new positions to use during that 15 minutes after baby’s bedtime when you and your partner
can’t keep your hands off of each other try to speak coherent sentences before falling asleep from exhaustion.
A lot of moms aren’t emotionally ready to resume bedroom (or wherever) activity, even when their physicians say their physically ready. Maybe you’re processing a birth trauma. Maybe you’re too tired. Maybe you’re “just not interested” anymore.
But, it isn’t always that simple. Because our bodies are complicated.
Conceiving, creating and birthing another human being is fertile ground for hormonal tornados for years to come as your body tries to get back into balance. Breastfeeding and babywearing can leave you totally touched out. And even if you didn’t physically grow and birth your child, the sheer exhaustion from childcaring makes sleep feel more orgasmic than the real thing.
Enter, postnatal yoga.
As a new mom, you’ve got a lot of options when it comes to physical activity. Walking. Barre. Soul Cycle. Picking up your kid’s toys. Every. 5. Minutes.
Even if we forget about yoga’s historical tantric roots (and how the right yoga pants can give you a boost in all the right places), why might you prioritize this ancient practice?
1. Yoga is a beautiful way to reconnect the parts of your whole. When you feel disconnected, disjointed, and pulled in a million different directions, yoga is a strategy to stitch your body, mind, and heart back together. It can feel internal and expansive, physical and spiritual, restorative and sensual, all tied together in the same session.
2. Yoga’s emphasis on linking your breath to your body’s movements makes you more conscious of how your body moves. This awareness helps you feel connected and grounded.
3. Yoga trains your brain, releasing distractions and making it easier to reach what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “a flow state,” associated with positivity, happiness, and contentment. It also helps you “let go,” a helpful skill to practice for sexual connection with your partner.
4. A good postnatal yoga practice will include essential post-birth pelvic floor exercises, like Kegels. Done regularly, this therapeutic work can retrain your pelvic anatomy, give you confidence in your amazing body, and help heal post-birth conditions like urinary and/or fecal incontinence.
If you’re a mama, hold tight, trust yourself, try dusting off your yoga mat. If you’re a papa, be supportive, trust your partner, make sure she has baby-free time for her practice.
Ready to start (or resume) your postnatal yoga practice?
Here are some ways to begin:
- Hire an excellent private yoga teacher.
- Search the Internet for a group yoga class (e.g., “yoga near me + [city]”).
- Ask your postpartum group, physician, or pediatrician for yoga recommendations.
- Login to Yogaglo (or elsewhere) and press “play.”
- If you’re pregnant or postpartum, use Deb’s article to get Kegeling. (Like, yesterday.)
Yoga is a brilliant way to heal and help yourself, especially during big transitions like new motherhood. Whether it’s a 60-minute vinyasa class, or a 2-pose living room practice, breathe and be with yourself.
Your timeline is the only one that matters, and if you’re in tune with your body, chances are that you’re right on track.