By Jennifer Dixon MBA ERYT 500
I just celebrated my son’s 1st birthday. It’s amazing to think that just 1 year ago I was so incredibly happy to not be pregnant anymore. (Can I get an Amen from any sisters?) I met that little guy after far too long of an ordeal to really want to reminisce upon, but the wait and the journey were definitely worth it the second he got here. Caleb came into this world and my world changed again. What didn’t change was the fact that I gained weight…A LOT of it. Right at 45 lbs to be exact…which is a LOT, but not quite as much as I gained with my first child, Adalia, which was a whopping 70lbs! Yup, I’m gonna be that honest and let you ALL know that. So, here I was, a “later in life” mama (37 when I had Caleb) dealing with needing to lose around 30 lbs postpartum.
Oh yeah, you ladies that haven’t had babies yet, that weight doesn’t just magically disappear.
Oh my goodness, I loved my maternity pants FAR too long after having my daughter…With Caleb, I’m a full-time yoga teacher–that means I basically get to wear “maternity” clothes every day, so it doesn’t get much less “constructive” (which is AWESOME by the way!)
After Adalia, I had to lose 55lbs. Caleb was 30lb.
That’s a lot of weight! I have always been befuddled by the women who gained like 12 lbs or well, basically anything under what I gained, because I spent every bit of the 40 weeks starving. All that extra weight had to come off- for my own health. I didn’t need to be lugging around basically a small human the whole time, so I needed to do something. I’ve never been one for starvation (Clearly, right?!?!) so diets weren’t going to work. Especially since Breastfeeding basically made me every bit as hungry as being pregnant did!
This is not a hellfire and brimstone message where all mamas are doomed to a life of extra weight and the sluggishness that’s associated with it. On the contrary, this post is about how I used Yoga after pregnancy to help me feel better, lose weight, and strengthen the low belly, or Mama Belly that came with Pregnancy and weight gain.
Disclaimer #1: –This did NOT happen overnight.
Disclaimer #2: –This required a LOT of work.
Disclaimer #3 — I don’t diet. I don’t eat terribly, and I really REALLY am working on making better choices, but the “D” word is a bad word up there with saying the Good Lord’s Name in Vain, so that wasn’t an option.
How to use Yoga to Lose Weight, Feel Better, and Strengthen that “Mama Belly.”
- Practice Yoga
- Practice Yoga
- Practice Yoga
You’re probably like, “What the heck, are you serious?” Yup, I’m serious. How do you lose weight, feel better, and strengthen (and lose) that mama belly? Practice some yoga! What type of Yoga do you need to practice to help you reach those goals? Well, this is not an article about nutrition -so I won’t get into that aspect, but suffice it to say that weight loss comes when you consume less than you use. But- that’s not the only magic key to helping you reach all those goals. I’m sure you’ve seen the super skinny people that look like they’d break if a strong wind blew through. That’s not what we want–skinny for the sake of being skinny. What you want is HEALTH.
You want to be Healthy so you can chase those beautiful babies around. You want to live a healthy lifestyle so you can live to hold our grandchildren or (Lord willing) great-grandchildren, and be examples of vitality and a life that truly Thrives. You want a fitness level that allows you to enjoy your life with energy and happiness. You can get all the benefits of exercise with a regular, strong yoga practice.
What is a regular yoga practice? Postpartum, it can be very hard to have a significant physical activity level. I mean, the first 3 months you’re basically a sleep-deprived milk machine, so the idea of anything that requires your heart rate to be above resting sounds abhorrent! However, the beauty of yoga is that it can be practiced anywhere, at any time, and for any length of time. The best part of a regular yoga practice, especially postpartum, is that it can help to chase away the nasty baby blues or postpartum depression.
Did you know a sweaty strong yoga session can burn the same calories as an hour at the gym–it CAN! AND–even better, you get the benefits of a stronger heart, stronger, leaner muscles, flexibility, and relaxation–all in a 60-75 minute session! How Amazing is that? Yes, not all yoga classes will have you working the same amount, but you can find them–either in the studio or online, that can help you
bring more relaxation, flexibility, strength, and fitness into your life and, now, Thrive Yoga and Wellness can help you do that from the comfort of your own home!
Types of Yoga Classes designed to help you build strength
- Power Yoga
- Heated Yoga
- Some Vinyasa or Flow Yoga (this term can vary in terms of intensity, so its best to call the studio and ask the front desk or ask a friend that goes.)
Now, I’m sure you want to know what are the magic tools to help you lose the Mama Belly (as promised–and I Promise it won’t be just to practice yoga.)
Three tools you can use to help you lose the mama belly:
- Boat Pose – Navasana – all variations (this is from our Youtube page!)
- Plank Pose – all variations
- Balance Poses – all variations—Balance forces you to engage your abdominal muscles, so it’s like an extra credit to the standing pose!
(we are building our Youtube Channel monthly so subscribe to our channel to learn even more about yoga!)
If you would like to learn more about how you can incorporate yoga into your postpartum routine, and do it from the comfort of your home, we are absolutely THRILLED to announce that Thrive is now ONLINE! We have our very first Online Yoga program titled The Mommy Bounce Back Program.
I designed this online yoga program (which has over 3.5 hours of yoga sequences and drills) specifically for the postpartum mama. The yoga poses that are used in the included sequences will challenge you physically–in all the right places. Each video challenges your co
re muscles, builds muscles in your legs and arms, and makes you work your balance. You will leave each sequence or drill feeling challenged and stronger!
Whether you recently had a baby, or your “baby just had her baby, The Mommy Bounce Back Program can help you bring your yoga home, build strength and flexibility, it can help improve balance, and confidence, and most importantly, make you feel better. I’m super proud of this program, and I know that you’ll love it from the very first boat pose. 😉
If you have any questions about yoga for pregnancy, postpartum, for fitness, or basically anything, please, don’t hesitate to reach out anytime. I’m available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org