I honestly thought I would be able to jump back into to doing yoga NO PROBLEM within a couple of weeks of having a baby. I WAS WRONG. And I'm sure my friends out there reading this are telling me, I told you so! But honestly, who listens to people when they give you advice?? :) And for the anatomy geek that I am, I am embarrassed to say that I really didn't quite understand the impact of having a baby did to my body.
I am so lucky to have met Stephanie Riley-Sookram of Warrioress Fitness a couple of years ago. She is a certified personal trainer who specializes in pre and post-natal fitness and is also a Core Confidence Specialist certified by Bellies Inc. meaning she can train women who have diastasis recti and/or pelvic floor dysfunction. I signed up for her Mommy and Baby Core 6 week series a mere three weeks after my little guy was born. People thought I was crazy but a) I needed to get out of the house and b) I wanted to start incorporating some gentle movement back into my life. Contrary to what you may think, her core series isn't all about sit-ups and planks. In fact, we did none of that. The movements she took us through incorporated core breathing to strengthen your pelvic floor (which hello, after 2.5 hours of pushing took a bit of a beating!) and reduce the diastasis I had (I started off with a 4 finger separation!!). For more information on diastasis recti, click here.
Now, after the 6 weeks, my pelvic floor was MUCH stronger (I no longer leaked upon sneezing or coughing) and my diastasis was reduced to a 2 finger separation. BUT I wasn't very good about incorporating my core breathing throughout my daily life and I returned to doing planks and vigorous exercise earlier than I should have.
So, here I am, back at Mommy and Baby Core for round 2! And I am doing my core breathing exercises daily. More importantly, I have modified my yoga practice so not to aggravate the diastasis further - no planks, no navasana, no sit-ups/crunches and a whole lot of yin and restorative! And so far, I am feeling MUCH BETTER.
If you are in the Halton or Peel region and are interested in attending the Mommy and Baby Core class, please reach out to Stephanie here and if you are interested in postnatal yoga that focuses on healing the core, I will be running a 4 week session starting in February! Details are here.