As a yoga instructor who works with many moms, I find that the most common area mamas want to focus on is strengthening the core. After childbirth, the abdominal muscles get stretched so much that many women find it difficult to get rid of the “pooch”, even after losing the baby weight. I find that Navasana (or boat pose) is a great way to tone the abs, strengthen the lower back and rebuild the integrity of the pelvic floor. Here’s a version where you can cuddle with your baby and tighten your midsection at the same time!
Start by having your baby snuggly in your lap facing away from you. Make sure you’re firmly on your sit-bones with your feet planted on the floor. With a flat back, lean back until you’re on the edge of your sit-bones and tailbone, feeling your abs engage. When you feel steady, lift up your legs so that your shins are parallel to the floor. Cradle baby with your arms or extend them to either side of your legs, parallel to each other and the floor. Inhale and exhale for up to 10 counts. Repeat as many times as you’d like. Tickle baby’s feet to make the time go by faster. 🙂