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The post-natal phase (or the period following childbirth) is one of the most critical stages in a woman’s life. That’s because the body, after a pregnancy, remains considerably weak (sometimes for a prolonged period of time) and thus requires extra care. Breathing exercises, in particular, allow more intake of oxygen, better circulation, and reduce stress levels. Here is a list of some of the most common breathing exercises for postnatal fitness.

Breathing Exercises for Postnatal Fitness:

1. Ujjayi Breathing

A fine Yogic breathing exercise, this helps to increase general energy levels at a time that is otherwise marked by lethargy and diminished vitality.

Steps to follow:

  • Inhale and exhale deeply through the nose
  • Keep mouth closed (or lips pursed) at all times
  • Continue inhaling till a certain ‘fullness’ is felt in the chest
  • Exhale naturally, all the while maintaining an erect neck and head

2. Abdominal breathing

One of the more common features in one’s postnatal care arsenal, this breathing exercise aids expansion of the lungs, thereby letting one inhale more. It also helps to strengthen one’s abdominal muscles.

Steps to follow:

  • With knees bent, lie down with back on the ground
  • Now, keep right hand on stomach, left hand on chest
  • Inhale through the nose
  • Maintain a still chest while doing the exercise
  • Exhale gradually while stomach should slowly deflate

3. Roll breathing

This exercise, besides bettering breathing, also helps to relax painful muscles.

Steps to follow:

  • Start breathing with one hand on the stomach and the other on chest
  • Bring a slight bend in the knees
  • Continue the exercise for 8-10 cycles
  • Practice conscious breathing, as the abdomen should rise and fall back again
  • Exhale gradually with a whooshing sound coming out from the mouth
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4. The 4-7-8 technique

This yogic technique – that is rooted in the ancient Pranayama – helps practitioners get gradual control over their breathing. More importantly, this exercise can have a long-term impact on one’s stress-levels, giving the tissues and organs a much-needed boost of oxygen.

Steps to follow:

  • Part the lips and exhale making a whooshing sound
  • Inhale through the nose while counting till 4 in the head
  • Hold breath for 7 seconds
  • Exhale with a whooshing sound while counting till 8 in the head

5. Pranayama

Derived from two root Sanskrit words (Prana meaning life and Ayama meaning control), this age-old breathing exercise is steeped in tradition and wisdom. It is a proven winner when it comes to improving respiratory functions and resolving stress-related disorders, including anxiety and hypertension.

Steps to follow:

  • Inhale deeply through the nostrils; diaphragm should move down while abdomen should move out
  • Exhale deeply through the nostrils; abdomen should shrink now
  • Do 10-15 reps of the same
  • Speed up breathing with continuous practice

In conclusion, these breathing exercises can substantially improve life after pregnancy. Additionally, these can improve the metabolism of the body and ensure mental peace. However, no exercise is full-proof and in case you are infected with major disease it is always advisable to consult a doctor.

1 Comment

  1. Joan Raisbeck September 19, 2020

    Ah yes, the constant maintenance of who works where and staying in touch with them. So scary when someone leaves a brand and you have to worry about it severing your connection!

    Reply

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