Yoga for c-section recovery

hello and welcome to this yoga class for

postnatal recovery after a cesarean

birth so in this class I'm going to take

it nice and gentle obviously if anything

doesn't feel good for your bodies

perhaps it pulls on your scar a little

bit or it just doesn't feel right yet

please take it easy listen to your body

I am NOT in your body so whilst I will

be instructing poses that I've worked

with clients in the studio who've had

cesarean births I can't be in your body

feeling what you're feeling to please

where possible listen to yourself and

take it nice and easy

so you wouldn't start this class until

after you're six to eight week checkup

however I think it's really important to

note just because you've had that

checkup just like a vaginal birth

doesn't mean you're ready to go as the

doctor often says you probably still

feel quite tender maybe a little numb

around that area and whilst the external

stitches have probably healed inside

you've got many layers that are still

healing so you need to go really

carefully and gently and really take the

time to rebuild your body it can take

nine months to a year sometimes even

longer to really restore and bring our

bodies back to that pre pregnancy

strength and alignment and bring all

those core internal muscles back to

where they were remember if you are

breastfeeding and relaxed and stays

around in the body for about nine months

after pregnancy if you breastfeed it's

longer so just be aware that this is

still allowing ligaments to open so

things aren't as supportive and strong

as they used to be so again go nice and

gently this particular class is a part

of my brand new series on postpartum

recovery if you'd like to check out the

whole series I'll leave the link to that

one below alright let's get into today's

class alright so to start with I really

just want us to focus on being able to

activate the belly muscles again and the

pelvic floor then after a cesarean birth

your pelvic floor probably has suffered

some damage so many emergency c-sections

come after a prolonged period of labor

already you may be you may have even

gotten to the pushing stage and spent

some time putting pressure in that area

so it will be affected just carrying

your baby for nine months will have put

a lot of pressure in the area so it's

important to start getting that


connection back again because that's

really all it is when it comes to the

pelvic floor it's linking up those

neural pathways between our brain and

the actual body part so sit comfortably

it might be up on the knees like me or

you can sit cross-legged and I want you

to bring the hands onto the belly so I

want you to breathe in and as you

breathe in I want you to breathe into

the belly so the low belly will expand

so will the side ribs and maybe a little

bit into the top of the chest but really

focus on this lower part to start with

the pelvic floor stays relaxed and then

as you exhale the side ribs

gently release so does the low belly so

that's moving the diaphragm up and I

want you to lift and engage those pelvic

floor muscles in and up are you doing it

that's it lift them in and up so they

hang kind of like a hammock from the

pelvis and then as you inhale again so

you breathe into the belly and this

pushes the diaphragm back down extend

out into the side rim to relax that

pelvic floor and then as you exhale let

the ribs come in let the belly draw back

in engage that pelvic floor lift it in

and us so this might feel a little bit

opposite to what you normally do for

some reason we've gotten into this

pattern of inhaling to suck in when

actually that makes no sense when you

inhale it should expand out and the same

with the pelvic floor we think inhale

lift up when actually it should be

working with the diaphragm so when the

diaphragm expands down the pelvic floor

releases and then as you exhale it draws

in and up so we're gonna do a few more

of those I want you to keep your hands

nice and low so it may even be on that

cesarean scar let's inhale and exhale



inhale exhale

with the hands gently pressing on your

scar I just want you to check in with

how you're feeling about your body so

keep this breath pattern moving

breathing into that low belly engaging

the pelvic floor perhaps taking this

time to notice how you feel about your

birth and what happened so it may not

necessarily be negative I know many

women who have positive caesarean

experiences but just allow yourself to

feel however you feel about this birth

the shoulders softened down away from

the ears and if you're feeling any

negative emotions around your birth I

mean negative thoughts oh we need to see

if you can I can allege them in the

heart and then breathe them away on the


slowly start to open the eyes up we're

going to come down onto the back so use

the arms to support you to come down and

come all the way down on the back so you

should be still using those arms for a

fair while after any sort of birth so

that we're not putting excess pressure

on those abdominal muscles so we're

really focusing on strengthening and

bringing them back to where they were

before we asked them to do anything like

a sit-up or any sort of core exercise so

from here I just want you to notice

where the pelvis sits and just gently

rock back and forward so you're starting

to turn on these lower abdominal muscles

there's really deep internal muscles as

you rock back and forward and then with

the feet pressing into the ground bring

the hands onto the belly again you might

like to bring them nice and low onto

that sky

take a deep breath in as you exhale

engage the core engage the pelvic floor

and slowly bring the right knee out to

the side inhale as you bring the knee in

and back up and then exhale opposite

site so the pelvic floor is engaged the

core is engaged so there won't be much

rocking through the hips which is

starting to reconnect our mind and our

body we connect this lower support

system around our hips that has been

through so much so stay working with the

breath we exhale as we lower down which

means that support is there as the leg

moves away from the midline of the body

so it could be really challenging for

you depending how soon after birth

you're practicing this class or it might

not be feeling too challenging at all it

is important though to do these really

early exercises because otherwise our

bigger muscles take on the role of what

the weaker internal muscles possibly

aren't able to do let's do one more on

each side exhale release the knee down

pelvic floor

core is engaged inhale drop back in


exhale and inhale so we're going to do

some roll ups now and I want you to

really focus on those glutes so really

squeezing and activating those muscles

as we roll up so if this doesn't feel

good on your scar at all just work with

the pelvic tilt so not coming all the

way up you'll still engage the glutes

when you press into the feet and tilt

the pelvis back towards you and then

inhale as you move forward and tilt the

pelvis back again so on the exhale I

want you to press the low back into the

floor engage the glutes and start to

slowly roll the hips up towards the sky

and then inhale as you come back down

and we'll do three more of these so just

working with your breath so everything

is engaged as you roll up so engage the

pelvic floor that lower core squeeze

those glutes on press into the heels and

then slowly roll back down two more

last one

all right so from this position keeping

that same breath and core and pelvic

floor activation we're just going to

slide one heel out so I want you to feel

like the muscles around the pelvis are

engaged they are those deep internal

muscles the lower core muscles and if

you're really early postpartum I know

for me I always found like what lower

belly muscles I've got nothing there

because that low part takes a lot of the

pressure especially in the later stages

of pregnancy so if it's feeling like I

don't have that support at this point

that's okay just keep the heel quite

shallow don't come all the way out so

once more as you exhale stabilize around

that midsection pelvic floor is engaged

the heel slides out and then slowly

slide it back in so you can leave that

foot on the ground so there's not too

much pressure so if you've got socks on

this will probably work a lot better I'm

not able to slide because I've got my

mat there so really trying to keep those

hips stable exhale as you take the leg

out and inhale as you draw it back in

exhale inhale

all right and then from here we're gonna

come up into our tabletop so rolling

onto the side using those arms to

support you to come all the way back up

and so in your tabletop here hands under

the shoulders knees under the hips way

to let your belly go so even a Europe's

her postpartum my belly will still just

hang lovely

so as you let the belly hang inhale and

then as you exhale engage those core

muscles so that you can lift the belly

up and in towards the spine inhale

breathe into the belly let it all be

soft so pelvic floor included and then

exhale engage draw the belly in towards

the spine pelvic floor lifts in and up

so doing three more of these with your

own breath rhythm so at this stage of

the recovery process it probably feels

more like brain yoga than anything else

because you're trying to connect it all

back up when you've just had a baby and

the brain is foggy it can be really hard

to do this so you might take these poses

off the mat and try and do them around

your baby as well so maybe if your

baby's having a bit of tummy time you do

a few of these core activation poses

that you can include in your day just so

you're starting to reconnect those

muscles all right and then slowly walk

back so that you have a seat on the

heels so wow that's a lot of work for

the core in the pelvic floor any of that

a little bit of a break for the moment

and do some stretching into the upper

body because after birth whichever way

you berth it's really common to be in

this position so pregnancy brings us

forward and breastfeeding brings us

forward even just looking down at our

baby although it brings us into this

position but also when we have a wound

there I think we can be a little bit

afraid to open up in this space and

again if it doesn't feel good for your

scar please just leave it and work to

the ability that you can but if it does

feel okay we're gonna do some really

gentle cat-cows here so not a full

cat-cow just once more rocking the

pelvis forward as you inhale

see if you can lift the heart squeeze

the shoulder blades behind you and then

exhale roll the shoulders forward tuck

the pelvis under look down towards the

bellybutton inhale as you open exhale as

you close inhale and exhale inhale and


and then let the spine lift long so lift

the crown of the head towards the

ceiling draw the shoulder blades back

and down and really press into the

ground with the leg so it's like you're

pressing the tops of the feet and the

shins into the floor and just take a

look over the left shoulder so you might

twist quite a long way if it's pulling

in any area just go really gently

although opening up through that heart

if it feels ok you could bring the hand

down behind you open a little bit more

and then slowly come back let's find a

twist in the opposite direction

and then come back to Center as you

inhale take the arms wide and then wrap

the right arm underneath the left the

palms find each other reach the

fingertips up and drop the shoulders

away from the ears so we should be

really nice across the top of those

shoulders and as we work with the breath

here we can come back to that pelvic

floor awareness so as you inhale breathe

into the belly let the pelvic floor

relax and as you exhale lift those

muscles in and up but the belly and the

ribs return inhale and relax exhale and

engage does the inhale take the arms

wide this time the left arm comes under

find the hands together reach them up

tall and drop the shoulders away and

back to that pelvic floor and core


and then release their hands down so

staying up in your high kneel I just

want you to reach one hand down the side

and the other arm up and over so we are

starting to do a little bit of

stretching but it's not too much

especially if you practice with me

throughout the rest of this postnatal

series we'll start to slowly start

stretching back into that belly again as

you start to move towards those poses

like Cobra and eventually up dog where

the belly is stretched but I know for

many women it takes a long time before

that feels comfortable so we're going to

really just gently work up to it here

and then come to the other side so in

this class really just feeling back into

the body is something to trust the body

again which after a caesarean I know can

be hard I know a lot of women I've

spoken to feel like they kind of lost

trust in what their body could do they

feel like their body failed them that

they didn't have the birth they wanted

just not true for every woman who has a

cesarean some might know have beautiful

experiences but for some I know they

really fight with the experience for a

long time afterwards come sit back up if

you have a bolster you can come behind

you it's gonna bring their hands into it

if you don't have a bolster you could

bring the hands onto blocks onto

cushions or even just onto the floor

behind you if it feels okay I want you

to press into the heels of the hands

press into the legs open the heart up

towards the ceiling if it feels good the

head and neck might rest behind you

slowly chocolate chin back to chest when

we come back to that little seated cat

cow inhale as you open exhale as you

close inhale as you open exhale as you

close inhale and exhale all right come

and take a seat so if you're more

comfortable up on the bolster you're

welcome to sit on it otherwise just

cross the legs and I want you to bring

those hands on to that sky draw the

shoulder blades back and down and sit

tall in the spine so feel the sit bones

pressing into the floor beneath you

and I want you to hold the sky beneath

your hands in this beautiful place or

your baby entered this world for the

first time perhaps you feel a warmth

underneath the hands

and allow yourself to send some love to

this space there's part of you that

sacrificed itself to open up to your

baby coming into this world it now needs

your love in order to heal your care

your respect we need you to get up close

and personal and not be afraid of the

sky touch it massage it feel proud of

the sky rather than feeling sad perhaps

that the birth didn't go exactly as you


allow yourself to trust in the fact that

you did everything you could do to birth

your baby and your birth turned out

exactly as it was meant to not always as

we want it to but exactly as it was

meant to I think your body for getting

your baby here safe and sound and allow

your heart to swell with the Pride and

love you feel for your baby see if you

can send some of that same pride and

love here to your belly to the sky the

body produced this baby and then at

birth to your baby allow yourself to

feel proud of how it went

proud of the strength you showed

and allow yourself to forgive any

what-ifs that might still be rolling

around in your thoughts

and you're ready to only flutter the

eyes open I tend the hands palm up

towards the sky and take a few shoulder

rolls I'm just waking the body back up

gently and then we bring the hands to

heart take a moment here just to honor

how amazing your body is creating your

baby birthing your baby and now for

having the ability to recover well it is

slow is not always the sexiest practice

but if you take the time to rebuild

slowly and carefully then you will find

that you are so much stronger any news

time and as you probably already know

from the birth you've experienced you

already are so much stronger than you

could ever have imagined thank you for

sharing your practice with me and


thanks again for practicing with me if

you would like to continue this

postnatal recovery I have a postnatal

series so I'll leave the link below you

can either buy it as a separate product

or all the videos are in my online yoga

circle so you can go and join up over

there and try them out so within this

postcentral series we focus on all the

different areas of the body and the

mindset that comes along with being a

new mom so there are classes in the

series for the pelvic floor the core

really opening up the heart and the

shoulders because this gets really

compressed in those early days with a

new babe we'll be looking at the

overwhelm and depletion that comes with

being a new mom some babywearing

practices everything is in there it's a

really great series if you're wanting to

know how to get back into your body into

your strength before you start stronger

more high intense exercises that can

actually cause damage further damage to

the pelvic floor

if you don't repair that area properly

in the first place so hope to practice

with you over there namaste