yoga for two
Get your body back and bond with your baby at the same time.
1. AB CURL Lie on your back with knees bent and feet resting on a chair seat. Place your baby tummy down on your abdomen, as shown, or sit him on your belly, propped against your thighs; hold him firmly with your hands around his torso. Inhale, then exhale, bringing your navel in toward your spine as you lift your head, neck and shoulder blades up off the floor. Pause, then slowly lower your head, neck and shoulders back down to the floor. Repeat 10–15 times. Strengthens abdominals.
2. BRIDGE Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart on the floor. Place your baby faceup on your pelvis. Inhale, keeping your buttocks tightened and feet pressed down on the mat. Exhale, lifting your hips to form a straight line. Keep your neck relaxed and hold this position for 3–4 breaths. To release, uncurl your spine to the floor, keeping your buttocks firm. Repeat 3–4 times. Strengthens back, buttocks and pelvic muscles.
3. CAT POSE/DOWNWARD-FACING DOG From the Bridge pose, place your baby faceup on the floor beside you and come onto your hands and knees above him. Pull your navel in toward your spine so your back is parallel to the floor; keep your neck elongated. Inhale, dropping your shoulders away from your ears; look up as your tailbone lifts for Cat Pose (A). Exhale, bring the soles of your feet to the floor and lift your hips in the air, legs straight, to form an inverted “V.” Press your heels toward the floor as you tighten the front of your thighs. Use your palms to press away from the floor, moving your face toward your baby for Downward-Facing Dog (B). Inhale, drop onto your knees to Cat Pose, then exhale, lifting your hips back up into Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat 4–6 times. Strengthens abs and back, and stretches hamstrings and calf muscles.
4. HIGH LUNGE From Downward-Facing Dog, inhale as you lift your head up and look forward; exhale and take a large step forward through your hands with your right foot, placing it to the right of your baby. Inhale and lift your arms up in the air, forearms shoulder-width apart and palms facing in. Pull your abdomen in; keep your heel lifted and front knee bent and in line with your ankle. Stay in this position for 3–4 breaths, then move on to Moving Low Lunge. Strengthens leg muscles, back and abdominals.
5. MOVING LOW LUNGE From High Lunge, exhale and bring your hands down to the floor near your front foot and bend your back knee to the floor. Inhale, lift your torso up and extend your arms overhead (A). Exhale and lower your hands down to your baby as you bend forward (B). Repeat 4–6 times, then place your hands on either side of your baby and press back to Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat both High Lunge and Moving Low Lunge, stepping forward with your left leg. Strengthens legs, abs, shoulders and back.