The postnatal period, particularly those initial months following the birth of baby, is often shrouded in a haze of relentless repetition where babies eat, sleep and poop. Mother’s slowly adjust to the routine, often on little sleep and with little outside help, however there are little pockets of time where we can start to work on bringing our postnatal body back into alignment.
That body has been on a 9-month journey of massive change, often culminating in a marathon-like event to birth our babies, then straight into the stresses and strains of parenting a small being, while the oxytocin, the love hormone, just continues to help bond this new relationship.
In many cultures, there is a closing of the body or of the bones ceremony for women during this early postnatal period. This is much needed time and space for the mother to focus on herself, on her body, and even on her frame of mind.
The body needs gently coercing back into optimal alignment, while the mind often needs that time and space to digest, assess and recover from any birthing issues or trauma. Particularly, this mental processing time can help to prevent postnatal anxiety or depression.
Rozy Kaliabetsos, founder of InJoy Yoga, explains why postnatal recovery and realignment are so important:
“I take very seriously the long-term health of the female reproductive cycle and health in general. Menopause tends to bring with it all the aches and pains we felt in pregnancy and postnatally, and this is why we need to do the postnatal realignment session- to prevent re-occurrence - it’s a ‘closing the bones’ ceremony.
I can’t emphasise enough how very important it is that the spine, pelvis and thoracic cage are realigned again after birth. I am very concerned so many mums haven’t done it yet....it seems the importance is lost on many of us!
Be gentle with yourself....there is no rush! If you want to sweat get walking uphill in the woods with baby in a sling.... but please just be kind to your muscles, joints, ligaments and bones and close the body before other forms of exercise! They need to last you your whole life! I work to strengthen the core and extremities, in that order....otherwise we can do high impact exercise and actually weaken our core and joints. I suspect this might be an issue for many of you? It’s never too late to postnatally realign!”
InJoy Yoga offers a Postnatal Realignment workshop and/or the Rozy & Kate Postnatal Realignment DVD, which will help you start to close the body. You can then use the breathing and yoga exercises at home, while feeding baby, or while changing nappies, or even just a few minutes while baby sleeps. It really will make the road to recovery smoother and safer