Jasyoga Postnatal — Stabilize + Strengthen

Once you’ve spent a few weeks on our Awareness + Activation routines, you’re ready to progress to Stability + Strength. In particular, it’s time to squat (get more how to on squats from our Squat Like a Boss Pro Tip) to fire up your glutes and train your pelvic floor to function effectively under more dynamic conditions. If you’re experiencing any postnatal issues or feel unsure about how well your pelvic floor is functioning — it can be hard to know exactly what’s going on in there! — be sure to see a women’s health physical therapist who can help to assess where you’re, ensure progress, and guide you back toward balance.

Use this routine to progress the Awareness + Activation routine as you rebuild your foundation from the inside out. In all movements, focus on activating your pelvic floor and initiating effort as you exhale to help facilitate more coordinated muscle engagement and avoid excess strain and pressure in your abdomen. A strong focus on engaging the muscles fully and then relaxing them completely will help you to access the full range of the muscles fluidly and without creating residual tension.

Aim to do the full routine 3–4 times per week for a month, and continue to do Pelvic Floor Activation from the Awareness + Activation routine daily. Baby optional!

Stabilize + Strengthen

Mini Plank Prep

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  1. Come onto all fours and bring your spine to neutral.

  2. Inhale — expand your lungs and rib cage horizontally (rather than forward) — you should feel your ribs moving left/right.

  3. Exhale — engage your pelvic floor, then your deep abdominals (if you’re not sure what this means, “cough” and you’ll feel the deepest layer of your abs/transverse engage, that’s what you’re after) to lift your belly away from the floor without gripping through your abs.

  4. Inhale — release your pelvic floor and abs as you let your belly drop and expand your rib cage horizontally.

  5. Exhale to engage and lift.

  6. Inhale to release.

  7. Continue for 5–10 reps.

Mini PlanK

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  1. Come onto all fours with your toes tucked and bring your spine to neutral.

  2. Inhale — expand your lungs and rib cage horizontally.

  3. Exhale — engage your pelvic floor, then your deep abdominals to lift your belly away from the floor, and then lift your knees a few inches off the floor.

  4. Inhale — release your pelvic floor and abs as you lower your knees and expand your rib cage horizontally.

  5. Exhale to engage and lift.

  6. Inhale to release.

  7. Continue for 5–10 reps.

Spinal Balance

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  1. From all fours, bring your spine to neutral.

  2. Inhale to prepare.

  3. Exhale — engage your pelvic floor and extend one leg behind you, flexing the foot so the toes point down while reaching your opposite arm forward alongside your ear, thumb pointing up.

  4. Inhale — release your pelvic floor and return to all fours.

  5. Repeat on the other side for one rep, then continue for 10–20 reps.

Deep Squat Pelvic Floor Activation

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  1. Step your feet slightly wider than hip width apart with your thighs turned out slightly — heels in/toes out.

  2. Bend your knees deeply to come down into a deep squat, keeping your weight back toward your heels — stay as high as needed to keep your heels down and shins as vertical as possible.

  3. If it’s hard to keep your heels down, try taking your feet a little further apart and turning out your thighs more to lessen tension on your calves, just be sure to keep the arches of your feet engaged/lifted. You can also stand your heels on a folded towel or blanket if they don’t reach the floor.

  4. As you exhale, engage your pelvic floor.

  5. Inhale — release.

  6. Repeat 10 times while holding the squat, then make it dynamic by rising to stand as you engage your pelvic floor and push off with your glutes — do another 10 reps like this.

Single Leg Balance Push Off

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  1. Begin with a balanced foundation — feet hip width apart, knees over ankles and hips over knees.

  2. Take a deep breath and lift one leg up to hip height.

  3. Once you feel balanced, hug your knee toward your chest with your hands, while keeping even space between your ribs and hips on both your right and left sides (make sure you're not side bending or back bending).

  4. Focus on engaging your standing leg glute as you push down strongly through your foot (if you're having a hard time feeling that, shift your weight slightly back toward your heel).

  5. Inhale — bend your standing leg slightly.

  6. Exhale — engage your pelvic floor and push off through your glutes to straighten it — doing a bend and stretch through your standing leg.

  7. Continue for 10 reps, breathing deeply and focusing on the “push off” through your standing leg foot and accompanying activation through your glute on the same side.

  8. Switch sides.

Step Back Lunge

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  1. Come into Single Leg Balance with your hands on your hips.

  2. Inhale — take a long step back into a high lunge.

  3. Exhale — engage your pelvic floor and use your front leg glute to initiate your “push off” back to Single Leg Balance.

  4. Repeat 10 times before switching sides.

Squats

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  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart or slightly wider, feet parallel.

  2. Inhale — bend your knees deeply to come into a squat with your knees tracking in line with your ankles.

  3. Exhale — engage your pelvic floor and push off through your glutes to rise to stand.

  4. Continue for 10–20 reps.

If you’re feeling ready to start doing more yoga The Yoga for Mamas Collection, including Yoga for Pregnant Athletes, is home to 12 routines that are great postnatal.

Let us know how it goes, mamas! Lead by example with #athletesforyoga + #jasyogamama.


Pelvic Health Resources

Speak to your doctor and ask for a referral — and here’s a few resources for pelvic health and finding a qualified women’s health physical therapist:

womenshealthapta.org

pelvicguru.com/for-patients

pelvicrehab.com

womenshealthcpa.com