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Ask Aunt Yoga Advice Column - Yoga After Pregnancy

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Updated September 04, 2013

Ask Aunt Yoga Advice Column - Yoga After Pregnancy

Child's Pose

© Barry Stone
Question: Ask Aunt Yoga Advice Column - Yoga After Pregnancy
I started doing yoga about four months after I had my third baby. I am doing a beginners class, but I find I cannot do some of the basic exercises which even my much older counterparts can do (I am 33 years old). I cannot do child's pose because it hurts my stomach, and I cannot sit up from a lying position. Everyone else in the class can do it; I feel really silly. I look like a turtle that has been turned over on his shell, struggling but cannot sit up; I have to throw up my legs to get up. I just want to know if this is something I will be able to get right with time, or is there something wrong with me?

T.S.

Answer: Dear T.S.,

It sounds like your abdominal muscles are stretched out from your pregnancies. You should see your doctor to see if you might have a diastasis recti, which is a separation of the abdominal muscles. Those with diastasis recti can usually continue to practice yoga, but it's information that you and your teacher should have to make sure you don't injure yourself.

When coming up to a seated position, first roll over to your side and then push yourself up to sit with your hands. Feel free to avoid child’s pose, especially if it is painful. You can just come back to sit on your heels in a kneeling position instead if that is comfortable. Over time, your abs should get stronger again.

I know it’s tough, but try not to compare yourself to others in your class. We all have physical limitations to work with.

Namaste,

Aunt Yoga

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