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Postpartum Yoga for Core Strength

Updated: Apr 18

4 Postpartum Yoga Poses to Strengthen Your Core from Certified Yoga & Pre/Postnatal Instructor Melie Purdon.

I am not going to lie; being asked to share poses to strengthen your core postpartum felt a little hypocritical for me since I hate doing all the things that people think of when they think of “core exercises.” But! If teaching pre and post-natal yoga for the past 6 years while also recovering from my own births taught me anything, it’s that after you have a baby, core work will never look the same, and it shouldn't! The relationship between you and your body has evolved into this huge respect for strength and humbling celebration of weaknesses.

The four postpartum yoga poses I have listed here come from my deepest belief that the core is not limited to an ideal 6-pack and flat tummy but, in fact, an entire mechanism that includes your whole torso (front, back, and sides) and respiratory system within it. This sequence is meant to gradually reconnect you to the deepest layer of your abdominals using your breath, the posterior chain of your body and legs, and your balance. I hope it challenges your idea of core work and invites you to honor the amazing journey you and your body have been through together!

Four prenatal/postnatal yoga poses for core strength:

Transverse Abdominis Breath in Supported Bridge Pose

postpartum yoga pose 1

How to:

  • Lay down on your back with your legs bent and your feet on the floor.

  • Place a lock on the narrow width between your inner knees.

  • Place your arms alongside you, palms facing the floor.

  • As you breathe in through your nose, lift your pelvis off the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed.

  • As you breathe out through your mouth, squeeze the block between your inner legs, thinking about zipping up the space from your pubic bone to your sternum and from your ribs to your midline.


As a brand new mom, anything that I can do while laying on my back is a win. TVA breath is one way you can reconnect with your deep core postpartum because before we can straighten our core, we must figure out where it is and how it's doing! Core postpartum needs to be debunked. Crunches will actually hinder your recovery. You must think of your abs as a whole system that not only includes the rectus and transverse abdominal muscles but, first and foremost, the deeper layer that connects to your pelvic floor muscles. By doing this supported bridge exercise with the support of the block, you reconnect with ease with the deep core and pelvic

floor muscles.

The advantage of elevating the pelvis in this exercise is that it takes the weight off the pelvic floor so you can concentrate on the healing without stressing the tissues. This makes it an appropriate pose to practice as early as hours postpartum.

Supported Hero’s Pose TVA Breath

postpartum yoga pose 2

How to:

  • Sit on your shins with a block between your ankles.

  • Place your hands on the side of your waist.

  • As you breathe in, expand the sides of your torso.

  • As you breathe out, glide your hands towards each other until you can touch the tips of your fingers together and, over time, interlace them.

  • At the end of your exhalation, take a fresh breath in and do it again!


This is a step further than the bridge pose mentioned above. Sitting in a supported Virasana or Heros pose helps you keep your spine tall without effort. When you sit tall, shoulders over your hips, you are in an optimal breathing position where the dome of your diaphragm and the dome of your pelvic floor muscles can work in unison. The action of drawing the side of the abdominal wall closer in conjunction with the breath further helps mend the two sides of your rectus abdominis together. This exercise is part of the way in which you can heal your diastasis recti postpartum whether you’ve given birth 6 weeks or 6 years ago! It is never too late to start!

Supported Chair Pose at the Wall

postpartum yoga pose 3

How to:

  • Stand with your back against the wall.

  • Walk your feet out and sit as if in a Chair Pose.

  • Place a block between your inner thighs.

  • At first, keep your hands around your ribs like you would in supported Hero’s Pose. Over time, work your way towards lifting your arms up over your head, palms facing each other, and thumbs at the wall.

  • As you breathe in, send your upper, middle, and lower back toward the wall.

  • As you breathe out, keep as much of your back against the wall as possible while drawing your front ribs in and towards each other.


This is an advanced version of our TVA breathing exercise on the back. It allows you to truly connect to every part of your torso. A wall can be your greatest teacher. Here it gives you feedback about where your body is in space. Something that is often so hard to figure out postpartum. This will also serve double duty and strengthen the posterior chain of your body, which is important since so many of your back muscles may have weakened or atrophied during pregnancy. Also, shout out to the quadriceps and hamstring strengthening that happens here as well. See this as a double-tasking self-care!

Tree pose at the wall

postpartum yoga pose 4

How to:

  • Stand by a wall.

  • Bring your weight into your right foot and place the sole of your left foot against your inner right thigh.

  • Adjust the space between your left knee and the wall so that they touch.

  • Use the pressing of your right foot down to the floor, the pressing of your inner left foot against your inner right thigh, and the pressing of your knee against the wall to find the centerline of your body from the tip of your tailbone to the crown of your head.

Expert tip: You can keep your hands at your hips or interlace your fingers, flip your palms, and reach your arms up. Hugging your outer arms in as well. This action closes the circle of energy from your bottom heel and foot, pressing down to the heel of your hands, reaching up.


There is a sense of freedom that comes with one-leg standing balances. Here the wall is used both for support and feedback purposes. This pose challenges your inner eye to notice where your body is in space. While keeping a clear focus on reconnecting to your deep core. Recognizing, practicing, and rebuilding your relationship with your center in different ways on the mat will help you take those lessons learned off the mat and into your daily tasks.


Melie Purdon is a pre/post-natal teacher at YogaRenew

Photos provided by the author.

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