Post-Partum Yoga

A joint policy statement provided by the Canadian Physiotherapy
Association for the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of
Canada based on level 1-A and 1-B evidence states that pelvic floor
muscle training and core stability training with a physiotherapist is
recommended to prevent and treat urinary incontinence, and back
and pelvic pain during pregnancy and after delivery [1].

The Postpartum Yoga Program is an 8-week program designed to
guide new Moms towards restoring the strength and stability of the
pelvis and spine through a yoga-based practice. This evidence-
based program also aims to help women prevent future low back
and pelvic pain, incontinence, and prolapse, by taking a healing
approach to improving the postural and movement deficits that often
follow pregnancy and delivery.


The Postpartum Yoga Program consists of education and yoga-based exercise for re-training:

–       the breath
–       the abdominals
–       posture
–       the pelvic floor
–       “the core”

adapted from Diane and Linda-Joy Lee (2006)


Yoga-based exercises will teach you how to re-invent your body after baby. For example, you will learn to:

  • activate and isolate your deep abdominals, which have been stretched and need to become strong again (flat tummy!)

  • retrain stretched/torn pelvic floor muscles (it’s more complicated than just a Kegel)

  • restore a normal breathing pattern (now that your baby isn’t obstructing your main breathing muscle – the diaphragm)

  • modify exercises and functional movements to prevent further damage and promote healing of diastasis rectus

  • progress your exercise program safely and effectively

  • align your body according to principles of good posture (ribs over hips)

  • 60 minute postpartum functional screening assessment with Shelagh Haynes, registered physiotherapist at Ottawa Collaborative Care Centre (102 Lewis St.)

  • 8 one-hour yoga-based exercise and education sessions at OC3, led by Shelagh Haynes, registered physiotherapist and certified yoga instructor

  • physiotherapy extended health coverage may apply

The Postpartum Yoga Program is available to postpartum Moms. It is recommended you wait 8 weeks after delivery (and receive clearance from your doctor/midwife) before starting this program; however, you may attend the program up to two years postpartum.

The yoga sessions will take place on Tuesdays, from 1:30-2:30pm at Ottawa Collaborative Care Centre. The next session runs over the summer on the following dates:

June 6
June 13
June 20
July 11
July 18
Aug 1
Aug 8
Aug 15

Your initial physiotherapy assessment visit must be completed prior to starting the yoga sessions.
Please call 613-230-7891 to schedule your assessment and register for the program.

Initial Assessment Visit (including internal pelvic floor exam)      

8 Yoga Sessions                  


Physiotherapy extended health coverage may apply to these fees.

Babies are welcome to attend; however, the focus is on you – the Mom. This is not a “Mom and baby” yoga session, but rather a chance for you to focus on yourself and your new body. Please remember that you will get the most from this program if you are free from distractions. In order to maximize focused time on the mat, please plan your baby’s care, such as breastfeeding, around class times, and arrange babysitting for your toddlers.

SOGC Clinical Practice Joint Policy Statement

Rehabilitation of the Short Pelvic Floor I

Rehabilitation of the Short Pelvic Floor II

The Integrated Continence System

Cochrane Review of Pelvic Floor Muscle Training for Urinary Incontinence in Women

Diastisis Rectus and Exercise Training

Urinary Incontinence in Women with Low Back Pain

Yoga and Health-Related Aspects of Physical Fitness

Women’s Perception of Postpartum Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Yoga and Pilates Postpartum Exercise Program: Improved Quality of Life and Physical and Mental Health

1. Britnell S. et al. Postural Health in Women: The Role of Physiotherapy. SOGC Clinical Practice Joint Policy Statement, J Obstet Gynaecol Can 2005;27(5):493–500.

102 Lewis Street, Ottawa ON

Tel: 613-230-7891