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There is nobody that needs yoga more than moms do.


Our lives are busy and stressful, and we end up carrying that stress with us both physically and mentally. As caregivers, we are often so engrossed in our roles and responsibilities that we forget to take a moment to check in with ourselves, which is so important.

While I encourage all moms to try and set aside time to make it to a yoga class, we all know getting out the door can be a challenge. Luckily, yoga is something you can do anywhere, even at home.

If you are able to find a quiet space alone, that's great, but if not you can practice many of these poses with your children and even make it a family activity. As always, check in with your medical provider first to make sure yoga is safe for you.

Here's a list of five poses that can be done daily, all in the comfort of your own home.

1. Child's pose

child's pose

This pose is a great hip opener and also helps to elongate the spine. Women tend to carry a lot of stress in the hip area so if you've noticed you feel tight during this pose that is completely normal.

Try to stay in child's pose for 3-5 minutes and take some time to also focus on your breath. As you do, really sink into the pose and allow both your body and mind to fully relax.

2. Downward facing dog

downward facing dog

This is often a transition pose during a vinyasa class, but there are also many other benefits to holding this pose and a few that are specifically great for moms.

We spend a lot of time on our feet and holding our babes and practicing this pose will help to stretch your hips and hamstrings, open up your chest area, and strengthen your arms and shoulders. It also gets things moving and increases blood flow since it is considered an inversion (a pose where your heart is above your head).

In this pose, I also encourage focusing on your breath since it can become intense over time. Downdog can require you to find your inner strength to help push you through the challenging moments, which is a great practice to help you through other moments throughout the day.

3. Standing forward fold

standing forward fold

This is one of my favorite poses since it is so simple and can be done anywhere. Practicing a forward fold first thing in the morning can help bring relief to any stress put on the spine while you were sleeping and it will stretch out the entire backside of your body.

Forward folds also calm the mind and the body and can help reduce anxiety and stress since there is increased blood flow to your head. This well-rounded pose can be practiced many times throughout the day for just a few minutes at a time.

4. Half-pigeon or figure four legs

half-pigeon


figure four legs

Half-pigeon can be a challenging pose to get into and hold, so if this is not an option, figure four legs is also a great option. Both of these poses are excellent hip openers and help release emotional and physical stress.

During this pose, you will feel a deep stretch in your buttocks and your hip flexors. Because of the deep sensations you might feel in this pose, it is important you are holding it correctly. You want to make sure your hips are level, and you aren't putting stress on your joints.

You will see the most benefits from holding this pose for a few minutes on each side and you might want to also try a counter-pose such as wild thing as you release out of half pigeon.

5. Mountain pose (arms by your side or lifting to the sky)

While this pose is very simple, it offers some surprising benefits that every mom can use! Another pose that you can practice almost anywhere, mountain pose helps to steady breathing, improve posture, and strengthen your thighs and knees.

It is thought of as the foundational pose in yoga, helping to bring grounding and awareness. In our society we spend so much time sitting, that we don't realize how slumpy our posture can become. Practicing this pose daily can help correct poor posture and bring overall balance to the body. This pose has also been said to help regulate menstrual cycles and digestion, something many women have challenges with.

We may not always realize how much we do as moms and the toll that it can take on our minds and bodies if we don't take the time to slow down and pause amidst our busy agendas. It can be tempting to convince yourself that you simply don't have time for yoga (and I get it), but all of these poses can be done during naptime or even before the kids wake-up.

Each day that you practice a pose, you will experience the immense benefits physically and mentally, which ultimately will help you feel your best and thrive rather than survive.

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We've had some struggles, you and me. In my teens, we were just getting to know each other. It was a rocky road at times, like when people referred to you as "big boned." I was learning how to properly fuel you by giving you the right foods. How to be active, to keep you strong and in good shape. I wish I knew then what I do now about you and what a true blessing you are. But that's something that has come with the gift of motherhood.

In my 20's, we became more well-acquainted. I knew how to care for you. After I got engaged, we worked so hard together to get into "wedding shape." And, looking back now, I totally took that six pack—okay, four pack—for granted. (But I have the pictures to prove it.)

Now that I'm in my 30's (how did my 30's happen so fast, btw?) with two kids, I'm coming to terms with my new postpartum body.

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If there are two things a mama is guaranteed to love, it's Target plus adorable and functional baby products. Target's exclusive baby brand Cloud Island has been a favorite destination for cute and affordable baby clothing and décor for nearly two years and because of that success, they're now expanding into baby essentials. 🙌

The new collection features 30 affordable products starting at $0.99 and going up to $21.99 with most items priced under $10—that's about 30-40% less expensive than other products in the market. Mamas can now enjoy adding diapers, wipes, feeding products and toiletries to their cart alongside clothing and accessories from a brand they already know and love.


The best part? The Target team has ensured that the affordability factor doesn't cut down on durability by working with hundreds of parents to create and test the collection. The wipes are ultra-thick and made with 99% water and plant-based ingredients, while the toiletries are dermatologist-approved. With a Tri-Wrap fold, the diapers offer 12-hour leak protection and a snug fit so parents don't have to sacrifice safety or functionality.

So when can you start shopping? Starting on January 20, customers can shop the collection across all stores and online. We can't wait to see how this beloved brand expands in the future.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Many people experience the "winter blues," which are often worst in northern climates from November to March, when people have less access to sunlight, the outdoors and their communities. Another 4% develops Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a form of clinical depression that often requires formal treatment.

If you have the winter blues, you may feel “blah," sad, tired, anxious or be in a worse mood than usual. You may struggle with overeating, loss of libido, work or sleep issues. But fear not—it is possible to find your joy in the winter, mama.

Here are eight ways to feel better:

1. Take a walk

Research has shown that walking on your lunch break just three times per week can reduce tension, relax you and improve your enthusiasm. If you are working from 9 to 5, the only window you have to access natural sunlight may be your lunch hour, so head outside for a 20 minute brisk but energizing walk!

If you are home, bundle up with your kids midday—when the weather is often warmest—and play in the snow, go for a short walk, play soccer, race each other, or do something else to burn energy and keep you all warm. If you dress for the weather, you'll all feel refreshed after some fresh air.

2. Embrace light

Research suggests that a full-spectrum light box or lamp, which mimics sunlight, can significantly improve the symptoms of the winter blues and has a similar effect to an antidepressant. Bright light at a certain time every day activates a part of the brain that can help restore normal circadian rhythms. While light treatment may not be beneficial for everyone (such as people who have bipolar disorder), it may be a beneficial tool for some.

3. Plan a winter trip

It may be helpful to plan a getaway for January or February. Plan to take it very easy, as one research study found that passive vacation activities, including relaxing, "savoring," and sleeping had greater effects on health and well-being than other activities. Engaging in passive activities on vacation also makes it more likely that your health and well-being will remain improved for a longer duration after you go back to work.

Don't overschedule your trip. Relax at a beach, a pool, or a cabin instead of waiting in long roller coaster lines or visiting packed museums. Consider visiting or traveling with family to help with child care, build quiet time into your vacation routine, and build in a day of rest, recovery, and laundry catch-up when you return.

4. Give in to being cozy

Sometimes people mistake the natural slowness of winter as a problem within themselves. By making a concerted effort to savor the slowness, rest and retreat that complement winter, you can see your reduction in activity as a natural and needed phase.

Research suggests that naps help you release stress. Other research suggests that when your brain has time to rest, be idle, and daydream, you are better able to engage in "active, internally focused psychosocial mental processing," which is important for socioemotional health.

Make a "cozy basket" filled with your favorite DVDs, bubble bath or Epsom salts, lemon balm tea (which is great for “blues,") or chamomile tea (which is calming and comforting), citrus oils (which are good for boosting mood), a blanket or a favorite book or two. If you start to feel the blues, treat yourself.

If your child is napping or having quiet time in the early afternoon, rest for a full 30 minutes instead of racing around doing chores. If you're at work, keep a few mood-boosting items (like lavender spray, tea, lotion, or upbeat music) nearby and work them into your day. If you can't use them at work, claim the first 30 minutes after your kids are asleep to nurture yourself and re-energize before you tackle dishes, laundry, or other chores.

5. See your friends

Because of the complex demands of modern life, it can be hard to see or keep up with friends or family. The winter can make it even harder. While you interact with your kids throughout the day, human interaction with other adults (not just through social media!) can act as a protective layer to keep the winter blues at bay.

Plan a monthly dinner with friends, go on a monthly date night if you have a partner, go to a book club, get a drink after work with a coworker, visit a friend on Sunday nights, or plan get-togethers with extended family. Research suggests that social interactions are significantly related to well-being.

Realize that given most families' packed schedules, you may need to consistently take the lead in bringing people together. Your friends will probably thank you, too.

6. Get (at least) 10 minutes of fresh air

A number of research studies have shown positive effects of nature on well-being, including mental restoration, immune health, and memory. It works wonders for your mood to get outside in winter, even if it's just for 10 minutes 2 to 3 times per week. You might walk, snowshoe, shovel, go sledding or go ice-skating. If you can't get outside, you might try these specific yoga poses for the winter blues.

7. Add a ritual

Adding a ritual to your winter, such as movie night, game night, hot chocolate after playing outside, homemade soup on Sundays, or visiting with a different friend every Saturday morning for breakfast, can add beauty and flow to the seemingly long months of winter. Research has suggested that family rituals and traditions, such as Sunday dinner, provide times for togetherness and strengthening relationships.

8. Talk to a professional

Counseling, which helps you identify the connections between your thoughts, feelings and behaviors, can be extremely helpful for the winter blues (especially when you are also experiencing anxiety or stress). A counselor can assist you with identifying and honoring feelings, replacing negative messages with positive ones, or shifting behaviors. A counselor may also help you indulge into winter as a time of retreat, slowness, planning, and reflecting. You may choose to use the winter to get clear on what you'd like to manifest in spring.

The opposite of the winter blues is not the absence of the winter blues—it's taking great pleasure in the unique contribution of a time of cold, darkness, retreat, planning, reflecting, being cozy and hibernating. Nurturing yourself and your relationships can help you move toward winter joy.

Weary mama,

You are incredibly strong. You are so very capable.

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