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
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
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.