Do you know anyone who isn’t busy? To fight ‘the busy’ Moms need to practice self care. You know the adage: take care of ourselves so we can take care of everyone around us. For me, yoga is one of the important ways I practice self-care.
Dozens of studies have shown yoga can help balance mind and body, and help manage stress. I’m a mom with a busy work and community life, and it can be tricky to fit exercise into my routine. When I can’t get to a class, I try to fit in some of the stretches where and when I can. Here are some of the opportunities I’ve found.
1. Before the kids wake up.
On good mornings, I wake up before the girls. My lower back is often tight when I wake up so I use those few minutes do alternative legs stretches. While lying on your back, pull one knee up to the chest while relaxing the straight leg. Hold for a few seconds, and then switch legs. Repeat several times.
2. While watching kids play sports
People don’t talk about it much but if you’re pregnant or have had a baby you’ve likely been advised to do kegels to help strengthen the pelvic floor and the urinary tract. Standing while watching sports provides a great opportunity to take a few minutes to subtly do kegels. The Mayo Clinic has a great guide on the why and how of kegels.
3. While walking
Shoulder rolls can be worked in while taking a walk – even if it’s just a short walk from your work desk to a meeting. Look forward and stand up straight. Bring your shoulders up to your ears, then slowly roll them back and try to make your shoulder blades touch. Then bring them straight down and slowly roll them forward trying to touch the shoulder blades together in front of you. Repeat for a few times, then reverse direction. Doing these rolls often has the added benefit of reminding me to breathe deeply and gently roll my neck and wrists as well.
4. With the Kids
One of my favorite yoga teachers says, “you’re only as young as your spine is supple” and playing with the kids gives a good opportunity to focus on the spine. One of my favorite kids yoga activities is hula hooping with an imaginary hoop. Stand up and look forward with your hands on the hips and your feet at hips distance apart. Now rotate your hips to right, waaaay back with your bottom out, then to the left, forward, repeat several times then switch directions. The giggling starts when the kids see who can stick their bottom out the farthest.
Did you know you can even practice yoga with newborns? If you’re lucky enough to have a baby in your life, check out this yoga video we did with Molly Sims!
5. Before Bed
Just before bed provides another great opportunity for yoga, and can help the mind and body relax as you prepare for a deep, rejuvenating night of sleep. Turn the technology off and ensure the room is quiet and dark. Lay on your back with arms at your side, your hands facing up, your legs long and relaxed, and your feet splayed. With your eyes and mouth closed, inhale slowly through the nose (as long as is comfortable), then slowly exhale through the nose. Focus on the breaths, and repeat several times.
Do you use yoga to find serenity during your busy days? We’d love to hear how you fit yoga or stretching into your life!