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Yoga Therapy for Busy Mamas: Part 1

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It’s time to feel zen, mamas!

I have loved introducing baby T to yoga – since only a few months old, we attended mama and baby yoga classes with other bubs and mamas. I will often get my yoga flow on with T crawling or toddling about, or even sometimes joining in.

I hope I’m showing her that keeping fit, healthy and mindful can be fun.

Yoga has also helped me to re-gain my pre-baby figure – actually, I think all of that running around plus my yoga sessions has actually left me in even better shape then before!

I truly have a lot to thank yoga for – I practiced throughout my entire pregnancy and this helped me not only to have a healthy pregnancy but a healthy and smooth birthing process.

working out at home with a baby

Yoga for Sassy Mamas

Whether you became a new mama three months or 3 years ago, it’s never too late to add yoga to your mama lifestyle.

Not only is yoga great for your body, it also relaxes and clears your mind, and helps towards keeping your hormone, detox and nervous systems balanced.

Feeling tired – I mean tired like you never knew was possible-exhausted! – yoga can help to refresh you with simple and relaxing techniques.

Yoga is also great for kids – it teaches them many life lessons that will be helpful on and off the mat – discipline, health, mindfulness, being kind to others, understanding the body, being able to just sit still, being able to calm the mind and think clearly, the list goes on.

How can yoga help mamas?

  • Yoga can help create awareness of re-aligning the spine – carrying baby on one hip for a long time – oops!
  • Ease tight muscles – 2.5 kilos of baby soon turns into 9 kilos and that’s a lot of work 24/7 for mama
  • Soothe tight shoulders and sore back – stress has taken on a new meaning; new mamas never stop worrying and a lot of that tension is in the back and shoulders
  • Relax the hips – the birthing process can create a lot of stress and can cause misaligned hips
  • Relax the mind – need I say more…
  • Focus the mind – so that you’re ready and refreshed to be the best mama you can be!
  • “Me time” – need I say more…

Yoga pose: legs up against a wall

A relaxing pose for mamas

Legs up the wall is a rejuvenating inverted pose that brings relief to the legs, feet, spine, and nervous system. It is a gentle way to bring the body into a state of deep relaxation and renewal.

Its Sanskrit name, “Viparita Karani” (VIP-uh-REE-tuh kah-RAH-nee), literally translates to “inverted action”.

Benefits:

  • calms mind and nervous system
  • reduce swelling on legs
  • rejuvenates
  • help muscle fatigue
  • helps with headaches
  • helps digestive system

How to:

If you are using the supported version, set a bolster or firm, long pillow on the floor against the wall.

Begin the pose by sitting with your left side against the wall. Your lower back should rest against the bolster, if you’re using one.

Gently turn your body to the left and bring your legs up onto the wall. If you are using a bolster, shift your lower back onto the bolster before bringing your legs up the wall. Use your hands for balance as you shift your weight.

Lower your back to the floor and lie down. Rest your shoulders and head on the floor.

Shift your weight from side-to-side and scoot your buttocks close to the wall. Let your arms rest open at your sides, palms facing up. If you’re using a bolster, your lower back should now be fully supported by it.

Let the heads of your thigh bones (the part of the bone that connects in the hip socket) release and relax, dropping toward the back of your pelvis.

Close your eyes. Hold for 5-10 minutes, breathing with awareness.

To release, slowly push yourself away from the wall and slide your legs down to the right side. Use your hands to help press yourself back up into a seated position.

For greater support under your neck, place a small, rolled towel beneath the back of your neck.

For an added stretch to your thighs, hips, and groin, spread your legs wide into a “V” shape.

Cautions

Women who are menstruating should consult with their teacher before practicing inversions, such as Viparita Karani. Do not practice this pose if you have glaucoma or other eye problems, or a serious back or neck injury. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.

Please note, this article is not intended to provide medical advice and you should always consult your medical care practitioner before changing your diet and that of your baby.

References: yogajournal.com, Lead image sourced via Pinterest

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