As a busy mother you spend your days working, taking care of the children, doing endless loads of laundry, grocery shopping and trying to take a time out for your mind, body and spirit. By the time you have finished enough of your daily to-do list that you feel okay with taking a moment to sit down and breathe the baby is already wake from his/her nap. Back up you get from the chair you just sat down in and think if only you had a moment to refresh, revitalize and re-energize.
The solution? Take time out with a few yoga postures that will revitalize and increase flexibility, all while clearing your mind and focusing on what matters most- your mind, body and spirit.
1. Sit comfortably in a cross legged position with your child in your lap with their back and head resting against your stomach. Slowly begin to inhale and exhale fully and completely. With each exhalation let go of any thoughts floating around in your mind. On each inhalation focus on bringing loving thoughts into your mind, ones that bring you joy and happiness. Maybe its thoughts of your family spending a fun day together, getting to enjoy a quiet bath with a glass of wine at the end of the day, or a vacation on a warm beach!
2. Place your baby on the floor in front of you on their back. Sitting in a cross legged position, begin to walk your fingers down your babies legs towards their tummy. Gently rest your hands on their tummy, rounding your spine, releasing your shoulders, neck and head. Depending on the flexibility in your spine and hips you may be able to share kisses with your baby from here, ensuring your sit bones stay grounded and in contact with the floor. You can tickle your baby, caress, massage or simply send loving thoughts from your heart to theirs. Remain in this position for at least 5-10 deep breaths.
3. With your baby still resting on the floor on their back (or playing comfortably around you) move into a table top position. Place your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders, and your knees on the floor in line with your hips. Lengthen your spine and lengthen your breathe. You may wish to move into this position with your baby underneath you so you are able to look at them face to face. Inhale and soften your belly towards the floor lifting your head and neck to gaze towards the sky as well as your hips and tail bone. On your exhalation round your spine as you bring your gaze towards your baby, navel or between your knees. Continue moving gently through this cat/cow combination, breathing deeply and fully.
4. Moving back to a table top position draw your hips back towards your heels, moving your knees as far apart as needed to make room for your upper body to melt towards the earth. Place your forehead on the floor, or you may find it more comfortable to place a pillow on the floor for it to rest on. Extend your arms out in front, in line with your shoulders, and place your hands at your babies heart centre, hold their hands or gently massage or tickle.
Share the joy of yoga with your baby, taking time out of your schedule to breathe, relax and revitalize. Nurturing yourself will pay tenfold when giving back to your family!
DeGrace Energetics & Little Lotus Yoga programs may be found at www.amandadegrace.ca