The dogs are barking, the baby disappeared with a magic marker & even though you realized it 5 minutes too late, you’ve been handling the days unraveling quite well…so far. Maybe you were prepared when a challenging moment arrived; you didn’t lose it in traffic when you got cut off and you kept your cool when the gossip wagon got going on the soccer field sidelines. But then it happens, and by “it” I mean the proverbial “tipping point.” The one thing that tests your Motherhood coping skills. These moments happen all the time when you’re in the trenches of Mommyhood. Be it something totally fixable, like a broken dishwasher or something a little heavier, a teen pregnancy, it’s always good to be prepared with a swiss army knife equivalent of coping skills ready for ANY incident no matter how tragic or trivial. When these “moments” arise, it would be nice to just grab your keys & go for a walk around the block, or even split & get a massage to de-stress. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons from budget to scheduling discrepancies, Mommy “Me Time” may or may not come until you can get a babysitter or wait until your partner is home.
In the last few years, I’ve discovered one of the best “de-stressors”…Yoga. Even if getting to an actual class is something that can’t happen for a day or two, it’s nice to know how to give yourself a “reset” without having to leave the comfort of your home. Since I have little kids, when things get crazy I’ll just start stretching in the middle of my living room. Usually, they follow along and try to copy me so we just go with it. There’s no master plan and it’s completely spontaneous, which may sound crazy, but it works! Yoga always leads us toward a more positive mood.
Pose #1 Half Tortoise Pose:
- Kneel down on both knees.
- Ease back so that your bottom is resting on your legs
- Raise your arms above your head.
- Take a deep breath & keeping your arms in line with your ears hinge forward with a straight back down to the floor.
- Your forehead should touch, try to get the tip of your nose to reach the floor.
The half tortoise pose is great for a tense neck & shoulders. It forces you to practice a mindful breath & focus. It increases blood flow & enhances mental clarity. This pose also helps us live longer & can be done without warming up.
- Bring your arms up over your head & place your hands together.
- Take a deep breath & keeping your arms together stretch all the way to the right & then to the left.
- Breathe in & out deeply.
Half Moon Pose strengthens every muscle in the body’s core, especially the tummy. It increases the flexibility of the spine. It also helps you to really feel your lungs & get in some great deep breathing. Great for relaxing.
- Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips.
- Walk hands a few inches forward and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into mat.
- Curl toes under and slowly press hips toward ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing shoulders away from ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
- Hold for 3 full breaths
Pose#4 Sphinx Pose
- Lay on your tummy
- Place your elbows on the floor underneath your shoulders
- Exhale & allow the bend in your lower back to increase while you squeeze your shoulder blades together.
Sphinx pose may seem easy to do, but it is the first step in a series of “baby backbends.” It allows you to strengthen your core and increase muscle tone. As you advance, you can tone & tighten your legs & buttocks. I call it the “something for nothing pose” because it generates a great feeling of accomplishment with very little exertion.
Pose #5 Deep Breaths
- Take 10 slow, deep breaths
- Count to 6 on each inhale & exhale
- Take your time. This is the best & most relaxing part of any yoga or meditation practice.
- Reduce anxiety
- Reduce stress levels
- Combat depression or mood swings
- Regulate heart rate & circulation
- Deep relaxation
- Improve Immune Function
Disclaimer: In no way are we professional yogis, instructors or physical trainers. We’re just Moms that need a reset once in awhile. We hope you’ll take that into consideration when reading this article. Thanks.