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5 Tips for Getting Yoga Into Your Day

Posted on January 23rd, 2013 by | 0 views
BY Kimberly Johnson

It’s so common it’s become cliché: We moms are so busy mothering others that we can’t find time to take care of ourselves. And here’s another mothering cliché: mommy brain takes over our minds; even the most organized and with-it of us become forgetful, distracted, and scattered with little ones demanding so much of our time and attention. Do you think the two could be related? Finding a way to bring daily yoga practice into your life will help you feel nurtured and taken care of. It will also help ground you and allow you to be more present in your interactions with your kids and others. But how do you fit it in-between three meals and two snacks a day, trips to the library, and toy cleanup? With the right approach, it actually is doable, believe it or not. These five easy-to-implement strategies will help you practice yoga and regain one-pointed thought in the midst of multi-tasking.

  1. Five, 10, or 15 minutes a day is enough and is worth it. Avoid the trap of waiting for an extended period of time to practice. That time rarely comes.
  2. Practice at the same time, in the same place, everyday to establish a routine. While it may not be the exact minute or even hour, pick a general time for your practice (between wake-up time and breakfast, just after breakfast, or during nap-time).
  3. If your child no longer naps, include him in your practice. After you wake up or after breakfast, roll out your mat. This will signal a new part of the day and will begin to establish some reverence for quiet time. Sit quietly together for 30 seconds to a minute and then practice a few poses together (mountain pose, downward dog, and tree poses are some easy favorites). You may think it will be impossible to get your child interested, but modeling is the best way to create the habits that we want to encourage in our children. (My very active 14-month-old daughter, who has been watching me teach yoga since she was a few weeks old, recently rolled out a mat, chanted 3 oms, did a downward dog, savasana, and ended with another om—a full practice).
  4. Savasana counts as practice. If you are exhausted, roll out your mat, lie down, observe your breath and let go. If you are afraid of falling asleep, set a timer. And no, a plain-old nap won’t cut it: By doing savasana you are maintaining your intention to practice—deep rest is one of the most important elements of yoga practice.
  5. Have a few tools handy. A favorite song, poem or prayer, a CD or DVD can all be inspiring for practice. My daughter tends to have much more patience for my practice when she hears a voice or music than when I try to practice in silence.

As moms, we put our children first. This is a universal directive—to protect and care for our children. Yet in order to do this, we need to care for ourselves as well. Remember that whatever you give to yourself, you are also giving to your family. The fruits of your practice will multiply in the form of patience, perspective, a sense of humor—and the ability to finish a sentence without losing your train of thought.

 

Kimberly Johnson is a yoga instructor, Rolfer, and mom to Cecilia, living in southern California.

Reposted with permission from mindful-mama.com.

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