As we celebrate moms this Mother's Day, I wanted to inspire new moms to take a few moments each day to quiet the mind and ease the body through yoga. I realize it is a big challenge to find even a minute away from baby, but these yoga poses are so simple that they can easily be done while the baby is napping or even while the infant hangs out with mom on the yoga mat. Yoga is terrific for new moms. It can help with many of the aches and pains women can have after delivery, as they carry and breastfeed the baby. Yoga can also help alleviate stress, mild depression, fatigue and anxiety.
One of my biggest inspirations for having good health strategies in my own life is my mom. I remember as a young girl watching her pop in the Jane Fonda exercise tape into the VCR, swinging her arms in big circles, heavily breathing but laughing and smiling all the way. And I distinctly remember shushing my sisters when she would peak her head out from her room and ask us, her four daughters, to be quiet while she mediated. Children model what they see their parents doing. I am so grateful to my mother for showing me that self-care is vital to personal health and happiness.
Take these poses as you can in your own time.
Rag-Doll With Arm Bind
Separate your feet hips width distance apart and fold your torso over your legs. Soften your knees. Interlace your hands at your lower back lift the arms and wrap your hands over your head toward the floor in front of you. If you cannot easily interlace your hands, grab a towel between your hands. Take deep breaths in and out. Let your head be heavy. This pose can help relieve tension in the head, neck and shoulders that can occur from breastfeeding and carrying a new baby.
Legs Up the Wall
Bring your hips to the wall and swing your legs up the wall into an inversion. You can bring a pillow under the hips for a little extra support. This pose is very relaxing. It deepens one's breath and eases stiffness from the legs. Put an eye mask or towel over the eyes to increase relaxation. It also aids digestion and can help ease mild depression.
Forearm Plank Pose
This version of the plank is accessible for most people. Bring yourself into a plank on your forearms, by aligning your shoulders, chest, abdominal muscles, hips and legs. Toes are curled under. This will help to start strengthen and heal the abdominal muscles and spine. Stay for 10-30 seconds. If you need to, bring your knees down for support.
Lie on you back. Bring your feet flat, knees bent. Lay your arms by your sides and lift your hips up. If you can, interlace your hands underneath you. This helps open up the neck, chest, and back. It revitalizes the spine and reduces fatigue and anxiety.
Child's Pose (While Strengthening the Pelvic Floor)
Bring yourself to the floor and bring you knees wide apart and your toes to touch, separate your knees, bring your forehead to the floor. Then bring awareness to the lower abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor. Think about lifting the entire pelvic floor in and up. This will help a new mom strengthening the pelvic floor while also finding rest.