After you’ve eaten the soggy cereal breakfast-in-bed, and you’ve tucked away the macaroni cards, here's a Mother’s Day gift you can give yourself for some physical and mental relaxation. It’s free, and you don’t need a babysitter.
Just tuck it away for the next time you and the kids have been stuck inside from crazy weather, or you just need a quiet activity while the younger ones are napping. Try getting on the floor for some yoga poses to unwind with your children. If you are creative, you can even include babies nearby on a blanket, and the poses are easy for most toddlers and older children.
Morning gymnastics photo via Shutterstock.
If you like, put on some very soft music.
Yoga Breathing: Start in criss-cross applesauce and breathe through your nose, slowing it deep-down through your throat, until you sound like Darth Vader. See how long everyone can sit there listening to their breathing.
(1) Cat/Cow: Move onto your hands and knees. Pull your belly button up towards the sky, arching your back like a scared cat, and “Hiss!” Then, move the belly button the other direction and arching your back slightly, “Mooing” like a cow. Repeat slowly several times.
(2) Child’s Pose: Sit back on your heels, and stretch your arms out long in front of you with fingers spread wide like starfish. Come back to this pose anytime to rest.
(3) Downward Dog: Tuck your toes under and press your hips up to the ceiling while pressing your starfish hands—especially your fingers—strongly into the floor. “Walk your dog,” lowering one heel at a time toward the floor and straightening that leg to stretch it.
(4) Forward Fold: Walk your feet up to your hands and pull your belly button in as you try to reach the floor. If you can’t quite reach, put your hands on your legs as low as you can, and breathe.
(5) Mountain Pose: Stand and breathe, arms by your sides.
Repeat: Forward Fold, Downward Dog, Forward Fold, Mountain, in a sequence, a few times.
(6) Sunflower: Widen your legs, and turn your feet out slightly. Inhale your arms up with your fingers spread wide. Then, exhale the arms down to your sides, as you bend your knees over your ankles, in a tall squat, staying upright. Repeat several times.
(7) Tree: With your hands together at your heart, stand tall and bring one foot against the inside of the other leg (low or high, but not against the knee). Press the foot and leg against each other. Find something to look at that won’t move, for balance. Try lifting your arms to a high “V,” like branches. Switch sides.
(8) Butterfly: Sit and bring the soles of your feet together. Press them into each other to stretch the legs out toward the floor. Careful: Don’t bounce the legs or point your feet and toes up toward the face.
(9) Owl: Sit cross-legged. Take one hand to the opposite knee, and the other hand to the base of your spine on the floor. Pull your belly button in, and sit tall to help you twist. Change sides after a few breaths.
(10) Happy Baby: Slowly lie on your back, and bring your knees to your chest. Grab onto the back of thighs, and work your hands up to the insides of your feet or your big toes, stretching your inner thighs.
Final Relaxation: Stretch long on the floor. Bring your hands by your sides, and let your hands and feet fall open. Let your whole body sink into the sand on the beach, and melt under the warm sun, relaxing as long as everyone will let you.
Encourage everyone to wake up slowly, wiggling fingers and toes, bringing knees to chest, and rolling over to the side like a rolypoly to breathe for a few more seconds. Slowly push up to cross-legged position.
Thank each other for your yoga time together, and remember this gift is always available to make a few minutes of any day a more peaceful mother’s day.
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