Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years -- but it was only until recently, when celebrities like Jennifer Aniston professed her love for yoga, did it become more main stream.
There are many health benefits associated with yoga, including everything from reducing stress and lowering blood pressure to sounder sleep and better fitness. However, many shy away from actually practicing yoga. You may feel you are not flexible enough to be able to do the poses or you don't want to make a fool out of yourself in front of others. The good news is that yoga is a lot more than asanas or poses. You can follow a yogic lifestyle without having to ever take a yoga class.
Amy Witmyer, a yoga practitioner for over 11 years who runs her own yoga studio Sacred Space Yoga and Wellness in West Orange, New Jersey, explains that mothers tend to put the needs of their children and family before their own needs. She says, "I remind my clients, most who are moms, that if the mental body is out of balance, then the physical body will be out of balance as well." Yoga and meditation can help a mom retain peace.
Since your schedule is typically jam-packed and making time for a yoga class can cause more stress than it's worth, Witmyer suggests these yoga tools that busy moms can implement conveniently and immediately:
Deep Breathing: Most of the breaths that the majority of people take throughout the day are quick, shallow breaths. Pranayama, or breath control, is one of the five principles in yoga. When you take the time to focus on your breath, you cannot help but become present in the moment. One easy technique is to take a full breath through your nose, hold it for a count of three, and then release through your nose. Repeat three more times.
Music: Most everyone has heard the adage, "Music calms the savage beast." The same can be said for moms and children as well! There are many different types of yoga music, which is often called new age, as well as chanting or crystal bowls. Simply having calming music in the background, or flicking it on before a temper tantrum strikes, can help save the day.
Yoga moves: The great thing about these yoga poses is that you can do them with your children (click pose for illustration).
As a mom, you are your children's first role model. By taking the time to slow down and relax, you are providing your children with necessary tools to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Light a candle, dim the lights and invite your child to lay on the floor with you! Say Om. Repeat.
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