Whether you have a baby on the way or are well-practised at managing an emotional teenager, you’re a busy parent and need an effective way of managing stress and gaining some mindfulness. Taking care of a child is a full-time job even before they arrive and it’s often easy to overlook your own mental and physical needs when fully focused on preparing for a new baby.
Yoga offers the busy parent a brief moment to reconnect through stimulating the body and relaxing the mind. It will not always be possible to take off on a yoga retreat or even visit your local yoga class, but luckily yoga requires very little in the way of equipment, time or space.
All you need is a quiet spot where you can focus fully on breathing and your body in motion.
Here are some of our favourite yoga poses – or Asanas– for busy parents.
Child’s Yoga Pose
This basic pose can be used as the opener or finisher in your yoga routine and is perfect for loosening the hips and elongating the spine. Remember to keep your breathing slow and steady and allow your body to naturally rise and sink into the pose with each breath. 3 minutes for beginners, 5 minutes for more experienced yogis.
Downward Facing Dog Yoga Pose
The typical parent will spend a lot of time carrying heavy objects, softly bouncing a baby to sleep or carry other strains and tension from work and academic pursuits. Downward facing dog helps to extend the upper and lower body and release tension through increased blood flow. Remember to focus on the breath because it can get a little intense after the 15th inhalation in this inverted position.
Half Pigeon Yoga Pose
Admittedly, this is a little more challenging than the other two, but not hard to master. And the relief of tension you experience in your legs and lower back is well worth applying yourself to this pose for about 3 to 5 minutes each day. There are easier forms of the pose that can keep your knees and joints safe as you work your way to the full half pigeon.
It can be difficult to find time for yourself as a busy parent or a new mom. If you can fit in 10 minutes here and there while the baby has a sleep, it can help you sleep better and deal with the strains and stresses of being a new parent!
We wish you the best of luck!