Whether you have a baby on the way or are well-practised at managing the modern teenager, you are a busy parent and need an effective way of managing your physical and mental states.
Taking care of a child is a full-time job before they even arrive and it is often easy to overlook your own mental and physical needs when fully focused on childcare.
Yoga poses offer the busy parent a brief moment to reconnect with yourself through stimulating the body and relaxing the mind. It will not always be possible to take off on yoga retreat or even visit your local fitness center, 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 or suspended in any of the following yoga poses – or Asanas– for a busy parent.
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.
Half Pigeon 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.
Yoga is an exercise that a lot of people want to do, but some feel they are too old to start. Fortunately, there are a number of different types of yoga that are ideal for new practitioners of any age. These poses help you form the basis of your yoga routines and will provide all of the benefits of yoga that you want.
The Gentle Flow
The first of these poses is the gentle flow which is a gentle transition movement from cat to the cow. This is not a fancy looking move, but it helps to connect you with the rhythm of your breathing. The pose will also help you gently stimulate blood as well as a lymphatic flow while warming the joints.
To complete this pose, you will need to rest on your hands and knees on your yoga mat. You will then have to arch your back with your head pointing down toward the ground. This will transition to your back curving to toward the floor with your head tilting up.
The Mountain Pose
The mountain pose is the foundation of all the standing poses in yoga. This is a great starting point for a routine, a good resting pose or a means of improving your posture. To start this pose, you will need to stand with the base of your big toes touching and the heels slightly apart.
You will then need to lift and spread your toes and balls of the feet before laying them softly on the floor. Rock forward and back as well as side to side. You need to gently reduce the swaying movement until you are evenly balanced on your feet.
You should then firm the thigh muscles and lift your kneecaps without hardening the stomach. The inner ankles will need to be lifted and you have to imagine a line of energy running along the inner thigh to the crown of your head. Your upper thigh will need to be turned slightly inward and the tailbone lengthened to the floor.
Press your shoulder blades into the back then widen them and release. You will then have to lift the sternum toward the ceiling without pushing your lower front ribs forward. Your arms should be hanging beside your body.
Downward Facing Dog
One of the most well known of all yoga moves is downward facing dog. This is a staple movement for a good reason as it creates harmony between the upper and lower body. Your chest will also be opened while you lengthen the back of your legs.
To get into this position, you will need to start on your hands and knees on your yoga mat. Your knees will need to be directly below the hips and your hands slightly forward from your shoulders. On the exhale, you will need to lift your knees away from the floor.
When you do this, you need to keep your knees slightly bent at first with your heels away from the floor. You should then lengthen the tailbone away from the back of the pelvis and press toward the pubis. Inhale while you do this and work with the resistance.
On the next exhale, you will have to push the top of your thighs back and stretch your heels to the floor. Your knees will straighten, but you need to ensure that you do not lock them. You will have to firm your outer arms and press the bases of your index fingers into the floor. Your head needs to be held between your arms and not hanging.
A gentle twist in yoga is the same as hitting a reset button which releases the tension around the torso. One of these twists is the supine twist which is completed while on the floor. To complete this twist, you will need to lie on your back on your yoga mat with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
You will then have to lift your lower legs to a 90-degree angle almost like you are sitting on a chair. You will then have to twist your torso to one side and allow your legs to rest on the floor. It is important that your shoulders do not leave the floor and your weight will rest on one leg.