Listen up mommies! If you wish to take care of your body, bring serenity to your mind and want to introduce a physically and spiritually beneficial activity to your little one, yoga can be your best bet. Yes, this ancient practice will allow you to spend quality time with your little one that too at your own pace.
Yoga is healing, and its diversity will enable you to focus on whichever area that you seek to improve – mental peace, joint flexibility, muscle strength, better blood circulation, and mindful breathing. It packs a plethora of health benefits that are proven by science but more than that, they can be immediately felt by the body even after a single session.
Surprisingly, yoga starts to combat muscle, joint stiffness, bone aches, poor posture, and sluggishness in the body instantly.
Every person regardless of their body type or age or fitness level can do yoga thanks to its range of options and intensity levels. If you are a mommy to be or have just delivered, there is even pre and postnatal yoga that you can practice to keep your body at its best. Like any other exercise, consult your doctor before beginning yoga.
Here are some excellent yoga poses that you and your baby can do as a team.
1. Virabhadrasana 1 or warrior 1 pose (Variation):
This warrior variation is a simple posture that will give you stronger legs, back, arms and shoulders and a rounder butt as it’s very close to a lunge. More powerful body means you can handle your baby better too. This pose also increases focus, energizes the whole body and gently improves balance and stability.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold your baby at chest level. Move your left foot back so that the right leg bends at a 90-degree angle. Your left heel should ideally be flat on the ground. If you can achieve this in the first attempt, you are already quite flexible, congrats! But it’s also okay for it to be lifted.
While you hold the pose, the baby can either be cradled in your arms. You can make your angel sit on your thigh facing outwards from you. Breathe deep, soften your shoulders, open your chest and then slowly exhale and straighten your front leg. Repeat this a few times and then switch to the other leg.
To involve the baby more and challenge yourself further, you can also lift the baby high up by extending your arms. Hold him up for a few seconds before bringing him down and release the posture.
2. Virabhadrasana 2 or Warrior 2 Pose:
Warrior two starts the same way as Warrior 1 however after placing left foot at the back, you need to ‘spin’ your heel so that your left foot moves away from the body and the hips open towards the longer side of the mat. Your baby, depending on their age, can be held in right arm or sit on your right thigh, so you can free the other arm and stretch it out backward. This will open your shoulders and chest parallel to your hips.
You can tug your torso towards the back so that your spine is straight and not leaning towards the baby.
This pose is great to open the hips and the chest. It also boosts respiration and blood circulation while strengthening and giving all the benefits as Warrior 1.
3. Vrksasana Or Tree Pose:
Motherhood is the greatest balancing act of life, and this yoga pose is going to take your balancing power to the next level.
If you are new to yoga, you better start by standing close to a wall, just in case you lose your balance. Stand with your feet firmly placed on the ground and consciously extend your grip by slightly opening up your toes (if needed.)
Hold your baby securely at chest level and lift one foot up and place it on the opposite leg’s thigh, calf or ankle. If you feel wobbly take support from the wall through one hand and breathe deeply and slowly to center yourself and find your balance. Lift your chest and make sure your back is straight. After a few seconds or until when it’s comfortable release the pose and switch sides.
4. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana Or Bridge Pose:
Bridge pose has many great benefits, and it’s relatively straightforward to do. You can do it even if you have back and spine problems.
Start by laying on your back and place your feet on the ground with your knees facing up. Your baby can lie on top of your chest or sit leaning back on your legs with your hands gripping onto him tightly.
Inhale and slowly lift your hips off the ground. Now lift your back and hold the posture for a few seconds while your weight is being balanced on your feet and shoulders. Slowly exhale, release and repeat a few more times.
5. Super Baby:
Both your child and your legs will love this posture.
Start by laying on the back and then lift your legs and bend your knees by pulling them towards the chest. Your shins should be parallel to the ceiling. Place your baby on your legs while his shoulders touch your knees, and he holds up his head looking at your face. Have some fun and move your legs up and down gently by opening your knees and let the baby feel like he is flying.
6. Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose):
Sit comfortably on the ground facing the wall. Now place your back flat on the floor and lift your legs up against the wall. Slowly wiggle your hips and move closer to the wall until your leg and hips touch the wall – remember, your back should not be lifted off the floor.
Let your baby sit on your tummy resting their back on your legs. You can also open your legs and allow your little one to sway back and forth while you hold them from the elbows and pull them to and fro. This posture is excellent for improving blood circulation to your upper body, face, and head. It will also relax your legs.
7. Chaturanga Dandasana With A Smooch:
Chaturanga is one of the most prevalent of yoga poses in any yoga session, but the best way to do it with a baby is to first make sure that you do it well yourself alone because it’s a hard posture that requires tremendous arm strength.
Many people fall flat on their chest while initially attempting it. Once you have mastered the pose, you can keep your baby right in front of you and kiss him/her as you lift your body up and return to the starting position.