Postnatal Yoga

Nov 17, 2017 by

With the rise of prenatal yoga there has also been a rise of postnatal yoga. Postnatal yoga usually involves your newborn (mostly because this is a great way for you to connect on a deep and spiritual level with your new family member).

There are several postnatal poses that are not only beneficial for mamas, but they also stimulate the babies. Stimulating poses either involve your baby or allow you to interact with them. This allows you to have an entire practice completed without too much fuss from the little one.

Goddess pose is an excellent postnatal pose that helps to strengthen the legs.

  1. Start with the feet about 3 feet apart with the toes pointing outward.
  2. Hold your baby for added weight or to simply soothe them while your practice.
  3. Exhale and bend your knees deeply while the hips sink down to become level with your knees.
  4. Try to keep the knees directly aligned over the ankles to avoid injury.
  5. Inhale and strengthen the legs.

This pose helps to tone the legs, hips, and core muscles.

While Goddess pose focuses more on strengthening the legs, the Boat pose focuses on strengthening the core muscles. After being pregnant for 9 months, the core muscles require some attention to get back into place.

  1. To get into a Boat pose, sit on the floor with your legs bent in front of you and your baby sitting in your lap facing you.
  2. Slowly lift your feet while holding onto your baby until your legs are parallel with the floor.
  3. Hold here for 10-20 seconds. If the baby is secure, try extending your arms out along the side of your legs for an added challenge.
  4. When you have finished, exhale and release the legs slowly back to the ground.

While the Goddess and Boat pose both incorporate your baby, Knee Plank Push-ups just stimulate your baby.

  1. To get into Knee Plank Push-ups, start with your hands and knees directly underneath you.
  2. Move the knees back slightly and tuck your toes under.
  3. Place your baby underneath you so that when you bend down you can give them some kisses.
  4. Inhale, and then exhale while bending the elbows.
  5. Make sure to keep the elbows tucked in toward your sides. Slowly lower yourself closer and closer to your baby until you can kiss their face.
  6. Inhale to press back up.
  7. Repeat 10 times while giving your baby more and more kisses each time.
  8. By having your baby under you during this pose, you are more motivated to bend your arms deeper into the push up to give your baby a kiss and to hold that push up position longer the more kisses your give them. It’s a win-win for both mommy and baby!

Getting back into shape after having a baby can be very difficult for a new mom. Postnatal yoga allows for the continuation of prenatal yoga but with more focus on the baby and toning the body. Not only are these poses simple to do, they are also incredibly beneficial in gaining back muscle tone lost during pregnancy. The incorporation of your baby into your routine not only gives you an excellent workout partner, but also serves as an excellent mommy and baby bonding experience that can (and should) be done daily. Check out high waisted leggings that will keep your post natal tummy in check and make you feel comfortable after pregnancy!

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Yoga in Schools

Aug 24, 2017 by

I remember the first time I heard about yoga in schools. My best friend from college taught at a private school in my city and she mentioned that one of her students’ activities was yoga. I was like WHAT?! That is so cool! I’d imagine that yoga has many of the same positive effects on kids that it does on adults, but how specifically does it positively impact children while in school? A quick google search found multiple articles about this very subject and all of them mentioned several benefits to kids in school including improving their anxiety, flexibility and strength, and lessens feelings of aggression.

It can help reduce their anxiety through learning breathing techniques. Yoga is also meditative by nature so they will be soothed by the repetition of poses. Different breathing techniques can help lower a child’s stress level. According to a CNN article, Beyond ‘Namaste’: The benefits of yoga in schools, having them focus on exhaling with long breaths will help stop them from hyperventilating and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system which is your rest and restore nervous system. Meditation or the different flow of yoga poses will also help them to relax. If you’re trying to get kids to meditate have them focus on something specific. This will help them to sit still. Focusing on something fun like a favorite color will help put them into a more relaxed state which will help with the outside pressures they feel in school.

As we all know yoga not only helps increase flexibility but also physical strength. A child that practices yoga will digest their food better and have better weight management. It’s also a good opportunity for them to learn more about their different muscle groups. Practicing yoga has a myriad of other physical benefits including improved posture, more controlled movement, and some studies have even shown improvement in bone density for your hips.

Teaching children different yoga techniques will help them lessen their feelings of aggression or frustration. One technique that I found on moodsters.com, is called body scanning. Essentially a child lies on their back and focuses on individual parts of the body and relaxing each one. This will help them to focus on relaxing their whole body and in turn relaxing their mind in a stressful situation. Incorporating some aromatherapy into yoga can also reduce feelings of aggression and stress. One mom found that placing a few drops of lemon essential oil on a cotton ball and having her child sniff them, lessened the feelings of stress and aggression.

Yoga has many great benefits for everybody young and old. I look at yoga the way I look at learning a new language. It’s much easier for young kids to learn and become fluent in a second language, so why not start teaching them at a young age? Why not have your child start practicing yoga at a young age so they can start experiencing the benefits early and have more confidence and ability to manage stress throughout their entire life?

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