We all know ‘Mum life’ can get a little crazy. Whilst doing Yoga each day might sound like a marvellous idea, when you have spew dripping down your neck, your baby’s screaming and your house looks like a ‘before’ shot on the Marie Kondo show, then it can be very hard to find your inner ‘Zen.’
So as a Mum who’s also a Yoga teacher, I’ve put together some practical tips for getting on your mat and feel your life going from ‘face-palm’ to ‘I’m calm.’
1. Little bits often are better than long bits seldom. Do some breathing in the car, stand on one leg while brushing your teeth, do some Warrior poses while walking your baby around, do some twists lying in bed. It all adds up.
2. Make it a treat. Don’t see Yoga as another chore on the ‘to do list’ because it won’t feel fun (and it will never happen.) Put on your favourite chilled out tunes, infuse some essential oils, and think of your Yoga practice like an indulgent massage or hot bath.
3. Know that it won’t be like a ‘studio class.’ Take away unfair expectations of yourself to make it exactly the same as a 1 hour class led by a qualified Yoga teacher. (That’s why you pay to go to a studio!) Know that you will probably get distracted, you might make it up a bit as you go along and it’s 110% likely that your kids/pets/partner will try and sabotage it. But that’s all part of ‘practicing’ Yoga and often part of the fun.
4. Get off the couch. Soo much of our available down time is wasted looking at our phones sitting on the couch. Then we say ‘I don’t have time for Yoga.’ Have your Yoga mat unrolled in an easily accessible place and instead of plopping on the couch, just sit on your mat and see what happens. Even by being on the floor rather than seated we do so much good work for our back and hips.
5. Trick yourself into starting. Tell yourself ‘I’ll just do 5 minutes.’ Then 20 minutes later... hey you’re doing Yoga!
6. Make it a part of your routine. When we do something at the same time each day it makes it easier for us to create a habit. Maybe it’s 10 minutes when your baby has their morning nap, or a chilled bedtime flow at the end of the day. If it’s already planned then it’s easier to commit to.
7. Remove distractions. If you have text messages, emails and phone calls coming through it will be impossible to focus. Flight mode on phone = zen mode for you!
8. Wear exercise gear. When you get up in the morning, put on Yoga pants. It’s like a little promise to your subconscious that you will be active that day. Because sometimes we might actually have the opportunity to do some mindful movement, but we’re stuck in tight skinny leg jeans and high heels boots. (So we sit on the couch!) Take away the excuse and dress for the type of day you want to have. It also makes it easier to play with the kids and the bonus is, if anyone sees you down the shops they’ll just assume you’re super fit! :-)
9. Know that every day is different. Don’t compare or judge yourself. Just show up on the mat and let whatever needs to be explored and nourished TODAY come through in your practice. Sometimes its a dynamic flow, sometimes its just child’s pose. Honour that.
10. Involve your kids. If the idea of having ‘kid free spare time’ just seems like the most hilarious joke ever then include them! They’re natural Yogis after all. Follow their natural way of moving - whether it’s on your hands and knees or rolling around on your back. Use this time to connect to them, smile, breathe and play. Some days the pure presence of playing with our child is just as healing as a ‘proper’ meditation.
If you have any questions please let me know. Otherwise keep your eyes out for my series of ‘Fill your cup’ classes on @themindfulmum. You can also join me for ‘Mums & Bubs' @highvibeyogaandpilates every Friday at 9.30am.
I hope this helps and that you can all enjoy some nourishing, mindful time on your mats to fill up you own cup!
(The Mumma in me honours the Mumma in you)