lifestyle

Fitness: How Yoga Benefits the Busy Mom

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It’s early but I’m running late. I’m trying to squeeze in a morning yoga class but my kids have other plans. They, too, think it’s a good idea to get up before 6 a.m. today. Thankfully, my husband is off from work and can take over. I get to yoga class just in time and it’s worth the effort to get here.

yoga pose

I’ve recently fallen in love with yoga. I attended a retreat that began with a yoga session taught by Kelly Newsome, owner of Higher Ground Yoga, a boutique private yoga and self-care practice for busy women. I reached out to Kelly and asked her about the benefits of yoga. Here’s what she had to say.

How Yoga Benefits the Busy Mom

Just about every mama I've ever talked to has a few things in common:

1) Her body changed noticeably with pregnancy and parenting

2) She feels exhausted on a regular basis

3) She'd give anything to have more time to herself

Yoga addresses all of these issues. It also energizes both body and mind.

What style of yoga do you recommend for moms?

I recommend just about any type that motivates you. I always say that 90% of the work is just getting to the mat—the rest is just listening to the teacher and to your body. So try a few different styles and see what works for your personality and preference.

Personally, I love vinyasa flow yoga, which comes from the more disciplined Ashtanga style. I've studied many types, but vinyasa has such diversity to it, with creative sequences that activate different muscle groups. It can be challenging or restorative, and you can really play around with amazing music. It's a great blend of East and West, with traditional roots that balance our fast-paced day with fun, modern elements.

What's one pose that a mom can do when she can only find 5 minutes to practice?

Try a wide-knee child's pose (variation of "balasana"): Come to a hands and knees position on the floor, float the big toes together and keep the knees wide. Gently stretch your hips down to your heels, and rest your chest between the thighs, letting your forehead sink into the ground. Stretch the arms out, and then release the entire torso. Breathe for 5-10 breaths.

Or try a cat/cow spine stretch: Find your hands and knees position on the floor again. Make sure that your wrist creases are parallel with the front of the mat and directly under your shoulders, and that your knees are hip-bone width and under the pelvis. Inhale, and arch your upper spine, lifting your chest toward the sky (cow pose or "bitilasana"). Exhale and round your spine, bringing your chin to your chest and curling your tailbone under (cat pose or "majaryasana"). Repeat as many times as you like.

Sometimes 5 minutes of yoga is enough to totally turn your day around!

Do you practice yoga? How does it benefit you?

Photo by lululemon athletic via flickr creative commons.

Shannon Morgan Shannon Morgan is a writer, the Senior Editor at Maryland Life magazine, a mom of two kids with food allergies, a runner, an aspiring yogi, and a coffee fanatic. She owns Shannon Morgan Creative and blogs about healthy living inspired by food allergies at {SMC} A Storied Table. Email her at shannon at shannonmorgancreative dot com. Follow her on Twitter @SLDMorgan or @AStoriedTable.

 

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