As a working or hands-on Mom, finding time to practice yoga or any kind of exercise is challenging. Balancing work and family puts every other activity in the back seat. Those who even try to join gyms tend to give up due to time consumed in travelling to gym and fixed workout schedules.
The best way to practice yoga is to train under a professional instructor or take a break from work and enroll in one of the retreats locally or abroad such as at a very memorable ayahuasca retreat in Peru. Any kind of workout is always better than no workout. Basic yoga exercises are the best way to work out for busy moms. All you need is a mat and some space to start. It’s easy to set, needs little to no props, easy to get back into if interrupted, and safe to perform.
These seven exercise sequences are easy to sneak in your daily routine. So, when you see a little time off, grab your mat and give your body and mind those deserving few minutes!
Before you start, do a full body scan and let it loose for few minutes. Take long breaths to warm up your body and get into the zone of a yogi.
Standing Forward Bend
Standing forward bend clams your mind and helps in stretching your body and revitalize. This pose is also known as Uttanasana and helps in waking up your hamstrings and soothing your mind. This yoga pose is one of the essential elements of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) and helps in preparing the body for deeper stretches and complicated exercises.
If practiced correctly, this exercise is very beneficial for hamstring and back. It also helps to relax your whole body and stretches your joins and improves on mobility. Be cautions not to go very hard as a beginner. To reap its benefits, leave your body very loose and bend as low as you can. Lowering your head below your heart also calms your brain. This helps in stress release, reduction in headaches, insomnia, and depression as well. It opens your hips and relieves stress in your shoulders and neck.
Downward Facing Dog
This is one of the most famous poses in yoga and deservingly so. It is considered as the ultimate over all rejuvenating stretch. This is another one of the poses in Sun Salutation sequences. The reason why downward dog is so famous because it is used frequently by yogis to transit between different yoga poses, and it can work as a standalone exercise
Downward facing dog helps in stretching of hamstrings and calves. It also strengthens the arms, legs, and back as you hold the pose for five to ten seconds. It also helps in strengthening your core muscles.
As the name suggest, it’s a combination of two poses to provide a complete body relaxation experience. It’s a wonderful way to warm up your spine with or without a mat. The exercise is synchronized with long, deep breathing as you change your posture from a cow in tilt to a cat in stretch and provides many long term health benefits to mind, body, and soul.
For Cow position, start in a neutral spine position and then start inhaling while expanding your belly towards the floor. Follow it with exhaling of the air as pulling your stomach towards your spine. Scoop up your tail bone and let your chin touch the chest for Cat position.
Cat/Cow pose helps in posture improvement as well as overall body balance. This is also ideal for back pains. The synchronized breathing also helps you to relax and ease of some of the overall stress.
Table Top Pose
This is a very simple yet effective exercise that helps in strengthen of your core muscles. The good thing about this pose is that you don’t need to be very flexible to benefit from it. It helps in stretching and improving strength of glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, triceps, biceps, and core muscles. This also helps in extend and stretch of your spine and keeps its natural shape ensuring an excellent posture.
Table top pose allows you to work on your core as you extend out and hold your opposite arm and leg. Try to hold the position for five seconds before you switch to other arm and leg. Don’t try to rush through the exercise, but keep it slow for maximum efficiency.
Low Lunge Pose
This pose can work alone or you can combine this with downward facing dog and reap benefits of both exercises. It brings in warmth into your hips as you hold on the pose. As you hold the pose you do feel relaxed and rush of blood flow warming up your whole body. It’s another great exercise for busy moms to overhaul their tired bodies.
As you hold down the position, go through five deep breathing cycles before you change to other leg. Once you are done with both sides, you can move into downward dog position and eventually get back to standing position. Repeat the whole sequence few times. The low lunge pose is the perfect blend of back stress reliever, body stabilization, and stretching.
Butterfly pose is an amazing ground position exercise that helps in putting the body and mind in a meditative state and creates a serene atmosphere and calm mind. It involves leg movements coordinated with deep and relaxed breaths. This pose is used in yin yoga and towards metal relaxation and internal reflection.
Start by sitting on the floor. Keep your back straight and with an exhalation, bend your knees and bring your heels close to the pelvic section. Drop your knees on the floor and clasp hands around the ankles. Hold this position for three to five minutes and then repeat again.
This pose helps to strengthen the core and lower body. It also stretches and makes your spine stronger and energizes your whole body.
Lying on your back, keep your feet flat on the ground with your hips apart. Keep both the arms on the side of your body. Your fingers should be close to your heels. As you inhale, press the feet into the floor and roll your spine upward. Use your shoulders and push off the rest of the body into the air to form a bridge. Hold this position for five to eight breathing cycles. Then, exhale and roll your back your body to floor.
Bridges pose makes your core stronger and stimulates your nervous system.
These few simple exercises will not only make your core stronger, but also help you to overhaul your whole internal system and rejuvenate your mind and soul.