By Dr Manoj Kutteri
Being a mother is a full-time job! While loving and taking care of their babies, mothers often forget self-love and care. Dealing with the changes in routine, juggling through different roles and spending time with the baby can be stressful sometimes. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Practicing yoga poses with your toddler can be a wonderful time to relieve stress, breathe and emotionally connect. It aids in scheduling a day well, establishing an exercise routine for the baby as well as getting time out to align your body mind and soul. Here are some yoga asanas that moms can do with their kids to enjoy physical and emotional well being together.
Sukhasana – The cross-legged seating posture
Sukhasana or the cross-legged sitting posture is the ideal pose to make your child get used to yoga. On the mat, sit cross-legged with your spine straight and shoulders in a relaxed position. Make your toddler copy your posture and give them hints to focus on the posture. Inhale deeply by letting the air fill up your lungs and then slowly exhale to let it all go. It can help you and your baby calm down and find peace on the mat. Sukhasana is also the starting pose for many other yoga practices and among the best relaxing poses.
Chakravakasana – The Cat/Cow Pose
Extend from Sukhasana into all fours with your hips over the knees and shoulders over the wrists. Help your toddler find a firm balance here. As you inhale, curl out your spine by dropping the belly and lifting your chest up into the cow pose. And then exhale slowly by tucking the chin inside and squeezing the belly forming a hollow on the inside – the cat pose. Repeat the pose for a few times to get a smooth flow going. This can be a joint move where you both can move together and enjoy the sync.
AdhoMukhaSvanasana – Downward-facing Dog
Take a transition from cat/cow pose to the downward-facing dog by lifting your knees from the mat and pushing on your heels to keep your hips high. This pose helps stretch the hamstrings, calves, and shoulders while strengthening the legs and arms. If you have a baby, they can be made to rest on the mat beneath you to maintain eye contact, but if you have a toddler show them how you can both hold on strong to something together.
Phalakasana – The plank pose
There is no denying that a plank is a full body workout. Move from downward facing dog to the plank pose by moving forward with your weight. Shift your focus towards the front and a strong hold on the hands. It’s an easy transition with the right strength. Support your child to understand how to maintain the height and glide from one position to another. It helps them with motor skills and improves focus. Hold here for a few seconds until lowering your belly and resting on the mat.
Bhujangasana – The cobra pose
While you are lying on the mat face down, plant your hands on the mat around the base of your shoulders and with a stronghold gently lift the upper body upwards till your arms are all straight. Lower your hips and legs to give for strong support. It’s a great move to strengthen your child’s back and shoulders. But don’t stress on it if they are in the mood to just watch you pose like a snake.
SetuBandhaSarvangasana – The Bridge Pose
It’s a fun pose for both the mother and child to play while you do yoga. Make a turn from cobra pose with your back straight on the mat and bend the knees. If your baby can balance enough, make your baby sit on your lap by resting their back on your thighs to face you. With your feet and hands firmly on the ground, tuck your chin to the chest and gently raise the hip above the mat till your thighs are parallel to each other. Hold on to this bridge pose for 30 seconds and slowly bring it down. This little ride can be exciting for your kid. Repeat it a few times to keep the spine flexible and the game on for the kid.
Shavasana – The corpse pose
The most relaxing and comfortable pose for a parent-child yoga, Shavasana can bring connection and calm. Extend both your hands and legs and lie down on the mat with your back straight. Let your child rest on top of you with their head touching your chest. Let them hug you. Close your eyes and breathe. This final resting pose is often where the mom and child fall asleep for a few minutes cherishing the beauty of peace.
Mom and child yoga is a rejuvenating opportunity to break from stressful schedules and make a bond while exercising. It can be a regular activity to indulge for physical, emotional and mental balance.
(The writer is Wellness Director at Atmantan Wellness Centre.)