So, you have a new baby! Congratulations! A new baby brings both the happiest and hardest times. Smiles, coos and that first baby giggle are pretty hard to beat. Of course that comes right alongside plenty of crabby days, sleepless nights and an abundance of crying (from both baby AND Mom!). This means there is no better time to get a little yoga back in your life. While time away from the baby can be a nice, it’s not always reality and not always something you are looking for. So how about some Mama AND Baby Yoga? Yes- you can do yoga WITH that precious bundle and enjoy the movement and the calm right alongside one another.
Yoga comes with benefits galore. Think about the many things it provides:
- FLEXIBILITY: Of course the most obvious reason people do yoga is for the stretching. The poses in yoga help stretch your muscles and connective tissue for a healthier more flexible you.
- STRENGTH: The poses you do in yoga include different forms of squats, lunges and push-ups. These body-weight strength moves get the job done when it comes to toning your butt, legs and upper body.
- CALM: Yoga teaches you how to breathe fully and stay in the moment. How much time do we spend with our newborn just trying to get through the day. These poses with your little one will teach listen to your breath to calm you, keep you focused on the moment and give you plenty of eye contact and special moments with your baby.
Now combine this with the fact that you can do it WITH your baby and you’ve got a new mom win-win. In addition, a little pre-nap yoga might be just the thing to soothe your baby and help the whole nap effort go more smoothly. For this yoga workout you will need to have some type of front pack or carrier that holds your baby close to you even when your arms are reaching away. Of course, be sure to do everything with your abdominals pulled in tightly for good posture. This is recommended even without a baby involved, but with that extra weight on your front side it will be even more important. The good news is you’ll get plenty of core strength from holding your tummy muscles in!
So grab a yoga mat, grab that cute baby and let’s get going!
Mama-Baby Yoga Workout
1. STANDING MOUNTAIN POSE
Stand with your feet a few inches apart, rooting your feet into the floor and letting your arms rest by your side. Take 3-5 slow breaths.
Step your feet shoulder width apart with toes pointed out. Inhale and reach your arms overhead, exhale and squat down with arms sweeping below baby. Do this 5-10 times.
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3. STANDING SIDE BEND
Step feet back together and reach your right arm up as you inhale. (keep left arm around baby) Exhale to reach over your right ear bending to the side. Switch sides.
4. CHAIR AND CRESCENT LUNGE
From standing, reach both arms straight up, draw abs in tight and sit hips back with weight over heels. Hold for three breaths. Step right foot back onto ball of your foot, keeping front knee bent and stretching back leg long. Hold three breaths. Step forward and repeat sequence on left side.
Standing tall with arms around your baby, pull your right foot up placing it on left lower leg or, if more flexible, left inner thigh. Hold for 3-5 breaths and switch sides.
6. WARRIOR 1, WARRIOR 2, EXTENDED ANGLE
(This is a flow of poses.) Step right foot back, angling is onto floor behind you with leg long. Keep front knee bent and inhale to reach both arms overhead. Exhale to open arms long and turn to the side for Warrior 2. Inhale to hold relaxing your shoulders, then exhale to reach left arm forward and place left elbow on left knee with right arm wrapped around baby. Hold to inhale, exhale pull body back up, face the front, step forward and repeat on left. (If time permits and baby is loving it, do this sequence 2-3 times on each side)
7. YOGI SQUAT
From standing, step feet shoulder width apart with toes turned out. Inhale to reach arms overhead, exhale to squat low placing your elbows inside legs and hands behind baby. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
8. BUTTERFLY POSE
Take a seated position, bring soles of the feet together with knees relaxed open and sit tall with arms around your baby. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
9. PIGEON POSE
Come onto your knees and stretch arms wide placing hands onto the floor. Putting some weight in your arms, stretch right leg out straight behind you and angle left foot slightly under body towards the right hand. Gently allow some weight off your arms and onto the bottom leg as you take 3-5 breaths. Switch sides.
Come back to seated position. Cross right leg over with foot resting on left inner thigh. Then cross left leg on top with left foot resting on right inner thigh. If knees wont bend that far, rest feet wherever comfortable. Wrap your arms around baby and take 4-5 breaths to finish.
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