Welcome to mama-hood. A beautiful and rewarding journey that’s both challenging and overwhelming. Nothing can prepare you for how much your heart can melt when you look into your baby’s eyes, or how much havoc sleep deprivation can wreak on your mental and emotional state. Our own coping mechanism and support network is unique in how we ride these ups and downs, but one thing we can all relate to, is that being a mum is selfless. We sacrifice a lot, we love unconditionally, and too often we fall into the pattern of giving away too much of our time, energy and ourselves.
How do you give back to yourself?
What makes you feel whole and loved outside of motherhood?
Where can you switch off and connect back to yourself and your purpose?
I’m going to share with you a secret that I believe all mums need to know. Yoga is the answer and the best gift a mum can give herself. What other practice can unite your mind, body and spirit and bring about transformation, energy and love to your entire being? It’s powerful stuff. All you have to do is arrive on the mat – whether in class or at home – and the rest will follow. After the first class, most mums wonder where yoga has been all their lives! The more you practice, the more awakening happens. Wow.
Isn’t yoga just about ‘stretching’?
No way! Yoga isn’t about touching your toes, twisting yourself into pretzel-like shapes, or levitating your way to happiness. Sure you’ll get a strong, toned, flexible body, and have an actual reason to wear those cute yoga pants, but the most powerful gift a mama can receive from yoga is mindfulness.
During yoga, we breathe mindfully, slow down and move mindfully, and practise observing the mental fluctuations of our often, wired-yet-tired mama minds. When we’re mindful, we’re present. And when we’re truly present, the past doesn’t exist and the future isn’t important – instead we find a place of acceptance and calm in the now. So, the laundry, school lunches, grocery shopping and other external world commitments won’t be front of mind during class – think of it as hanging up your mama hat for an hour! Instead, during class all that’s required of you is to focus on your breath and listen to your body, and the true nature of yoga will unfold.
In the ancient text, the Bhagavad Gita, yoga is quoted as “the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” Many mums have found their sense of purpose again from yoga, they’ve fallen in love with themselves, and have learnt how to truly be kind and compassionate to themselves. And when mummy is feeling the self-love, everyone will benefit! Win, win!
Top 6 Benefits of Yoga for Mums
- Decreases stress and tension from your mind and muscles and helps to lift your mood and happiness levels;
- Improves the quality of sleep (for you mama, we can’t speak for baby though!);
- Increases energy levels, allowing you to keep up with your little ones and keep some energy left in your own tank;
- Strengthens your core and pelvic floor muscles so your post-baby body will feel strong and amazing;
- You’ll learn the art of breathing correctly and effectively; a tool you can use to invite calm into your day;
- Through mindfulness, you’ll learn how to be gentle and kind to yourself, an important gift we need to bless ourselves with every single day.
Make time for yoga, you deserve it
Like the airline safety announcement reminds us, “apply your own oxygen mask first before helping others”, filling up our own cup first is paramount. How else can we give freely to others if our own cup is empty? Mums, please remember it’s not selfish to look after yourself, it’s essential. You are so deserving of time out for yoga, time to nourish your mind, energise your body and soothe your soul.
Make a commitment to your health and wellbeing, and dedicate time regularly to roll out your yoga mat. Plan ahead if you need to and organise a baby-sitter or attend a class during school hours, or why not stay home for an on-line class when the kids are napping. There’s always a way to find time for yourself on the yoga mat. Whether it’s 10 minutes or one hour, the intention for ‘me-time’ is still the same and you will absolutely benefit from the practice. Plus, by making time for yourself, you’re being a wonderful role model on how to honour and love yourself, and in turn your children will grow up appreciating the significance for self care and self love – how important!
So, the secret is out, mamas – yoga is a life changer. Next time you float out of class with that blissful, buzzed-yet-chilled feeling, smile to yourself knowing that you’ve found yoga. A life-long mind, body, soul practice that will make you feel amazing on so many levels, and make you a happier, healthier mama.