Yoga Moves for Moms

We’ve compiled our top 5 yoga moves for moms to tackle whatever motherhood throws at you. These moves will help to create proper alignment and ease tightness in hips and trunk as well as calm the mind. They can be done on their own individually or as a sequence or part of another type of workout as a warm-up or cool down.

1. Mountain Pose

mountain pose

Improves posture and strengthens the legs and hips. Mountain Pose also helps you balance over the ankles, knees, and hips. 

Stand with feet under hips and all 10 toes pointed forward and spread wide. Push down through the feet on all four corners (big toe to little toe and each side of the heel) and lift the energy and muscles from the calves all the way up to hips, pulling the kneecaps up from the front, side and back. Pull in the belly button to lengthen the lower back and lift the rib cage off of the pelvis by lifting the chest and rolling the shoulders back and down. Pull the chin back to bring the ears over the tops of the shoulders and hang the arms down by the sides of the waist/hips, palms facing outward with pinkies inward and thumbs outward. Imagine that there is a wall behind your head and back and lift “into” the wall to lengthen and contract every muscle. This is an empowering and strong pose to start and finish or do in between other exercises and poses as it helps to ease the flow of breath as well as elicit confidence and strength. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds at a time.

2. Cat/Cow

cat cow

A great flow between 2 movements that move the spine and lengthen the front and backside of the trunk.

Come to the hands and knees (all fours). Hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips with the torso 1 long line from head to tail. Begin with an inhale while lowering the head and curling under the tailbone to arch the spine and back up towards the ceiling. Take a few breaths in this position feeling the strength from the entire back of the body from the neck to the tailbone. Allow the head to be heavy in this position, creating space and easing tension in the shoulders and upper back. This is called Cat. For Cow, lift the tailbone and chin upward while dropping the belly down, arching the back in the other direction. Stay for a few breaths to feel the stretch in the front of the body. Begin moving into Cat with an exhale and then back to Cow for an inhale. Repeat 4-6 times. This movement of the trunk and torso lubricates the spine and vertebra with motion to create space and decompression.

3. Downward Dog

downward dog

A full-body strengthening exercise that stretches the shoulders, calves, hamstrings, and spine. Because it is an inversion, it also stimulates blood circulation and helps to calm the mind.

Start on all fours and bring the knees slightly behind your hips. Spread the fingers wide and ensure that the arms are under the shoulders. Press your hands into the mat and tuck under all 10 toes to lift the knees off of the floor. Keep pressing into your hands and toes lifting the hips upward, while the legs begin to straighten. Keep the heels lifted and legs slightly bent while pushing into the hands to shift the hips back and allow the head to hang between the upper arms – this will also take the weight of your upper body out of the wrists. Imagine an upside-down “V” shape and try to bring your body into that position. Take 4-6 breaths in this position.

4. Upward Dog

upward dogA chest and front line body opener that strengthens the back muscles while stretching the wrists and toning the arms and legs.

Lie face down on the floor with legs long and slightly separated and the tops of the feet down on the floor. Bend the elbows and place the hands under the shoulders and pull the elbows in towards the ribs. Breathe in, press into your hands, and pull the chest through and up as you straighten your arms and press the tops of the feet into the floor to lift the hips, thighs, and belly off of the floor. Keep your eyes forward to keep the back of the neck long. Lower down with an exhale. Repeat 4-6 times.

5. Child’s Pose

child's pose

A great pose to do as a rest between exercises or at the beginning or end of a class or sequence. It stretches the thighs, hips, ankles, and shoulders.

Kneel on the floor with your big toes touching and knees wide. Lower your torso over the space between your thighs and reach your arms forward allowing the elbows to soften to the floor. Keep the hips back over the heels and feel your tailbone reach in that direction as your head and arms reach upward and above your head. If the shoulders are tight, bend the elbows, make fists and rest one fist on top of the other and place your forehead on top of the inside of the top fist. Take 5-10 deep breaths in this position.

 

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