So often as busy moms it can be daunting choosing a workout routine that meshes with our hectic work schedule, childcare needs and household responsibilities (also spouse if you have one!) What if there was a way to practice a routine for 15-30 minutes daily and start to awaken and strengthen muscles that have been dormant for way too long?
How is Yoga Beneficial?
Yoga lowers stress and anxiety when practiced frequently. I can attest to having bouts of post-partum anxiety and a daily yoga practice has lessened the severity. The deep breathing practiced in yoga alone is enough to rinse out negative energy and deep rooted anxiety and stress. I call it “rinsing out the toxins” when I whoosh out every deep breath in my yoga practice.
A daily yoga practice is excellent for balance and equilibrium. Daily tasks often cause unnecessary stress on one side of the body (think your poor right hip carrying a 30-pound toddler daily.) Yoga can bring those stressed out body parts back into alignment.
Yoga practice provides a good old fashioned stretch to your muscles, which can alone be beneficial for restoring muscles after vigorous activities, or simply for gaining more flexibility. When you practice yoga for as little as 15 minutes daily, you’ll start to see changes in your posture, flexibility and maybe even the little aches and pains in your lower back, neck or shoulders start to dissipate. I used to see a chiropractor and I didn’t feel half as good after leaving the office as I do after my yoga sessions.
Okay, so most people know about the benefits of yoga. How does that help build muscle or strengthen the core? Well, when yoga is practiced mindfully with the core fired up and the mind consciously aware of the action that the core is taking in each yoga pose, the body starts to do something pretty amazing. The muscles become heated and the core becomes the central mechanism for performing the yoga poses. Think of this as constantly pulling your belly inward and upward while performing the yoga poses. Sure, we can go to yoga class and be half-aware and half-way work on the postures while letting our belly drop, but to truly be self-aware of the function of the core in the yoga practice is what made my yoga practice go from a nice meditation to a fantastic morning core wake-up.
So, what does a busy mom’s example yoga schedule look like? I wake up at 5:30, take care of a few morning items and by 5:45 I am on my yoga mat. I spend 15-30 minutes showing up for myself on my mat (sometimes 45 if it’s the weekend). By 6:15 I am in the shower, and then wake up my 2-year old by 6:30 to be out the door by 7:00.
30 days into this routine and I have noticed increased muscle tone, increased flexibility and strength, and my abs are slowly peeking out after being hidden for over 3 years. Aside from physical benefits yoga has provided a cleanse for my soul and a “reset” button before a crazy day is about to start.
I often feel so good halfway through my yoga routine it gives me the power to get through the whole session, and then gives me the desire to keep showing up to the yoga mat daily. Try a 30-day yoga routine- even if you only have 15 minutes to spare- and I promise you that you’ll feel a difference in your mind, body and soul.
Check out my favorite YouTube Channel – Yoga with Adriene
About Kelli – Kelli is a yoga-loving, working mom living in the Midwest, and writes about Balancing Career and Family at her blog www.kellifemrite.com. When not working or writing she can be found spending weekends sailing on Lake Michigan with her husband and almost 3-year old daughter.