What was that parenting book called a few years ago? “All Joy and No Fun”? #AccurateAsAMother.
The word “zen” doesn’t really come to mind when you’re cleaning out a crumb-filled car seat, carting kids to orthodontist appointments, soccer games, and dance recitals, helping with homework, fixing meals, and trying to smash through the glass ceiling at work.
Here are a few quick yoga poses for busy moms to help you keep you zen (i.e., all moms). Bonus: You can even perform these yoga exercises while catching up on your favorite shows. (Except maybe wait till “Game of Thrones” is over to find your zen.)
1. Child’s Pose
How to do it: Start on your knees with your big toes touching behind you. Bow forward, arms outstretched with your palms down. Hold for three to five minutes while focusing on your breath.
What it does: It opens up those hips, helps calm the body and mind, and elongates your spine.
2. Plank Pose
How to do it: Begin on all fours, making sure shoulders are aligned over your hands and hips are lined up over the knees. While keeping your arms straight, lift your head and tailbone into a stretch. Then slide heels back and angle shoulders wide. Hold for eight to 10 breaths.
What it does: Plank pose helps improve posture while building ab and arm strength.
3. Downward-Facing Dog Pose
How to do it: Begin on all fours with your wrists directly beneath your shoulders and knees lining up with your hips. Lift your hips away from the floor, and straighten your legs as much as you can, while walking your hands forward. Your body should end up in an inverted V shape. Hold for five to eight breaths.
What it does: Downward-facing dog works key muscles in the body while building leg, arm, and shoulder strength. It also can help with headaches, back pain, and even fatigue.
4. Mountain Pose
How to do it: There are plenty of variations to mountain pose that involve the placement of your hands. However, the simplest mountain pose involves standing with feet pressed together and arms at your sides, palms facing inward. Balance your weight evenly between your feet, while lifting your chest with your shoulder blades pressed toward one another. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.
What it does: Helps with posture and puts your body in alignment.
5. Warrior I Pose
How to do it: Begin with your feet together before taking a big step backward with one leg (like you’re going into a lunge). Lift your chest as your lift your hands, pressing palms together above your head. Repeat with the opposite leg.
What it does: The powerful standing pose helps with balance, coordination, and stamina, while encouraging flexibility and strength, and helping tone muscles.
6. Warrior II
How to do it: Stand with your feet wide apart, then turn your right foot out about 90 degrees, keeping toes pointing toward the edge of your yoga mat. Left foot should be in a 45-degree position. Now bend your right knee, making sure your torso stays evenly centered. Stretch out arms, and turn your gaze past your right hand. Hold position for eight to 10 breaths, and repeat on the opposite side.
What it does: Warrior II pose helps with balance, concentration and grounding, while energizing the body.
7. Cat-Cow Stretch Poses
How to do them: This duo pose begins with you on all fours, knees directly below hips and wrists aligning with shoulders. Curl your toes under, and tilt your pelvis back, extending your spine while drawing in your navel. Then place the tops of your feet against the floor, moving your pelvis forward and rounding your spine. Finally, drop your head, gazing toward your abdomen. Move from cow to cat (arched back part of the pose) for five to 10 breaths.
Why you should master it: Helps with overall flexibility of the spine, neck, and shoulders. Relieves stress on the lower abdomen and back while stretching key muscles.
Poses aside, we know you’re a warrior. Don’t let your kids have all the fun. Reclaim your joy and maybe even a little zen with these quick yet effective busy mom yoga poses.
Save or pin for later: