Squealing, banging, the sound of squabbling next door. There’s no doubt that practising yoga as a parent can be a challenge. When home time resembles more of a circus than that ‘sacred space’ you were hoping for, finding the time and space to do yoga at home might seem like a distant fantasy.
On top of it all, lack of sleep, low energy levels, and generally running around like the energiser bunny can make it easy to neglect your own needs. Juggling the on-going daily realities of parenthood with a yoga practice can be a struggle. That said, this is when the benefits of yoga can be their most profound. After all, a happy, healthy you is beneficial for all those lovely little people around you – not just you!
This is when the benefits of doing yoga at home start to shine.
Whether it’s that full hour you were hoping for, or just a spare 5 minutes, we all have a moment in the day to check-in and reconnect with our body. And the comfort of being able to practice in our home space means we can always slot it in, no matter how many different tasks we’ve got going on.
Whether you’re a seasoned yogi whose practice has fallen by the wayside, or a total yoga newbie, we’ve pulled together our tips on how to practice yoga at home, for all you super mums and dads out there.
1. Set a (flexible) routine
Try to set some time aside for your practice. Perhaps it’s just once a week, or maybe it’s lots of shorter sessions. Just commit to whatever your schedule allows. Ask a partner, friend or relative to watch the kids whilst you have some time for you. If they ask any questions, gently remind them how important this time is for you, so you can recharge and continue being the super hero you are!
However, we all know that even with the best intentions plans can sometimes fall apart. It’s important to allow a level of flexibility with your yoga routine, and be willing to move things around accordingly. The great thing about online classes is that they’re exactly that – flexible. If you’re able to join the live online classes that’s great. If not, there are plenty of different classes with varying lengths to pick from to fit in with you.
2. Find stillness in the madness
Life looks very different as a parent. Familiar routines get thrown out of the window as “me time” starts to take a different shape. The point is, it’s not always going to be possible to find that moment of calm – or at least not in the same way. And whilst external factors such as that sweet-smelling incense and the peaceful setting of your local studio might be helpful in setting the scene, the key is to be able to tap into a sense of stillness without them.
As Gandhi said so well, “Each one has to find peace from within, and peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances”. If we can connect in the chaos as well as the calm, we’ve got to the very heart of yoga.
3. Plan a yoga party!
So you planned a bit of “me time” but the little ones thought otherwise. What’s next? Let them join in the party! We all know the benefits of yoga for kids; improved concentration, clearer focus, better confidence… the list goes on. And if you’ve got a newborn on your hands, Cat-Cow is a great way to regain strength in your pelvic floor muscles, stretch out the spine whilst also connecting with your baby below.
For kids who fancy themselves a little more ‘grown up’, keeping it fun is the name of the game. There are loads of fun animal-inspired, play-based kids yoga books out there that make a great introduction to the world of yoga.
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