..If you had asked me two years ago if I had a consistent yoga practice I would have replied heck yes! Fast forward to eighteen months of motherhood and a brand new business later and you were to ask me that same question... now I just laugh and reply like most of you probably do... who has the time for that? I have actually managed the past few months though to make a regular practice a reality. Keep reading below to find out my top 5 tips to starting or reestablishing a yoga practice.
So my yoga practice these days is not like it use to be. Where I use to be able to go to several classes a week, whenever I felt like it, my practice now is very different. A few weeks ago scrolling instagram I remember seeing a brand new mom barely two weeks postpartum and she was in a full on headstand and I started laughing out loud at the absurdity of that post. Especially as I recalled my own experience postpartum barely making it into a bridge pose and falling asleep about five minutes into my practice.
These days my practice is quite modest. I tell my yoga students they all have a better practice then I do! I commit to a 3 day a week home practice that is about 30 minutes per session and one studio class a week in addition to my normal teaching schedule. But this is my job so even that might seem too ambitious!
So how does one start or come back to a yoga practice post baby? I'll share my five tips below to help you get started.
1. Find ONE class a week (or month)
There is nothing like the community of yogis to help motivate you to keep practicing. One of the biggest mistakes most new moms make is they try to make it to too many classes in the beginning and then get burnt out or they bounce around from class to class, studio to studio and then the mentality of well I'll just go tomorrow sets in. SO.... pick ONE class a week (or ONE class a month if you can't do weekly) that you always go to no matter what. Make it a priority and don't make excuses like getting sucked into another episode of Scandal or something. (I teach on Friday and Sunday mornings if you want to practice with me ;-))
2. Establish a home practice.
Yah yah yah I know you are already doing the whole studio class thing so why do you need a home practice too? Well a home practice helps you to advance your yoga practice. I recommend trying to pick, again, once a week that you practice at home and set your alarm early for this one day. For me, my son wakes up at 7:00AM every morning so I am up at 6:15am to get in a 30 minute practice plus shower before his day begins. I actually keep a bottle of peppermint oil next to my bed breathe in and help me wake up, then I go downstairs and make a cup of tea, then I do a 30 minute practice. If you aren't sure what to do when you do your home practice try checking out youtube for yoga videos or I really like the website yogaglo.com
3. Find a Baby & Me/Tot class to attend
So you want to make yoga something you do? Then you need to get the whole family involved. There are so many benefits of little ones doing yoga plus it is great bonding time! Little man loves doing yoga and has been practicing since he was in utero! Now at 18 months he is participating more on his own and it is so fulfilling to see him progress. (I have a Baby & Tot class you are welcome to come to on Sunday mornings!)
4. Do Yoga w/ your little one throughout the day!
Yoga doesn't just have to be an on the mat experience. It can happen any time any where. Simply watching you do yoga makes your little one want to join in. Little man loves doing downward facing dog with me, or climbing all over me while doing savasana. We practice baby yoga on the changing table or use magic poses when he gets especially fussy. Embrace the crazy.
5. Buy a new yoga outfit.
Yes this sounds little shallow but you want to feel good about doing yoga and you don't want to be pulling your shirt around all the time. Trust me, its annoying to practice poses when your collar is over your forehead and you are staring at your ta tas. So splurge a little bit and rock out some fun leggings.
I hope you found these tips helpful! If you need further help establishing your yoga practice please send me an email and I will personally reach out to point you in the right direction. If you are in the northern Illinois area comment below and come take one of my classes!