Earlier this week, my 16 week old fell asleep in his little bouncy seat around 7:00pm. My husband was playing with my 3 1/2 year old as they began to get ready for bath time. So I grabbed my mat and busted out a 30 minute practice in the dim lights of the room where my baby was sleeping. Noise all around, fleeting time, achy shoulders and back from all the baby wearing that day...and a moment of energy that I knew I just couldn't waste. This sequence was what I practiced. It flowed out of my body naturally and also with my mind on the fact that the moon was in Cancer (my sun sign).
So, mamas out there, if you get a moment like this, maybe test this sequence out and see how you feel. Nurturing Love to you all!
~Start in tadasana (mountain pose) at the top of your mat. Close your eyes and place your hands over your heart to check in with your current state and set your breath and intention for the moments of peace you have just now.
~When ready, slowly fold to uttanasana. Stay as long as you like, or even do some shaking out in it.
~After 1 minute or so in your fold, then step left foot back for a low lunge (back knee down). After a few breaths, then lift arms up to the sky. Stay stable in your feet-pelvis-low back (no sticking ribs and belly forward).
~Now find your way to plank pose. Hold a few breaths (knees down if you need) and practice exhaling the belly button toward the spine to continue knitting your muscles back after having given birth. If knees aren't already down, then lower to supported pushup and go ahead and take a supported, steady push-up. Then end up on your belly and take a few breaths in cobra. Then exhale to down dog. Stay as long as you like to move and feel it. Then walk feet to top of mat. Come up to tadasana.
**Repeat on other side from uttanasana. Step right foot back for low lunge…
~Once you're back in down dog for a few breaths, take a 1 minute child's pose. Scan your body and breath.
~Come back to down dog, then plank pose. Hold as long as you can. Then stay controlled to lower all the way to belly to rest with arms stacked under your forehead. Release tension by rocking head side to side over your hands.
~When ready, take your locust pose. Rest for a few moments. Then try it again. Rest. Maybe one more time if you have it in you. Rest.
~Now take a yin-like sphinx pose for about 1 min. Afterwards, shake your legs out and rest. Then find your way to down dog. From there, back to the top of your mat for tadasana.
*You may need to pause for a moment to rock the bouncer if baby is stirring. Ha! I had to do this a few times and luckily it worked.
~Fold to uttanasana. Step right foot back, keep right hand to the mat and lift your left arm high for an opening lunge twist. Keep that right leg strong and really breathe into the expansion that your breath allows to move through your torso and spine. After a few breaths, drop that right knee down, step the left foot out wider to the left and come to your lizard lunge. After a moment, maybe even twist to grab your back foot for a thigh-quadricep stretch (please listen to body as this might not be there for many of you). From here, move into your half-pigeon pose. (Move your left foot down and over to the right with your left knee out a bit wider than your left shoulder and hip. Right leg moving straight back out of hip, with hip flexors facing down toward the mat.) Take any variation of it that you like. Probably head down and supported. Stay as long as you need (probably 3-5 minutes).
Then move to down dog to shake it all out.
**Repeat on other side from uttanasana. Step left foot back…
~After you end up in pigeon on the new side for the full-length of time, then swing that back leg around to come to seated and then make your way onto your back. Hug knees to chest and take circles on back to rinse spine and back muscles and feel your hips and take it all in so far.
~When ready, plant feet to the mat hip-width and place arms by your side. Lift pelvis up for Bridge pose. Take any variation you need and hold a few breaths. If this feels good (felt SO good to me), then do it 2 more times. Maybe a short wheel pose if it's calling you (I did my first one at this moment…which was my first one since giving birth, and it felt right. May not be right yet for many. Depends on YOUR body, your birth experience, your current state).
~My baby was starting to stir at this point and I could hear bath time was almost over, so I took savasana for as long as I could (I think it was 3 min.) before both kiddos were in need of mama.
This practice helped change my mood, soften my nervous system from a current cold I've been battling, and help me move into a gentle place of self-love. It's a constant process. Cheers to all you mamas for being you and loving so much.
www.yoginijennfalk.com for upcoming Prenatal, Mom & Baby, and Yoga just for Mamas sessions