Susy Richards is a lovely mother of 3 girls (3 years, 4 years and 5) and a simple woman who is ready to share her priceless experience with other mommies around the world. She is an Advanced Practice Provider who passed birth doula and postpartum doula courses at Childbirth International in 2013. Susy is passionate about providing holistic care and is involved in pregnancy research currently publishing her articles concerning pregnancy on site rocketparents.com
If you landed here, you probably already know the benefits of incorporating a daily yoga routine into your life. However, it can be a challenge to find the time – especially as the mother of a newborn – to work in those precious hours of tranquility into your day-to-day life. If you’ve been lapsing a bit on your yoga routine in your new life as “mommy first”, this gentle reminder might help you remember why you began practicing yoga in the first place.
Yoga not only brings you into peace and harmony with your body but also:
- Brings you increased flexibility.
- Provides increased muscle strength and tone.
- Improves respiration, energy, and vitality.
- Helps you maintain a balanced metabolism.
- Promotes healthy weight reduction.
- Supports cardio and circulatory health.
- Stimulates overall athletic performance.
- Helps protect you from injury.
As a new parent, you may be considering ways that you can bring your baby into your daily yoga routine. After all, it can be a bit stressful trying to focus on yoga while your youngster is lying in their crib and you’re wondering when the next spell of crying may begin!
So why not bring your baby into your yoga routine with you? Sound crazy? It’s really not! Here are five easy-to-do and straight-forward yoga exercises you can do with a baby in tote. Give them a try and experience a wonderful bond with your baby while getting your yoga on!
Exercise 1: The Rolling Cat
- Start out by getting on all fours, with wrists under your shoulders. Your knees should be under your hips. Make sure that all of your fingers are spread, while your body weight is distributed throughout your hands and knees. Lay baby under you, with their head directly below your face.
- Start with a very neutral spine. Look into your sweet baby’s eyes while you inhale. Relax your pelvis. Slowly exhale while you lift your pelvis. Tuck your tailbone under while you round your back. Tuck in your chin while you look towards your navel.
- Deeply inhale as you return to a neutral spine. Repeat this as many times as you are able or as you see fit.
Benefits: This exercise is wonderful to help release back and neck tightness while providing a soothing and gentle massage for your shoulders and stomach. Your baby will absolutely love being so close to you, and each moment of surprise as you perform the exercise. Bonus: you can play peek-a-boo!
Exercise 2: Goddess Momma
- Holding your little one tight, step your feet to a modest straddle and gently turn your feet a bit outward.
- Contract your pelvis keep your lower back as long as possible, and in a neutral position.
- Exhale, bend your knees and contract your pelvic floor upward coming into Goddess Pose. Inhale and return back to a straight leg position.
- Be animated with your baby to keep them connected. Use simple words like “down” and “up”, helping teach them direction during your poses. Try this movement up to ten times, welcoming heat into your hips and core.
Benefits: This exercise will help strengthen your core while also teaching your baby about movement.
Exercise 3: Super Baby
- Important! This is only for babies who can fully support their heads!
- Lay on your back, completely flat, with your knees bent at a ninety-degree angle over your hips. Lay your baby’s chest flat on your shins – their head looking over your knees. Make sure you have a good grip on your baby. Lift naval up and back, towards your spine.
- Inhale with no movement. As you begin to exhale, lift your head off the mat, bringing your knees towards your nose while you try to give you baby a kiss. Inhale. Relax your head back to the mat, while your knees come in line with hips. Exhale with no movement while releasing any negative thoughts.
- Repeat this up to five times. Make silly faces as you bring baby towards your face. Have fun with it!
- Tip: Don’t do this pose immediately after feeding baby. It could get ugly!
Benefits: This a great way to help tighten your “baby tummy” while also entertaining your baby.
Exercise 4: Lap Hang/Easy Pose
- Easy pose, also known as sukhasana, is a great pose for focusing on breathing and posture. This pose is appropriate in immediate post-partum as you won’t be up for doing much in the very beginning after giving birth. This exercise is a great way to start the mom and baby yoga experience if you’re not yet up to performing the more rigorous exercises.
- Sit cross-legged with a baby on your lap.
- Focus on taking long, slow inhalations and exhalations.
- Try this for at least fifteen minutes every morning and you’ll notice a huge change in your mental and emotional lookout on each day.
Benefits: Stressed out? This simple exercise will help bring back the emotional harmony into your life.
Exercise 5: Soothing Hold
- Being held face down can be a very relaxing position for your baby. It allows your baby to view the world from a different perspective. It also puts a slight be very comforting pressure on your baby’s abdomen, which can be therapeutic, especially for infants with a colic or a wind.
- To start out, practice this position while in a seated position. Slide your baby’s abdomen on to your hand and hold their bicep between your thumb and index finger.
- Gently position your other hand between your baby’s legs to fully support the abdomen.
- Next, rub your baby’s tummy. When you’re confident in this position, stand and walk or rock baby from side to side.
Benefits: This exercise is as much for your baby as it is for you. If you’ve been dealing with your baby’s colic, this one is the way to go!
As you begin to incorporate your baby into your daily yoga routine, you will find countless benefits that go beyond what you are used to experiencing while practicing yoga on your own. These benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Bonding time with a baby. What could be better?
- Mom and baby yoga is a great way to ease back into your yoga routine.
- Furthered emotional well-being.
- Can help aid in digestion for your baby.
- Helps your baby sleep better.
- Soothes baby and keep them happy through repetitive motion.
- Begins establishing a daily exercise habit for your baby that will continue throughout their life.
- Helps promote a safe and welcoming environment for your baby through routine and bonding.
- If you decide to join a mom and baby yoga class, it can help you meet other new mothers!
Many times, after witnessing your experience with mom and baby yoga, dad might even want to get involved. If so, check out these convenient tactical baby carriers if dad wants to do yoga with a baby. It can be a great bonding experience between dads and babies too!
Finally, enjoy mom and baby yoga time. You’ve earned it!