Yoga with Tiffany DeLancy: Boat (Navasana)
Staying active while mothering full time is not an easy task. Especially when you're still navigating the fresh territory of having more than one child! I am excited to share some easy ways of incorporating your baby (or kids) into your yoga practice. Not only is yoga a great way to get exercise, it's also a wonderful way to teach your children essential tools such as body awareness and mindfulness.
First, we always start out with breathing (pranayama) and om (aum). Come to a comfortable seat on the floor (sukhasana). Feel your sit bones connecting with the earth and lengthen the spine. Take a few nice big deep belly breaths, inhaling through the nose and expanding the belly. exhaling through the nose, retracting the naval point toward the spine. Encourage your little one to do it along with you! Allow the eyes to close if desired. Now inhale again and as you exhale this time, release through the mouth with a long resonate sound of "om". Om is said to be the sacred sound of creation, or the sound of the universe. It's vibration resides within all living things, and when we chant om together it brings about a sense of oneness and connection with all life.
*you may notice that your baby might have some kind of reaction to the om, either smiling and giggling or even getting sad and crying. (My own baby makes the sweetest pouty face when we om, it is so preciously heartbreaking!) This happens because babies are much more sensitive to vibrational energy than us adults. So I find that they either really love it or don't like it at all. Don't be concerned if your baby is indifferent though.
*please modify or avoid this posture if you are recovering from a cesarean.
Come back to your seat with the feet placed out in front of you and have your baby give you a little hug, with their seat on your belly, their legs wrapped around you, and their cute little head resting at your heart. Slowly begin to lift the legs up, knees bent, so that you are balancing on your sit bones. Reach the arms out in front of you toward your legs, on each side of your little one so that your hands are available to keep them stable if needed. Continue balancing, engaging the core abdominal muscles. As you press the sit bones into the earth, lengthen the spine and lift up out through the crown of the head. To modify, grab onto the back of the thighs for less intensity. You may eventually work toward straightening the legs. To release, simply place the feet back onto the floor. As always, remember your breath. Repeat this several times.
To close your practice now, come back to a comfortable seat (sukhasana) with the eyes closed. Inhale deep and make one last long resonate sound of om together as you exhale.
And as I like to say to my fellow mama Warriors;
MAMASTE : the Divine Mother within me honors and acknowledges the Divine Mother within you. When we find ourselves in that same place of love, of light, of peace, and of truth... WE ARE ONE.