Yoga with Tiffany DeLancy: Tree (Vrksasana)
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.
With your little one still in your arms, bring your weight into one foot. Root into the earth and find your balance, as you lift the opposite foot and place it at the standing foot's ankle. Feel free to use the wall for support if needed, and especially be mindful while holding your little one! If you are comfortable and steady here you may continue on, or simply allow this to be the extent of your posture. If desired, place the foot at the calf or thigh (making sure to avoid the knee). Press the foot into the thigh (or calf) as you press the thigh (or calf) into the foot for equal and opposing energy to create a strong and solid foundation. This is your trunk. Find a focal point in front of you (drishti) that is not moving. If your little one is comfortable on your hip, you may place them on the hip of your standing leg and hold them with one arm. Reach the other arm up to grow your tree branches. The wind might come to shake up your leaves, but you always come back to your center and find yourself standing strong, tall, and proud. Slowly lower the lifted leg when ready and repeat on the opposite side.
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.