fbpx
Doing Yoga Online Doesn’t Have To Be Daunting

Doing Yoga Online Doesn’t Have To Be Daunting

With news of yoga studios around the country temporarily closing their doors due to COVID-19, many studios are moving their classes online. But for someone who’s only ever done yoga in a studio, the thought of doing it in your living room via Zoom can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

My first yoga class, 20 years ago was via a yoga video (yep you heard right, a VHS!) in my living room when I was living in rural Japan. I was quite isolated as I’d often get snowed in and couldn’t drive to the gym. I’d read an article that Madonna credited her sculpted arms with Power Yoga so I ordered a Bryan Kest video from Amazon. From the first time I followed along, I was hooked. The rest of my yoga journey is history. Whilst I’ve attended many classes over the last two decades, my home yoga practice has been a godsend, especially in times when I couldn’t make the class times at a studio like after Banjo was born or when he was on the move and could no longer come along to Mums and Bubs classes and I had no childcare.

Here are my Top Tips for Doing Yoga at Home

1. BOOK IN
Some studios are live streaming their regular classes so you can use your class or pay as you go. If you book it in and you’ve paid for it, you’re more likely to show up.

2. PUT IT IN YOUR CALENDAR AND SET A REMINDER
Make a commitment to yourself. Treat this date with yourself just as you would a doctor’s appointment or business meeting.Share the calendar entry with your partner so they know it’s your yoga time.

2. CREATE A SANCTUARY 
Most of us don’t have the luxury of turning our spare room into a yoga sanctuary but you don’t need much space. Even in the smallest of houses, you can find an area to clear out a nook and cranny for your yoga sanctuary. You only need enough room to carve out a clean, open, and inviting area where you can roll out your yoga mat or towel. Ideally it has a door so you can shut out the outside world for an hour or so, but not essential.

Some of the places I’ve done yoga at home include: at the end of the bed, beside the bed, in the hallway (usually the least cluttered spot!), in the living room between the couch and the TV, on the back verandah, on the front path, in the park beside my car while my baby slept, under the shade of a tree while my baby was asleep in the pram, in my baby’s room beside his cot….you can do yoga absolutely anywhere! It just requires a little creativity.

It’s ideal if you can store your yoga mat in that area too otherwise, store it in the same spot each time so you don’t need to waste time looking for it before the class starts.

3. PROPS
The only prop that’s essential is a yoga mat, everything else is optional. For props, you can improvise with things around the house

Here’s some make- shift yoga props:

Yoga mat: a towel

Yoga blocks: 2 thick books of the same size

Meditation cushion: a cushion off your couch or a pillow from your bed

Bolster: a pillow wrapped up in a blanket.

Yoga blanket: a blanket or throw from your linen cupboard

Eye pillow: a clean sock, an eye mask or any item of clothing (I’ve even used one of Banjo’s stuffed animals before).

If you want to invest in props, my favourite, eco- friendly yoga props are from Stretch Now or if you can buy more budget friendly options from KMART (and they have free shipping for orders over $45).

4. Ask for Support
Have a conversation with your partner and ask him not to disturb you for the duration of the class, this includes not putting the TV on while you’re in the living room etc.

If you have older children, ask your partner, friend or family member to take them for a walk or a play at the beach or in the backyard.

5. Watch the Replay
If you miss the Live class and your studio is recording the class commit to a time to watch the replay. And if you did the live class, make time to watch the replay and do the class again later in the week.

We all need yoga more than ever right now. There’s so many uncertainties with COVID-19 but getting on your mat each day or  once a week can help you to feel grounded, calm your nervous system, strengthen your nervous system, prepare for welcoming your new baby, reconnecting with yourself after having your baby and being more calm towards your older kids who are home from school.

Mamatoto Retreat Live Classes

Join me for Monday 11am Mums and Bubs Yoga and Monday 5.30pm Prenatal Yoga or Friday 11am Baby Massage and Yoga. You can register online by following the links on classes page, HERE https://mamatotoretreat.com/ Once you’ve registered you’ll be sent a link to Zoom. I’ll be recording the classes and sharing the link with you so if you miss the class you can do it later in the week (or do it again!). Any questions, please reach out HERE

10 Things To Do In The Last Weeks of Pregnancy

10 Things To Do In The Last Weeks of Pregnancy

You’re on the homestretch to finally meeting your baby. You’re probably feeling really excited but a little nervous and you may be worried you’ll have nothing to do when you finish up work. Which is to be expected if you’ve spent the last few years or decades working. You’ll have your hands (and heart) full very soon so use the last few weeks of your pregnancy doing what you love and preparing your heart and your head for your baby. Here’s my top 10 tips: 

1. REST

You may be having trouble sleeping right now so invest in rest. Resting will help you conserve your energy for labour and produces oxytocin, the hormone responsible for inducing labour, delivering your placenta, shrinking your uterus after birth, your milk let down and bonding with your baby. Yoga Nidra (or guided deep relaxation) is very beneficial for you and your baby right now. To find out more and get my free download, click HERE

2. GO ON A DATE

Spending quality time with your partner helps to produce oxytocin. Go to your favourite restaurant, eat your favourite food and enjoy uninterrupted conversation. Then go home and make love. Making love and orgasm produces oxytocin and semen is a natural prostaglandin which will help to soften and thin your cervix before contractions begin.

3. SPEND TIME WITH YOUR BEST GIRL FRIENDS

Spending time with your best girlfriends- talking, laughing and feeling seen and heard- boosts oxytocin which counters stress and has a calming effect.

4. WATCH A ROMCOM AT THE MOVIES

Watching a feel good movie and laughter boosts oxytocin and it may be the last adult movie you see for a while or a movie in its entirety.

5. SPEND TIME IN NATURE

Spending time in nature helps to relieve any stress and anxiety you may be feeling about your upcoming labour and birth or the changes that lie ahead. Observing the beauty in nature helps you to trust in the natural process of labour and birth and helps you embody the belief that your body is perfectly designed for birth. Float in the ocean, watch the sunrise or sunset, go for a short beach or bush walk or sit in the sun in your backyard.

6. BATCH COOK AND FREEZE MEAL

Make a list of your favourite meals and plan to make them over the coming weeks. Eating your favourite meals boosts oxytocin which helps with breastfeeding. Make double batches and then you can eat one and freeze the other for after birth. Otherwise, ask your best friend to organise a Fill Your Freezer Party where you throw a party and your friends and family cook meals together for your postpartum. Alternatively, create a Meal Train so you can ask and schedule your family and friends to cook a meal for you or organise home delivery.

7. ORGANISE A CLEANER

The first 40 Days after birth in traditional cultures is a sacred window of time for rest, recovery, getting to know your baby and learning to breastfeed. As a newborn mother, you have permission to take time off any household chores including cooking, cleaning and washing. Ask your family and friends to help and hire a cleaner once a week or fortnight so you can rest and focus on boosting your oxytocin to help with breastfeeding and bonding.

8. CREATE A FEEDING SANCTUARY

Set up a space in your home where you can retreat after birth your baby to boost oxytocin to help with bonding and breastfeeding. Read more here

9. SET UP YOUR LABOUR CIRCUIT

Labour at home for as long as you can. In your last few weeks of pregnancy, set up your “Labour Circuit”. This may consist of a birthing ball, yoga mat, chair, yoga bolster or cushions/ pillows, a wall clear of furniture and a birthing pool or bath. As you approach your due date, practise using this equipment. Choose positions which allow you to be in an upright position to make the most of gravity to help with the descent of your baby. Choose comfortable positions to rest in between contractions.

10. PACK YOUR HOSPITAL BAG

Double check you have everything you need to take to hospital with you when it’s finally time to meet your baby. For my Natural Hospital Bag Check List, Click Here

If you’re a tired, pregnant mama, get your free 20 minute Yoga Nidra to take you from exhausted to energised HERE. Fill in your details and I’ll send it to your inbox for you to download.

The One Thing I’d Gift To All New Mamas

The One Thing I’d Gift To All New Mamas

If there was just one thing I’d gift to all new mamas it’s Yoga Nidra, otherwise known as, “Yogic Sleep”. It’s the perfect antidote to lack of sleep.

Don’t get put off by the name. Despite the word “yoga”, it doesn’t involve dynamic vinyasa flows or long holds. Instead, you lie completely still on the floor or on your bed for about 20 minutes. It’s similar to a relaxation where you’re guided by a voice but rather than going on an imaginary journey, you’re instructed to bring your attention to all parts of your body while your body rests.

5 Benefits of Yoga Nidra for Mamas:

  1. It requires very little effort. Just lie down and listen.
  2. It’s for everyone including complete yoga novices, pregnant and early postnatal women.
  3. It’s ok if you fall asleep. Sometimes you’ll stay awake, other times you’ll drift in and out of consciousness and other times you’ll fall asleep- none of it’s wrong. Even if you fall asleep your subconscious is listening.
  4. Research suggests that a 45 minute yoga nidra equals 3 hours sleep. It’s not a substitute for sleep but it’s a good alternative when you’re not getting enough of it.
  5. It reduces stress, anxiety and overwhelm. Deep abdominal breathing and rest stimulates your body’s relaxation response. 

Carving out time to do yoga nidra with little ones requires a little creativity.

Here’s my tried and tested tips:

  • Use one of your pockets of time sprinkled throughout the day to rest. Put your bits and pieces for yoga nidra in one spot in the area you normally do it so that when an opportunity arises you’re ready to go. I have my headphones, eye pillow and woolly socks in a box under my bed.
  • On long drives: while your partner is driving (and your little one(s) is asleep in the backseat), put your seat back, headphones in and close your eyes.

Working Mama: 

  • On your lunch break either in a meeting room (lock the door behind you);
  • In the park under the shade of a tree;
  • Or in your parked car. 

Mama Working Part Time or SAHM: 

  • While your little one(s) nap: as soon as they fall asleep, grab your phone and box of bits and pieces for yoga nidra and start. 
  • When your Toddler skips their nap: give your little one(s) some quiet toys or books to “read” or let them watch an episode of Playschool. Remove potential hazards or if it makes you feel more comfortable, put your toddler in a secure high chair or playpen. Give them a snack and some water to eliminate anything they may need you for for the duration of yoga nidra. 

Before you start, tell them what you’re doing and why. “Mummy is just going to meditate now so that she can be a nicer mummy. I’ll be right here if you need me. Let’s see if we can both be really quiet”.

Have an open mind and very low expectations. Be prepared to be interrupted to find your little one(s) lost toy, get more snacks or wipe their bum. When this happens, you’ll feel frustrated and disheartened and think, “What’s the point?” or “Why bother!”. But tend to your little one(s)  and go back to yoga nidra. It’s not perfect but neither is mamahood.

yoga-nidra-for-mamas-with-a-toddler

They’ll be curious the first few times you do it but persist. Exposing them to meditation and quiet time and watching you practising self- care is not only beneficial for you but it’s teaching your little one(s) some very powerful tools.

  • In the car: if your little one falls asleep in the car, park the car in a quiet and shady spot (by the beach, the park or in your driveway). Put your seat back, headphones in and close your eyes (Hot Tip: keep an eye mask in the glove box).
  • Ask for help: ask your partner, friends or family to play with your little one for half an hour while you find a quiet place to rest. Ideally they’ll take your little one(s) for a walk or to the park so no one bangs at your door asking for you for a snack but if not, lock your bedroom door, put your headphones in and turn up the volume. As long as you tell your little one(s) where you’re going and what you’re doing, they’ll be ok and if not the first few times, they’ll get used to it.

Making rest a priority and a habit while you’re pregnant will make it much easier to squeeze in once your new baby arrives. Motherhood and sleep deprivation go hand in hand so making rest a habit while you’re pregnant will make it easier when you have your baby in your arms.

If you’re not pregnant, try a Yoga Nidra on Youtube. If you’re a tired, pregnant mama, get your free 20 minute Yoga Nidra to take you from exhausted to energised HERE. Fill in your details and I’ll send it to your inbox for you to download.

Here’s What’s Not On My About Page

Here’s What’s Not On My About Page

Here’s a few fun, interesting and silly facts that you won’t find on my About page: 

  • I started doing yoga with a video. I bought a Bryan Kest Power Yoga video on Amazon after reading Madonna did Power Yoga.
  • I’ve always wanted arms like Madonna.
  • Yoga keeps me sane. I do it every day.
  • I hated pilates. I thought it was boring. That was until I discovered Reformer Pilates and Polestar (I love a good mat class too).
  • I opened my yoga and pilates studio, Yoganic in Willoughby, Sydney on November 1, 2009. I often referred to it as my first born.
  • I won 2nd place for the business plan I wrote for Yoganic. But it took me 6 years to find the money and the confidence to put the plan into action.
  • I love old school aerobics. I did Aerobics Oz Style in front of the TV after school and wanted to become an aerobics instructor when I grew up but I couldn’t count the beat (and still can’t).
  • I was very shy as a kid. Not sure how I ended up wearing lycra and teaching yoga and pilates!
  • I lived and worked in a bar on Hamilton Island for a year. After work I drank cocktails and danced until dawn and spent the days sun baking whilst nursing a hangover.
  • I speak Japanese. After graduating from Wollongong Uni with a BA (Japanese) I went to live in Hokkaido, Japan where I taught English for 2 years.
  • I worked in Advertising for a year and hated it. I read self- help books such as, “What colour is your parachute?” and “Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway” before having an A-HA moment that I wanted to become a kids yoga teacher.
  • Being hit by a taxi as I was walking across a pedestrian crossing changed the trajectory of my life. I quit my job in advertising and became a yoga teacher. 

Melissa Field Beach Yoga

  • I was a vegetarian for 20 years until my Naturopath told me I needed to incorporate nutrient dense animal food into my diet to enhance my fertility. 
  • I love creating menu plans, shopping at the farmers markets and making meals from scratch.
  • I love baking. Especially cookies. One of my fondest memories of childhood is coming home from school to freshly baked cookies and cakes for afternoon tea.
  • I have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) when it comes to food. I need to know where and when my next good meal is coming from.
  • I had 2 miscarriages before my rainbow child Banjo.
  • I conceived naturally at 40.
  • I suffered postnatal anxiety. I did a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course to manage it.
  • Becoming a mama changed my priorities. After 8.5 years I sold Yoganic and moved to Milton on the NSW South Coast with my family.
  • Juggling a baby and a business is the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. 
  • I LOVE breastfeeding. I really didn’t think I would. And after 3 years we’re still going strong. 
  • I love being a mama more than anything in the whole wide world, 

Now you’re turn! So we can get to know one another a little better, let me know one thing about you in the COMMENTS below.

Are you pregnant? Get your free Guided Deep Relaxation (Yoga Nidra). Fill in your details HERE and I’ll send it to your inbox for you to download.