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 Live Classes

I’ll be teaching two LIVE classes with more on the way. For now, join me for Monday 5pm Prenatal Yoga and Tuesday 11am Mama and Baby Yoga and Massage Circle. Get your first 2 weeks free. You can register online by following the links on classes page, HEREhttps://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

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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.

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