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Published on: 07 Sep 2018 by sugam
Finding time for yourself is tough.
Finding time for yourself when you’re a parent, is almost impossible!
This is where Yoga can help you.
As you probably know (by now), Yoga is an ancient Indian
discipline of cultivating mental, physical and emotional discipline with the help of asanas or poses that:
• Relieve stress
• Rejuvenate and refresh you
• Help you focus your thoughts
• Cultivate patience and discipline
And literally hundred other benefits with just a few minutes every day.
However, the biggest challenge parents face when trying to incorporate yoga into their lives is, well, lack of time.
Our attention is pulled in so many directions.
Every choice to do something is a choice to not do something else.
In the battle of choosing what to prioritize, most often we ourselves – not to mention our hobbies and interests - end up on the bottom rung.
It’s an understandable “solution”, but it’s an inherently flawed one.
You can only neglect yourself and your health for so long before things begin to fall apart, whether that’s your mental state or your physical health.
Making the difficult choice to invest in your well-being now WILL yield positive results for you and your children in the long run. You’ll also set a good example for your kids in how to work exercise and self-care into a busy schedule.
It’s important to start with a “can-do” attitude. If you believe that you can make yoga happen in your busy life, it’s much more likely to happen. You’ll begin to notice pockets of time (or time poorly spent) that you might not have otherwise.
Position yourself to succeed before you even begin thinking about your schedule and you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
Here are some great times to practice yoga and the unique benefits of each. These tips are pulled straight from a popular Yoga program called Yoga Burn.
Ultimately however, it comes down to experimenting and discovering through trying different approaches what works best for you and your family.
Keep in mind too that our schedules are always fluctuating, and your practice will need to adapt to that. Give yourself grace in dealing with change but don’t let it derail your practice.
First Thing In The Morning
Yoga offers a healthy way to help yourself wake up. Even better, it can help you cultivate a positive and proactive mind-set that will set a great tone for your day.
Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier than your kids typically wake up, unroll your mat before going to bed, sleep in your yoga clothes, and keep a glass of water on your night stand to drink first thing before practicing.
It can help to pre-select a video or flow you’d like to practice as well. Then you can roll out of bed and just do it, without having to think too much – always a challenge first thing in the morning!
Last Thing At Night
If you struggle with quieting your mind enough to fall asleep at night, bedtime yoga is the perfect way to tune out the day’s worries and prepare your body for rest.
It can even be practiced while lying in bed – your bed offers a soft and forgiving surface for deep stretches and longer held poses.
Search “bedtime” yoga online to find many wonderful poses and flows. Perhaps your spouse will be interested in joining you.
During Your Child’s Daily Naptime/Quiet Time
Make a point of practicing yoga for 15-30 minutes immediately after you put your child(ren) down for their daily nap. You’ll reset yourself and experience increased energy for the tasks you need to accomplish during naptime.
This is when I typically practice because I prefer to practice later in the day when my body is more limber, but not so late that my energy is running low.
I find I don’t need sugar, caffeine, or sleep as much in the later afternoon when I make a point of practicing around 1 PM.
While Your Child Is Playing Outside
If you’re in the habit of sitting and looking at your phone or a magazine while your kids play in your backyard or at the park, try yoga instead.
Grass offers a forgiving surface for trying new poses and you’ll
only benefit from the outdoor activity as much as your kids do.
Some public parks even offer free yoga classes. If your kids are old enough to play on the park equipment by themselves, this can be a great way to take care of their needs and your own simultaneously.
Spend some quality time with your spouse or significant other by attending a yoga class together.
Many cities offer free or deeply discounted community classes, often in outdoor spaces.
Partner yoga and acroyoga (a combination of acrobatics and yoga that involves one person acting as the base for the other person, who is the flyer) are growing in popularity and offer a playful, interactive style of yoga to practice with your loved one.
Just be sure to approach it with an open mind and a relaxed attitude!
Create A Weekend Ritual
Pick a weekend studio class and make it your “alone” time for the weekend.
It’ll be something to look forward to during your week and you’ll be better prepared for the whirlwind of family activities often scheduled on weekends.
If you’re a mom who stays home with her kids, this type of set-up can provide your spouse with one-on-one time with your kids as well. Kids benefit from predictable “together time” with their parents, so you’ll be creating a great schedule set-up for them as well.
That’s that then!
Who said you can’t find time to get your daily dose of this awesome ancient discipline.
Remember, even if you fail to find time, the most important thing to remember is to – stay on the path. Keep at it. Within no time will you be a disciplined, fit, and patient Yoga master.