Yoga For Anxiety For Mothers

While adapting to the new responsibilities, new uncertainties, changes in physical conditions and sleep-deprivation, feeling worried and stressed is rather normal for a parent. However, feeling anxious about a wide range of situations rather than one specific issue does not help. Moreover, if not brought under control, it becomes distressing and exhausting and unsurprisingly, passes onto our children.

There are many ways to help taking this condition under control. Although feelings of anxiety at certain times are completely normal, see your GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or causing you distress [1]. Your doctor or physician will give you qualified support to the level that is relevant to you. In addition to the traditional methods doctors are increasingly recommending yoga as a complementary therapy [2].

A combination of practice of asanas (yoga poses) and pranayama (breathing) yoga is recognised for its positive effects on mood, mind and spirit, especially in cases of stress and anxiety.

Here is a sequence of yoga poses from WellMama App that can help you release stress and get your mind quiet to resist anxiety.

Before you start please notice:

  • Please CHECK WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN OR DOCTOR before you start any fitness or yoga activities, especially if you just had a baby.
  • Do not push yourself too hard into the pose. It should be smooth and pain free.
  • It is important to perform the poses in the sequence they are given in the app or here, in a blog.
  • Come in and out of the poses slowly according to the instructions.
  • Breathe in the pose. Your breathing should be even and not restrained. With even breathing the quietness will come. That will give your mind some rest if you stay in the pose from 30-60 seconds.

You Would Need: yoga bricks, a high pile of thick books, or several boxes.

Coming into the Pose

Step 1. Lean your back against the wall with your feet 30-40cm away from the wall, legs shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.

Step 2. Extend your upper body forward towards the floor, whilst pressing the top area of your legs against the wall.

Release your head downwards lightly on top of yoga bricks or thick books and relax your neck.

In the Pose.

Breathe evenly in this pose, relaxing your back and neck more and more with every exhalation.

This pose should bring calm to your head and rest to your back and neck. If it isn’t, then move your feet a bit further away from the wall, or add more height to your head support, but make sure your neck is not compressed. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds.

To come out of the Pose.

Release your hands on the floor and now inhale and slowly lift your upper body back to the wall.

For more Right and Wrong of the Pose see ‘Details’ in each yoga poses in WellMama App.

You Would Need.

Thick books or yoga bricks to support your head in this position.

Coming into the Pose.

Step 1. Sit on the floor or on folded blankets and cross your legs. Straighten your spine, roll your shoulders back and down and draw your shoulder blades together.

Step 2. Extend your upper body forward from your waist until your forehead rests on the support. Feel your spine and neck stretching and getting longer. Move your shoulders down away from your ears.

In the Pose.

Breathe and allow your mind to become quiet. You should feel relaxed in this position.

If your chin is pushing into your neck then you need to make your support books or bricks lower.

If your back feels uncomfortable or painful then you need to make your support for head higher.

If you experience pain in your knees or hip joints, then add more height under your bottom, like an additional folded blanket or a thick book.

Coming out of the pose.

Use your hands to gently push your upper body back up to a vertical sitting position.

You Would Need.

A couple of big pillows, blankets or a chair if your lower back is stiff.

Come into the pose.

Step 1. Sit on the floor. Spread your legs out to the side as wide as you can. Use the pillows or blankets to create a good support for your upper body.

Step 2. Then lean forward to and lower your head and upper body onto the support.

In the Pose.

Breathe. Your toes and knees should point up towards the ceiling and your legs should be active.

If your back isn’t comfortable, sit on a higher support (add a folded blanket under your bottom) or use a chair rather than pillows and blankets to create a higher support for your head and upper body, then enjoy your rest.

Come out of the Pose.

To come out of the pose, lift your upper body to a vertical position then bring your legs together.

This pose shouldn’t be done during your period or if you’ve just had a baby.

You Would Need.

A pillow and a folded blanket if your pillow is not thick.

Come into the Pose.

Step 1. Place a pillow with a folded blanket on top in 5 inches away from the wall in line with the wall.

Step2. Lie on your side, with your pillow under your lower back and your knees pulled in to your chest and your buttocks up against the wall.

Step 3. Roll gently onto your back, shift  your buttocks into the wall and straighten your legs so they lean against the wall.

In the Pose.

The pillow should support your lower back. You buttocks should drop down in the space between a wall and a pillow.

Pull  your shoulder blades towards each other to open your chest, then draw your shoulders down towards the floor.

Keep your arms to the side, with your palms facing up. Breathe. Close your eyes and relax your eye muscles . Relax  your throat. Keep t your sternum lifted. Open your chest. Observe your breath and allow your mind to become calm.

You should find a comfort in this pose so that your upper body is not sliding down to the floor but peacefully placed on the support and a floor. Start with 2-3 minutes in this pose then you can extend for 5-10 minutes if you practice it regularly and feel comfortable.

To come out of the pose bend your knees and bring them closer to your chest, roll onto your right side and lift your upper body.

To come out of the pose join your knees and roll onto your right side.

Hope you feel calm and restful after this yoga routine.

[1] http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Anxiety/Pages/Introduction.aspx

[2] http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/how-yoga-calms-anxiety-holistically/

The founder of BeHappyMum® and the author of the article, Anna Kondakova, is a certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher.

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