1. Practice with your baby or child
By practicing yoga with your baby or child, you will be giving your child the most wonderful gift of an introduction to yoga. Not sure how? See Baby Yoga or practice some simple yoga breathing or mantras with your child. Try, ‘I am peace’.
When you feel like you are stressed or upset, try counting to 10 and inhaling and counting to 10 and exhaling three times. Allow yourself to relax into the breath. You always have a choice in how your react and when you slow your breathing down, your body will make a choice from a better place.
Try meditating, even if it’s just for one moment each day.
4. Bring Yoga Postures off the Yoga Mat
Whether you’re pushing your buggy or walking to the shops, be aware of your posture. Tuck in your tailbone, elongate your spine, feel like there is a piece of string lifting the crown of your head to the sky. Walk proud.
5. Use online Yoga Videos to Practice at Home
I love autumn – the changing colour of the trees, bright crisp days and the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot…
But it can raise mixed emotions.
Shortening days, cold winds making you wrap up against the cold, rain and knowing that the darkness and cold of winter is on its way, can leave you feeling anxious or down. Autumn is a great time to take the opportunity to let go. Follow the lessons from trees as they let go of their leaves to conserve energy over winter and allow for renewal and rejuvenation in spring.
Try and get out in nature as often as you can in the coming weeks and take in the show that this season puts on.
Go for a walk and listen to the wind in the trees, collect fallen conkers, notice the change in the quality of the light, appreciate the beautiful colours of the leaves as they change week-by-week…
Autumn is a beautiful season, so relax, let go and enjoy!
My baby had just fallen asleep. I sat quietly, watching his chest rise and fall as he breathed and noticed how peaceful he looked.
Suddenly, a moment of realisation occurred. I can do stuff! I am free! Right, now what was it I had to do?
A lot of the problem is that there is so much to do, and really, I don’t know how long my baby will sleep for, so it’s difficult to match up the job with an amount of time required to complete the job. Also, the tasks I need to do vary from the easy mundane jobs (housework) to more complex mundane tasks (tax returns). Quite often in these moments of freedom, I walk quickly and purposefully into a room, to do something and then, it’s gone. I have no idea why I walked into the room. Sound familiar?
Why Do We Forget Things?
Working memory loss can happen for a number of reasons. Often, while caring for young children, we are sleep deprived. We are also very busy and it’s been proven that it’s difficult to keep more than 3 – 4 items in your mind at one time (ref. Alan Baddeley).
Motherhood can be stressful too. It is proven that when we are stressed, our bodies secrete a toxic hormone. This is why stress is very damaging to our bodies. Stress can lead to memory loss too.
How Yoga Can Help
It is proven that, ‘neurones that fire together, wire together’. This means that by repeating an activity over and over again, you can teach your brain and your body to behave differently. You can change. Wise yogis say that ‘a calm mind is a focused mind’. By spending 5 minutes meditating each day, you can retrain your mind to become focused and calm.
There are also some very beneficial restorative yoga poses which allow your body to rebalance and deeply relax. Here is a restorative yoga sequence you can try.
I recommend, before you rush around trying to complete the many tasks ahead of you in a short space of time, to spend 5 or 10 minutes practicing a meditation or a restorative yoga sequence. You may notice a big difference in a short space of time.
The weather has turned cooler. Long days where we could be a family unit, sharing time together and relaxing, not really having to be anywhere are in the past. Life has resumed it’s routine of rushing to pack the children off to school, my husband rushing out the door in the morning and me managing the lives of five people and running classes.
Life can feel miserable at the end of the summer. You may have said ‘goodbye’ to friends or family who you’re not going to see for a long time. There may be nothing to look forward to and the winter holidays seem a long way away. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and know why you’re feeling a bit sad and take time to think about it. Knowing that you’re having these feelings is the first step to being able to move forward and find a way of making yourself feel better. If you don’t feel like you can move forward, it could be a good idea to visit your doctor and seek professional advice.
5 Ways to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues
- Get Involved: Find an activity or area of interest you really enjoy and volunteer, join a class, connect with others.
- Bringing gratitude into your daily life. Begin to list three things you feel grateful for each day and watch how more wonderful things start to come into your life.
- Practice some restorative yoga poses. Child’s pose is great, or follow a restorative yoga session on YouTube. This is a lovely one to try.
- Remember, you are in charge of your feelings. Try and experiment and play with what helps you heal and feel complete again.
- Plan an event, whether it be a walk in the forest, a coffee with a friend or a holiday. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does need to be a date in your diary and something you can look forward to.
Why Should You Practice Tummy Time With Your Baby?
As many babies are encouraged to sleep on their backs, giving baby set periods of time to be on their tummy has become a more important issue. Parents are concerned that their babies head has become flat at the back, or noticed that their baby has lost a lot of hair and has bald patches at the back of their head as a result from spending a lot of time on their backs.
When to Start Tummy Time Play
Each baby is unique and each baby will have a differerent ability to hold their heads up for periods of time. You may find that your baby doesn’t develop neck, shoulder and torso muscle strength until they reach 3 or 4 months. As your baby’s neck and upper body control improves, you can gradually increase the amount of time spent on on their tummy.
For babies under 3/4 months old, you may find that your baby enjoys tummy time more if he/she is close to you. For example, you can try lying on your back with your baby on his/her tummy on your chest.
For babies over 4 months old, you could try sitting on the floor with your legs out in front of you. You may find it more comfortable to sit on a cusion, try to engage your tummy muscles and sit up tall, stretching out y our back. You can begin by placing your baby on their tummy across your lap with a toy on the floor.
For babies over 6 months, your baby may be much happier to be on their tummy with some toys.
A baby is born with approximately 100 billion neurons and during their everyday activities the synapses are developed. Activity, interaction and movement are like food for an infant’s brain, helping it to develop.
Not all babies crawl. Some babies will shuffle on their bottoms or commando crawl to help them get from a to b.
The Au people of Papua, New Guinea have babies which don’t crawl. They move around on their bottoms, propelling themselves with their hands. Tracer, associate professor of anthropology and director of the Program in Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado at Denver has carried out research among the Au people. Among the Au people, Tracer found babies in their first year of life were carried during 90 percent of their waking hours, usually by a mother, father or sibling.
In Bali, babies are not allowed to touch the ground until they are over 7 months. There is no record of any developmental difference between Balinese, the Au People of Papua New Guinea and Western babies who crawled earlier.
Published studies on the value of crawling have given mixed results. A 1991 study by Temple University researchers found that children who didn’t crawl were later deficient on specific tests of motor development. But a 1989 study at the University of Padua, Italy, found crawlers were actually more likely to have delayed motor development.
Research demonstrates that it is not important if a baby crawls or not. It is important to observe that a baby’s movements are balanced on both sides and it is important that a baby can move from one point to another.
You may have heard of ‘Attachment’ parenting. I would like to talk about attunement parenting. The art of being at one or in tune with your baby. For many, it may not come naturally. There are postiive activities you can do with your baby to help you become more attuned to each other.
By holding your baby, or wearing your baby, your baby will cry less. Your baby will not be worried about where you are, will be entertained and warm. ‘When a baby rides in a sling attached to his mother, he is in tune with the rhythm of her breathing, the sound of her heartbeat, and the movements his mother makes—walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps him to regulate his own physical responses.’ Source, Baby Wearing International.
Baby yoga will demonstrate lots of different ways you can hold your baby.
When your baby is alert, (e.g. not tired or hungry) your baby will love to look at your face and interact with you. As your baby can only focus about 30cm away, your baby will love it if you hold your gaze at this distance. Please refer to this page if your baby has a visual impairment.
Playing with your baby, will improve your babies cognitive development and enhance their social/emotional development. Baby yoga demonstrates many different activites and games you can play with a non-mobile baby.
For some reason, parents are frequently told not to hold their baby, ‘you’ll spoil her’, ‘he’ll get used to being hold and you’ll never be able to put him down’.
However, many health professionals agree on the importance of physical contact between babies and their carers. Babies thrive on physical touch. Not only does touch improve their circulation, digestion, breathing, hormonal balance, touch helps develop a baby’s nervous system. Touch can also help carers improve their confidence when handling babies and improves communication. Touch also reduces stress levels for both baby and carer, promoting bonding and closeness
During pregnancy and birth, new mothers release the hormone oxytocin, associated with relaxing, connecting and nurturing. Baby massage and yoga both stimulate the on-going positive effects of this hormone. This means that doing baby massage or yoga is especially important for mum’s who are not breastfeeding, as breastfeeding naturally releases oxytocin.
A loving touch also helps regulate the stress hormone, cortisol. The more massage and yoga practiced with your baby, the greater combined sensory effects take place to enhance this closeness. Massaging and touching your baby is incredibly important to bonding with your baby, especially if you’re not breastfeeding.