Being a mum can be a full time job – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even when we’re not with our children we’re likely thinking about meal prep, housework that needs doing, after school activities, our actual job, and other commitments – the to-do list and life admin seems endless sometimes. That’s where something like yoga can provide mums with much needed time to yourself. And it also has an array of benefits for your mind and body – perfect for busy, stressed mums. If you’ve never tried it, here’s what you could gain from giving it a go!
The continuous demands of parenthood can leave little room for acknowledging and fully releasing emotions. The end result can be unexplainable back aches, headaches, or an excessive reaction to a child’s minor misbehaviour. The good news for mums is, yoga has been shown to help release built up tension in the body as well as provide other health benefits including:
- Alleviating back and neck pain
- Helping you get a good nights sleep
- Toning and stretching your body
- Helping reduce blood pressure levels
- Boosting your immunity
- Increasing brain function.
There have been numerous studies commissioned to prove the benefits Yoga can provide to your body. As an example, six recent studies with over 570 patients showed that yoga is an effective means for reducing or controlling both back and neck pain. On top of this, a study of elderly female yoga practitioners showed that Yoga, which requires attentional engagement, brought about positive changes in brain structure and function, especially in areas related to awareness, attention, executive functions and memory.
Yoga tones and stretches the body releasing any tension that we have unknowingly stored inside. Yoga helps you to notice where you are holding your tension, whether that be in your tongue, face, neck etc. By ‘tuning in’ to what your body is doing you will be able to learn and train yourself on how to properly relax.
One of the most challenging situations for parents can be ensuring they receive enough sleep each night. Yoga has been shown to increase pratyahara (which means mastery over external influence), which can provide some much needed downtime for your nervous system and assist with better sleep. As we all know, better sleep equals a decrease in tiredness and stress levels.
If we don’t acknowledge negative emotions as and when they arise, research has shown that over time our bodies act like sponges and store these emotions. Eventually, we can develop illnesses, which force us to rest, or worst yet uncontrollably dump our built up anger on our partner or defenceless children.
By regularly practicing yoga we release foregone concerns and give ourselves the space to be present for today’s challenges. If you would like to be a fully present parent and give your child the most appropriate guidance that is needed in that moment in time, give Yoga a try and see the benefits it can provide you.
Crow EM, Jeannot E, Trewhela A. Effectiveness of Iyengar yoga in treating spinal (back and neck) pain: A systematic review.Int J Yoga 2015;8:314
Front. Aging Neurosci., 20 June 2017 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2017.00201