Posts Tagged ‘relaxation’

Baby and Me Yoga

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

IMG_5324When my daughter was first born and I was working full time I was constantly looking for things we could do together that would help us bond. We experimented with lots of classes and yoga was one of them. There are a few different types of yoga, starting with Baby and me for non-crawling babies and then as they get older there are plenty of yoga classes you can do together and then for older kids there are also great ones, like imagination yoga, which my now 5-year-old daughter loves!

I’ll admit that my favorite things about doing yoga with your child is that it’s all about multitasking. You get a workout and relaxation in, you get some amazing bonding time and you learn great tools to help calm yourself and your baby down. Perfect!

Yoga is a great way to ease back into exercising after having a baby and it may even help you deal with the stress of becoming a parent. Few things are more stressful and confusing than having a baby so think of it as a time to help calm your jitters and relieve some stress.  Traditional yoga poses are modified so that you can hold your baby throughout the poses so you can maximize bonding time.

Those benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. Yoga offers almost as many benefits for babies as it does for adults. Every part of the baby’s system is stimulated including their digestive system, which translates into helping with colic or other digestive issues. It also helps them feel more calm and restful and can be a great tool to help babies sleep better – especially if that’s an area they are struggling with.

There are so many different places to find a good class. I recommend starting with your local yoga studio. If they don’t offer one they might be able to point you in the right direction or even be willing to put a class together for you. As your child gets older you can incorporate more yoga poses through DVDs or even yoga books – some focus on relaxing poses to help relax before bedtime.

Take the time to experiment and see what works best for you and your child and enjoy your bonding time!

Jacqueline Banks is a certified Holistic Health Counselor. She works with women in all stages of motherhood, from mothers struggling with conception to those trying to get their groove back after pregnancy to ensure the best health and nutrition for both mom and baby. 

Shh! Mommy’s Meditating

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015


Shh! Mommy's Meditating

Gisele Bundchen shares an Instagram photo of her and daughter meditating.

I started my meditation practice a year ago. There’s a part of me that wishes I had started sooner, but then the bigger part of me knows that I wasn’t ready for it yet.

What I learned when I first started meditating is that you call it a meditation practice… practice being an important word. Practice because every single time you sit down to meditate you are practicing, and every single time you practice, you get better and better.

Whenever I mention to people that I meditate, they usually respond with “Oh, that’s really cool… I wish I did but I’m not really that good at it.” Or, “I know I’m not doing it right!” It bugs me that this is the response because there is no such thing as meditating wrong or right. So let’s discuss what the goal of meditation is.

The goal is to quiet your mind, to sit and be still…to sit and just BE. There is no doing in meditation. So you can never be “doing” it wrong. The intention behind meditation is to just exist for a little while, to just be.

A good friend of mine had her own meditation practice in place for five years. She said that when she was learning to integrate her practice, her teacher told her to think of meditation as a child having a tantrum. Perfect! We put the child in time out. They go to the corner kicking and screaming and within a few minutes, they start to calm down. They begin to relax and release their pent up energy that caused the tantrum to begin with.

This is how your mind works. You meditate by putting your mind in the corner for a few minutes. Your mind will kick and scream, thoughts racing, maybe you even feel guilt for taking time out for yourself…but within minutes, you are starting to calm down. The thoughts are starting to slow and you are practicing the state of being.

Moms need to meditate. Everyone needs to meditate, but moms in particular are stressful, chaotic, rattled creatures. My daughter dropped crackers on the floor this morning and I just about lost it.
I needed to meditate. Probably still do!

I know what you’re thinking… I’m a mom… I know.

I don’t have TIME TO MEDITATE!

Actually my friend, you do!

A meditation practice doesn’t have to be this holy ritual, perfect posture, perfect state of being in the right yoga clothes. You can meditate anywhere. When I worked my corporate job, I used to go into a conference room, lock the door and meditate. It was so helpful.

What I find is that guided meditations are good for me. There are thousands of these available on sites like YouTube and SoundCloud.

Another helpful way to meditate is to meditate yourself to sleep. If you find a nice guided meditation on YouTube, and set your phone up to play that as you wind down for the night, that is perfect. You can even just find some nice meditation music. Again, it’s the intention. There is no right or wrong way. I notice that when I meditate myself to sleep, I sleep restful, I remember my dreams, and I wake up happy and more fulfilled.

One of the most influential meditation teachers for me is a man named davidji. He has TONS of guided meditations and teaches us that you can really meditate anywhere and at any time. If you meditate and just focus on your breath for 5 minutes when you wake up in the morning…or before you get out of your car to go into work…that is so helpful.

It’s all about the intention.

Many moms are full of stress. We are…but we don’t have to be.

We absolutely, 100% deserve to have some time to be alone and just… BE. I want you to really soak that in because it’s true. And here’s the best part! When you begin to just let yourself be, and exist… parenting and raising happy, self-sustaining children is just an added bonus. Your kids will see you as an example and follow your lead.

So if you are a mom that only does things because of how it impacts your kids, take my word for it… you taking 15 minutes a day to meditate will only bring good things to the life of your children and help you BE a better mom.

I promise.

Sarah van Rijsewijk is the owner of Natural Peace Life Coaching in Glens Falls. She is the mother of one daughter.

Cranky Mommy Remedies

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

A while back when I shared 25 tips to soothe a fussy baby, one reader replied by asking “what about tips for a fussy mommy?”. While she was only (kind of) kidding, I think she was on to something; moms need some strategies for nurturing themselves too! So alas I offer you a few ideas of items to have on hand for when you are feeling grouchy yourself. These are all-natural, tried and true crabby mommy remedies. I know because I am a cranky mom who has benefited from the following:

Essential Oils – Aromatherapy can be very powerful in changing your mood! There are a variety of scents available to provide calming and relaxation such as lavender or sandalwood. You can use them in a number of ways from adding a few drops to a warm bath, spritzing them into the air, or using them for a massage (be sure to dilute them in a carrier oil). A little goes a very long way so one bottle of your favorite essential oil will likely last you a long time. If you don’t own any essential oils, please treat yourself to some! They are super multi-functional and highly effective…I suspect that you will love, LOVE using essential oils!

Tea- A hot cup of herbal tea can be instantly healing and soothing to one’s soul. Some teas such as chamomile are specifically intending for inducing calm and relaxation. The nice thing about tea is that is takes only a few minutes to make for yourself, but the effects of it can last a whole afternoon. When I start to feel edgy, a cup of tea can turn things around for me rather quickly. Try drinking a cup of herbal tea at the onset of a bad mood and see what it does for you. As the weather is starting to warm up, you may be less interested in hot drinks, which is another added bonus to tea…it’s delicious hot or cold.

Rescue Remedy – The first time I heard about Rescue RemedyI was very pregnant with my second son and feeling highly emotional like woman often do near the end of their pregnancy. The first time I tried using Rescue Remedy, I didn’t realize it was in a glass bottle and I broke it while trying to open the package. I looked at the brand new $20 broken bottle on the floor and my pregnancy hormones got the best of me…I started bawling. My oldest son (who was almost two at the time) sat down next to me and started crying too. So we sat there together crying for a bit until I finally decided I should probably clean the glass up. While my first attempt at using Rescue Remedy was not successful, it has since become a staple in our home. I use it during times of high anxiety, stress, or emotion for myself and/or the kids. What is it exactly? It is a flower essence blend of five individual flower remedies that help you cope during time of emotional imbalance. It comes in a liquid, cream, or edible form. I have a travel size bottle that I tuck into the front pocket of my diaper bag so it’s always readily available when needed.

What is in your mama care kit? Any special products, tools, or tips that you would recommend for dealing with a case of the crankies?