Benefits of Yoga for Women and Children
Women undergo many changes during pregnancy and after childbirth. These changes not only affect the physical body but have also effect the emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of women.
After our child is born, it is important to find a balance between nurturing our family and nurturing ourselves.
The practice of yoga has many benefits for women and children of all ages. It can help us get back into shape, increase our energy levels during the day and help keep us calm in those challenging moments.
Yoga has many benefits for infants and children, such as helping to relieve gas and digestive discomfort through different yogic poses. We can use yogic breathing techniques like Ujjayi breath to help calm an unsettled baby, by bring the baby close into our chest and allowing the baby to hear our breathing. This controlled style of breathing relaxes both mother and baby.
Meditation is another way that mothers can gain more energy during the day. When the children are playing quietly or sleeping, take 15 minutes to sit still and focus on the breath with the gaze gently lifted to the point between the eyebrows. This will begin to recharge the entire energy system and bring stillness to the mind, allowing more clarity and calmness in our day.
In fact, there are many opportunities during the day where we can sit, lie or stand in a yoga posture to increase our levels of wellbeing and begin to strengthen our body. Doing yoga after childbirth, doesn’t have to be restricted to practising in a yoga class, it is an opportunity to get creative with yoga and incorporate it into our daily lives joyfully.
It is beneficial to attend a weekly yoga class. This helps us achieve good alignment in the postures and to be able to adjust postures to suit our body. Attending “family” yoga classes or “mums and bubs” yoga classes, can be a wonderful experience for the whole family. This creates a special bonding opportunity for the family within class and during times when we wish to practice at home.
We can practice yoga mindfully even in we have small children or babies. Practicing yoga in front of our children is beneficial. Children often imitate their parents from an early age. Imagine the gift we are giving our children by showing them how to keep their bodies flexible and healthy through the mindful practice of yoga and meditation. Children who practice yoga receive many benefits, such as positive body awareness, good breathing patterns through improved posture, increased flexibility and strength physically, emotionally and mentally.
The benefits of yoga are far reaching and measurable. A recent survey conducted by researchers from RMIT reported that more people are now practicing yoga for mental health issues like stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia, than ever before. The reasons most commonly given for starting yoga were “health, fitness and flexibility, however once commencing practice many participants stated that yoga was a path to spiritual development and in maintaining emotional and mental balance.
Yoga teaches us to be patient and kind to ourselves, through allowing our breath to guide us in and out of postures mindfully. In yoga, we never move into pain, we work our body to our first point of resistance, our edge. We practice with enough intensity to keep the mind active and the breath flowing smoothly. We begin to understand our body’s subtle cues by listening to the body as we ask it to move into different poses. In this way we can begin to build a kind and trusting relationship with our body, creating wellness, peace and stability.
The practice of yoga and meditation helps us to let go of the “small stuff” and see the wider tapestry of life from a higher perspective. It gives us the space to respond instead of react to life. We become more able to be in the moment with our children and are more able to enjoy each moment in our life.
Namaste Kaatheryn Tempest
Director – Yoga & Crystal Awareness Training Centre
Level 2 Radiant Light Yoga Teacher
Level 3 Angel Kids Yoga Teacher