Caring for a baby or a toddler is rough on your body. These ten yoga poses can help you bounce back and help you keep up with your newest family member!
Has holding your baby or chasing your toddler around been taking its toll on your body? All of that bending and lifting is hard work! The yoga poses below are aimed at a few of the problem areas that come with caring for babies and toddlers:
- opening your chest and strengthening your back – Getting down on their level and carrying them all over tightens those chest muscles. Several of the poses focus on stretching the chest muscles while strengthening your upper back.
- strengthening arms, legs, and core – Sometimes it feels like my son gets bigger faster than I gain strength.
- stretching arms and legs – Do you get sore from lifting your kiddo all day long? Almost all of the poses below help stretch arm and/or leg muscles to give you some natural relief
- relieving fatigue – Caring for a baby and toddler can be an exercise in sleep deprivation. When a nap is out of the question, try some of the fatigue-relieving poses to help clear those cobwebs. Obviously, you still need to sleep.
The trouble for any new parent, of course, is finding the time for self care. I remember the utter exhaustion of new motherhood. That feeling that there’s just no time to do anything for yourself. It was hard to sneak beneficial self care into my routine, and I often opted to do chores rather than care for myself.
Yoga Poses and Self Care: Finding the Time
One thing that helped my husband and I work self care back into our lives was setting a loose schedule.
On certain days, my husband takes our son out on errands, to the park, or to the museum so that I can catch up on freelance work, sneak in some yoga poses, and maybe even take a blessed nap. Other days I return the favor. How you divvy the week up depends on your schedule, but it’s worth pulling out a calendar and having a family meeting if it gets you some precious time for self care.
Related Reading: Is co-sleeping dangerous?
This tradeoff saved our sanity. It may sound like a no-brainer to some parents, but it took our exhaustion-addled brains a few months to sort out.
10 Yoga Poses for New Moms and Dads
1. Bridge Pose
This posture opens the chest, strengthens your core, and eases fatigue. See the top of the page for the bridge pose video.
2. Sphinx Pose
Open your chest and strengthen that upper back!
3. Downward Dog
This is one of my all-time favorite yoga poses. It stretches and strengthens the legs and arms, opens the chest, and strengthens your back. I also find it very rejuvenating.
Plank is one of the more strenuous yoga poses on this list, but it’s so worth the sweat. It strengthens your arms, back and core.
5. Dolphin Pose
Dolphin is also on the more strenuous side, but it’s so beneficial for building upper body strength!
6. Side Plank
This balancing posture strengthens your arms and core while centering your mind. Finding that balance is difficult but so good for you and – by extension – your growing family.
7. Reclined Spinal Twist
This is another one of my favorite yoga poses. It eases anxiety and fatigue while gently stretching your legs, arms, and chest.
8. Garland Pose
This leg-stretching and strengthening posture trains your body so you can play on the floor with your baby now and into toddlerhood.
9. Chair Pose
Get ready to sweat a little bit as you strengthen your legs, core, and upper back while opening those chest muscles.
10. Corpse Pose
No yoga sequence is complete without savasana, or corpse pose, at the end. Corpse pose may feel like it’s doing very little, but it eases anxiety and fatigue while giving your mind and body a chance to absorb the benefits from the yoga poses you just practiced. New parents, let’s get real: you’re exhausted. Enjoy this nice, long meditation! I won’t tell anyone if you sneak in a few precious minutes of sleep in this posture!