Wellness Wednesdays: At-Home Yoga with (or without) Baby

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Dahlia & I Practicing our Standing Tree Pose

Happy Wellness Wednesday, Everyone!

Can you believe our Dahlia will be 11 months next week?!  I can’t believe it and I probably wont be able to exercise holding her for much longer because she is getting bigger by the minute!  I did these yoga poses with her a few months ago and thought I’d share with you to get you going on this “Wellness Wednesday.”

Yoga has always been something that I like to practice on my own:  I do poses that my body needs and take my time when at-home.  As far as teaching goes, I substitute here-and-there and also do private Yoga sessions and incorporate elements of Yoga in most, if not all, of the classes I teach weekly.  There are so many benefits to doing Yoga and practicing it with Dahlia will hopefully get her to reap some benefits as well!  (A friend actually gave me the Itsy Bitsy Yoga book that I used with her as a newborn to ease her tummy troubles & calmed her down when she was fussy.)  So, here are some awesome yoga poses you can do with (or without) baby individually or in a sequence as I show below with trasitions.

Enjoy!

What you Need:

  • Mat
  • Open Space
  • Baby, (Books, some type of resistance or just using bodyweight)
  • Water (As Needed)
  • Blanket
  • Towel (As Needed)

Yoga Pose #1:  Cat & Cow (Spine, Core & Lower Back)

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  • Place baby underneath you as you get into a quadruped position on all fours.  Remember to inhale as you lift your spine up towards the ceiling into Cat pose and extend the spine, exhaling into Cow.
  • Repeat 8 – 10 times inhaling & exhaling
  • No baby?    Do the same as above :)
  • Modification?  For any wrist issues, you can place fists down to neutralize.

Transition #1:  From Cat & Cow, curl the toes under as you engage and lift the core up to the ceiling into a high plank position.

Pose #2:  High Plank (Core & Upper Body Strength)

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  • Keep baby down onto floor.  Place hands down on the ground about shoulder width apart.  Keep the arms separated, get up onto the toes and keep glutes tight and core strong.  HOLD POSITION.
  • Inhale & exhale breathing here for 8 – 10 breaths
  • No baby?  Do the same as above :)
  • Modification?  Simply get onto the knees and keep the hips flat & feet into the air.

Transition #2:  Moving from the high plank, lift your hips up high to the ceiling into Downward Dog or an Inverted “V” drawing your heels to the floor and spreading your fingers wide like starfish.

Yoga Pose #3:  Downward Dog (Shoulders and Stretching Hamstrings & Calves)

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  • Keeping baby onto the mat, remember to breath here inhaling & exhaling for another 8-10 breaths.  You can also bicycle the knees stretching out one calf more than the other.
  • No baby?    Do the same as above :)
  • Modification?  For very tight hamstrings, you can slightly bend the knees.

Transition #3:  From Downward Dog, you’re going to hop or walk your feet towards your hands at the top of the mat.  Inhale, reverse swan diving up & exhale, drawing your hands down picking up baby to a standing position.

Yoga Pose #4:  Divine Drops (Legs)

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  • When you hold onto baby, widen the stance as you inhale and exhale drop down into a wide squat.
  • Repeat for 8 – 10 breaths, inhaling up & exhaling down.
  • These Divine Drops are also known to calm baby down & depending on how heavy the baby is, you will get a good leg workout!
  • No baby?  Simply hold onto books for resistance or use own bodyweight.
  • Modification?  For any knee issues, try not go squat as far down.

Transition #4:  From the Divine Drops, you will stay standing in the same wide stance to move into the Womb Wings.

Yoga Pose #5:  Womb Wings (Entire Body)

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  • When you hold onto baby, keep the wide stance as you inhale gently swinging baby upwards and exhale, bringing them down in between the legs.
  • Repeat for 8 – 10 breaths, inhaling up & exhaling down.
  • These Womb Wings are also known to calm baby down & remind baby of the movement they felt when they were in the womb
  • No baby?  Simply hold onto books or filled water bottles for resistance.
  • Modification?  For any lower back issues, do not use any resistance and continue to do the motion.

Transition #5:  Standing up from the Womb Wings, move legs closer together as you cradle baby tightly into one hand and focusing on drawing your foot onto the inside of your calf or higher into the Standing Tree pose.

Yoga Pose #6:  Standing Tree Pose (Legs, Core and Balance)

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  • Take baby into one arm as you firmly press one leg into the mat.  Focus on your balance as you slowly lift the other leg into the inside of the calf or use the hand to move leg to the inside of the thigh.
  • Repeat for 8 – 10 breaths on each side while drawing the knee back towards the wall behind you to open & stretch the hip & inner thigh.
  • No baby?  Simply hold hands together into your center or high into the air.
  • Modification?  For any balance issues, take the leg down lower or kickstand the big toe onto the ground to keep balance here.

Transition #6:  From the Standing Tree Pose, gently come down to the floor, one knee at a time and sit onto the “sit bones” as you place the baby gently into your lap.  You will take the legs into the air at 90 degrees and balance while holding baby against your thighs into Boat Pose.

Yoga Pose #7:  Boat Pose (Core)

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  • Take baby into your lap as you lift your legs to 90 degrees and hold to work the core.  Focus on your balance as you breath here.
  • Repeat for 8 – 10 breaths  (or more) as you continue to focus on your posture and balance.
  • No baby?  Keep hands to the left and right of your thighs for more balance & control.
  • Modification?  For any balance issues, take the hands down onto the floor behind you.

Transition #7:  From Boat Pose, lower you legs down to the floor keeping the knees bent and slowly bring your upper body down one vertebrae at a time until your back rests flat onto the mat.  Move baby from your thighs to atop your belly and raise legs high into the air at 90 degrees.

Yoga Pose #8:  Legs up a Wall (Relaxing Back & Stretching Hamstrings & Calves)

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  • This final pose, Legs up a Wall, will be used as your Savasana or final resting pose with baby.  Keeping the legs lifting will help keep baby in place more than if your legs were flat on the floor.  Plus, you get to stretch out the hamstrings a bit more.
  • Inhale & exhale here for 10 – 12 breaths as you close your eyes and stay here gently breathing as long as baby will let you.
  • No Baby?  Draw the hands next to your sides and after you’ve inhaled & exhaled for 10 – 12 breaths, lower the legs down gently and let them fall open into a Corpse Pose.
  • Modification?  For legs up a wall, if you are having trouble keeping the legs up, simply go to a wall and place the legs up the wall to stretch the hamstrings.

 

And there you have it,  simple yoga poses you can do with (or without) baby that wont be too strenuous on the body.  This should take roughly 20 – 30 mins. if you are going at a slow pace.  And sometimes, 20 – 30 mins. is all you need.  Namaste!

 

 

One thought on “Wellness Wednesdays: At-Home Yoga with (or without) Baby

  1. I love how your dog is laying there all relaxed while you are doing yoga while holding Dahlia! That’s impressive!

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