What I love about yoga is its ability to provide your body exactly what it needs. Whether its relaxation or energy, focusing a few minutes on your breath, connecting your mind & body can bring you to a new state of bliss.
Try these 5 poses to nourish your body:
1. Child's Pose
Begin on your hands and knees in Table Pose. Bring the tips of your big toes to touch, your knees out wide (the width of your yoga mat), sink your sit bones back toward your heels. Fold forward, extending your arms out in front of you, resting your forehead on the ground. Take several long, deep breaths here (filling your entire chest, all the way up to your sternum). Exhaling slowly, release your belly back towards your spine. Stretch your right hand out in front of you as far as possible, feeling a stretch along your entire side body. After a few breaths here, switch sides, stretching your left hand out.
2. Low Lunge
Beginning in forward fold, step left foot back in a low lunge ensuring your right knee is directly stacked over your ankle. Drop your back knee to floor and bring hands to hips. We hold a lot of stress and tension in our hips so this pose helps you open up and release. Focus on breathing through any sensations and practice "letting go." After 5 breaths, switch sides.
3. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend
Step feet out wide, toes slightly pointing inward and hands on hip. Slowly begin to fold forward bending at your hip creases. Drop your hands to the floor, shoulder-width distance. Letting the top of your head drop to the floor, release any tension you may be holding in your neck or jaw. Knees can be slightly bent. Take 10 long, deep breaths focusing on releasing more with each exhale. To come up, place hands on hips and using your legs, come up nice and slowly.
4. Goddess Pose
Step feet out wide, point toes slightly outward and begin to lower into a wide-legged squat. Place arms out to the side at shoulder height and bend at elbows creating field goal post arms (fingertips pointing toward the ceiling). Squat a little lower maybe doing a few pulses up & down or side to side, working your inner thighs. Coming back to neutral, exhale your breath completely and draw your pelvic floor in and hold. Hold as long as you can, release and take a round of breaths before trying again. Continue to practice the pelvic floor raises to improve the muscles of your vagina, great for before or after birth.
5. Reverse Process
Begin sitting on the floor with one shoulder blade touching the wall. Keeping your bottom up against the bottom of the wall, swing your legs around and up the wall, legs extended, until your back is resting on the floor. Place arms down by your side, palms facing up. Relax here for approximately 20 breaths. Breathe gently making your exhale twice as long as your inhale. Legs can be slightly bent. This pose is great if you are having trouble falling asleep or have been on your feet all day. It may be uncomfortable for those who are pregnant.
Thank you for sharing your practice with me today. Best of luck on your journey to relax & renew!
For many first time Moms, getting accustomed to the countless feeding needs of a newborn is exhausting. You might feel like there is very little time when you don't have an infant on your breast. But these frequent feedings are common for baby and great for a new breastfeeding Mom. Sure it helps build a bond between infant and mother and we've all heard that "breast is best," but let's take a practical approach to why...
Let's first understand milk composition
Milk composition is complex and changes throughout the day. For example, in the morning, lactose and volume are high and fat/protein are low. In the evening, it's just the opposite, fat and protein are high. So when a baby consumes more lactose and volume, they may become ready to feed sooner than if they consumed more fat and protein.
Milk composition also changes depending on your stage of lactation, your diet and your baby. So try to embrace the unpredictable feeding patterns of your baby, knowing this is completely normal. Don’t get so caught up on keeping your baby on a tight schedule. After all, we tend to eat when we’re hungry too.
Understanding baby led feeding
Baby led feeding refers to watching your baby for signs he/she is hungry. Some cues you may notice include open and closing their mouth, sticking their tongue out or sucking on their hands or wrist. This is a great time to start breast feeding. Your baby is telling you he's ready and he's much more likely to have a good feeding when he's nice and calm.
How do frequent feedings affect you and your milk production?
Encouraging baby-led feeding is great for your milk production. When you are breastfeeding, your levels of prolactin, a milk producing hormone, continues to rise. It begins to fall when the feeding stops. The longer the interval between feedings, the more time this hormone has to drop. If more frequent feedings occur, the hormone rises again and will continue to rise throughout the feeding. With greater frequency, the hormone doesn't have the time to drop as low, thus helping build your milk production.
So while it may take some time to understand your baby's cues, keeping baby close and catching awake periods where he/she begins to show signs of tongue movement will benefit both you and your baby. With more time at the breast, your baby will become more efficient in regulating his/her intake and you can feel more confident your body is producing the milk needed to keep up with your growing baby. For more information visit Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition (http://massbreastfeeding.org/parents/milk/) and view their “10 Steps to Make Plenty of Milk.”
And if you ever feel like breastfeeding is overtaking your life - know that every time you sit down and feed you are lowering your risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Type 2 Diabetes and burning calories. Now if we could only bottle THAT up.