Yoga with Tiffany DeLancy: Bridge (Setu Bhandasana)
Staying active while mothering full time is not an easy task. Especially when you're still navigating the fresh territory of having more than one child! I am excited to share some easy ways of incorporating your baby (or kids) into your yoga practice. Not only is yoga a great way to get exercise, it's also a wonderful way to teach your children essential tools such as body awareness and mindfulness.
First, we always start out with breathing (pranayama) and om (aum). Come to a comfortable seat on the floor (sukhasana). Feel your sit bones connecting with the earth and lengthen the spine. Take a few nice big deep belly breaths, inhaling through the nose and expanding the belly. exhaling through the nose, retracting the naval point toward the spine. Encourage your little one to do it along with you! Allow the eyes to close if desired. Now inhale again and as you exhale this time, release through the mouth with a long resonate sound of "om". Om is said to be the sacred sound of creation, or the sound of the universe. It's vibration resides within all living things, and when we chant om together it brings about a sense of oneness and connection with all life.
*you may notice that your baby might have some kind of reaction to the om, either smiling and giggling or even getting sad and crying. (My own baby makes the sweetest pouty face when we om, it is so preciously heartbreaking!) This happens because babies are much more sensitive to vibrational energy than us adults. So I find that they either really love it or don't like it at all. Don't be concerned if your baby is indifferent though.
Bridge (Setu Bhandasana)
From your boat pose, with baby still hugging your chest, place the feet flat on the mat. Lay down onto your back (hold onto your babe), knees bent. If your little one does not yet have neck or head control, or is still kind of wobbly, keep them lying on their tummy- on your chest. If your little one has full head control and a strong neck, have their little bum seated at your waist so they are sitting up. Either way, continue holding on to your babe. Make sure your feet are placed firm on the mat directly beneath your knees, press into them as you slowly lift the hips up high. Continue your breath as you hold this posture, or give your little one a ride up and down by lowering and lifting the hips. And meanwhile you'll be toning those gluts.
To close your practice now, come back to a comfortable seat (sukhasana) with the eyes closed. Inhale deep and make one last long resonate sound of om together as you exhale.
And as I like to say to my fellow mama Warriors;
MAMASTE : the Divine Mother within me honors and acknowledges the Divine Mother within you. When we find ourselves in that same place of love, of light, of peace, and of truth... WE ARE ONE.