One of the aspects of being a mama I have found challenging, but often enjoyable, is fitting in exercising for me.
Walking has been my mainstay in recent years – we live within walking distance of town, so I save on parking charges and get fresh air and exercise by walking in, often with a buggy and/or a child strapped to me with a sling. I joke that the hill our house is on is my “gym” and with a combined child weight of upwards of 25kg, that’s no joke.
Walking is great, but it doesn’t stretch out everything and it’s nice to have some exercise that is more for me. When my littlest was wee, I was fortunate to do a Mum & Baby Yogabellies class with the lovely Leah. My littlest has long been too big to quietly take part in a class, and I’ve started practising regularly at home. I’ve found that first thing in the morning works well for us, as often my big girl is still asleep and I get to practice with just one child trying to climb me! The Tara Lee Elements of Yoga DVDs have 20 minute practices that I can use to vary my practice. 20 minutes is usually within the margin of what the kids will “allow” and I find it really sets me up for the day.
My yoga practice with 2 kids is often more of an extreme sport or martial arts than the calm I would like, but it still works for me!
The more I work with pregnant and birthing mamas, the more of a fan I’ve become of yoga for women in their child-bearing years. So much of what our lives are like during pregnancy and with young children builds muscle tension, and yoga is a great way of relieving this. I also find it wonderful for calming my mind from the stresses of being a working mama and have seen it help with anxiety in pregnancy.
So what’s your mama exercise “fix”?