‘What you doing Mummy’? I’m doing a bit of yoga babes…… I do Mummy, I do’.
My little babe is now a busy toddler and yoga time is as precious as ever in my house. Everything is busy little feet and go go go! Though this is a wonderful time of fun and experience for the little bods, I often get caught up in toddler pace and sometimes feel frazzled by the end of the day. The following yoga /massage sequence is all about stopping, taking a short time out and getting back a sense of self. You don’t need to be a Mum (or Dad) to enjoy this ‘coming home’ yoga experience. It is vital for anyone who finds themselves temporarily caught up in the faster currents of life.
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Find your base. Be it floor, carpet, chair or yoga mat. Sit down sensing the ground or chair through your sitting bones. Ideally keep the spine orientated upwards. Use blocks, bolsters and blankets if necessary so there is minimum strain on legs, knees and ankles. Get comfortable.
Sense of place
Orientate the crown of your head upwards. Imagining the expanse of sky above. Let yours shoulders fall away from your ears. Feel your sit-bones connect downwards into the earth supporting you below. Feel the support available to you through the earth and let it anchor you. Mentally allow yourself some space, physical space within the body and mental space for you in this moment.
Take your hands to your shoulders, fingers behind and thumbs on top. Gently squeeze your shoulder muscles consciously breathing in and out while you do so. Rub your fingers gently up the back of your neck, under and over the ridge of the skull. Take some time to gently squeeze the muscles in the upper arms, down into forearms and hands. Gently massage into palms, base of the thumb and fingers. Let your arms go, resting your hands in your lap or legs. Feel tension drain away from your head and shoulders down through the body and into the supporting earth. Smooth your hands slowly down your legs towards your feet. Take each foot alternately in your hands. Gently massage into the soles of the feet, between the bones of your toes and ankles. Release your feet and let them rest on the ground below.
Massage with gentle circular movements into the muscles just under the collarbone. Move out towards the armpits feeling for the muscles in-between the ribs. Continue massaging in-between the ribs below the breasts and around your back. Consciously soften and relax the space above your navel. Consciously soften and relax the space below your navel, down into the pelvis. Without judgement, tune into your breath, feeling the places that your breath touches within the body. Feel for the movement of the body in response to breath. Slowly guide your breath deeper into the body by softening in turn, the ribs, diaphragm, stomach, navel, pelvis. Take your awareness back to your sit bones and then the top of your head. Allow your breath to return to normal.
Take your hands to your face, base of your thumbs resting on your cheek bones and palms over eyes. Take a slow conscious breath in and then out. Hold and breath freely for as long as you need. Slowly peel hands down and away from your face. Take your arms around yourself and give yourself a big hug and a squeeze. Give yourself some of that love you are giving out to others. Take your time coming up off the chair or floor. You are ready to go again.