Yoga to Combat Parental Exhaustion!

Are you often exhausted? Do you regularly feel overwhelmed, drained & burnt out? Whether you have teens, toddlers, babies or are pregnant more than likely you've experience parental exhaustion at some stage & appreciate how it can be physically, emotionally & mentally draining. Why do we get it? Perhaps our society has got it a bit wrong - 'The Super Mummy' theory which expects us not only to manage but excel in multiple roles whilst looking a million dollars has put a lot of pressure on mums, especially new mums with magazines airbrushing celebs straight after giving birth & constantly bombarding us with unrealistic lifestyle images.

Then there is the pressure to enrol our little darlings into every possible activity, we are constantly running around after children, micro managing every playdate to fit in with every club possible because God forbid they will miss out and somehow not match up to their peers, or even worse..... get bored! I must say, I remember being bored a lot as a child, it was great but now I am guilty of ensuring that my three monkeys never get bored & I'm constantly taking them to activities or doing things with them. (I am trying to reduce this!!)

So together with micromanaging kids social lives, often working long hours, all the housework & desperately trying to look amazing it is little wonder that our bodies and minds have mini-meltdowns and need a break from time to time from feeling feed up, burnt out & defeated with the endless to-do lists.

Like you, I know all about exhaustion, being a single mum for my three very active children, running an online yoga business, lecturing & teaching classes, has effected my energy levels over the years. Last week my Facebook group & I discussed parental exhaustion, one mum said she gets uncontrollably emotional, another mum gets really angry, I tend to get migraines but most of us agreed that when we're exhausted we go into a numbed state of existence and just function day-to-day without really feeling present or connected. So try focusing more on living in the present, worrying less about what happened yesterday or what may happen tomorrow.

So we can be mindful about living in the present but what else can a mum do to beat exhaustion? Although I generally recommend exercise for tiredness, as it's actually increases our energy levels, when we are utterly exhausted a vigorous exercise or yoga practice will have the opposite effect and deplete our remaining energy stores. So leave the hardcore exercises until you feel both mentally and physically stronger, instead try restorative yoga, it soothes your senses & relaxes your mind & nervous system. Oh and it feels fab!

Restorative postures quieten the mind & body and together with the use of props (blankets, cushions, balls, bands)  allow you to completely relax & rest. Try holding each posture for 5-10 minutes & it will leave you feeling nourished and well rested. It further helps us disconnect from the continual activity of our busy daily lives helping to heal and nurture us together with being a functional way of releasing muscle tension and gently moving our bodies.

The first restorative posture suitable for everyone shows Katie 9 months pregnant relaxing fully supported in Supta Baddha Konasana (Butterfly pose. This is a great pose for stressed out mums as it opens up the hips (an area where the subtle body is said to hold emotions), it enhances flexibility within the inner thigh and groin muscles. Start with feet together and let the knees fall open. Support your upper body with cushions and relax, just focus on your breath keeping it slow, controlled and through the nose.

 Pregnancy Yoga - Restorative Butterfly Posture - (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Pregnancy Yoga - Restorative Butterfly Posture - (Supta Baddha Konasana)

The second photo shows the Leg Up the Wall pose. It quickly rejuvenates the lower back and legs, easing tension & tired legs, helping blood circulation & furthermore helps to reduce edema in the legs and feet. It is a nourishing & grounding posture as it is so calming for your nervous system, I often do this when I'm feeling overwhelmed, tired or stressed. As Katie is 9 months pregnant I have given her cushions to elevate her upper body so she doesn't get breathless however whether pregnant or not using the cushions encourage the body to relax as it's so comfy!!

Pregnancy yoga. Restorative yoga

So mums lets find a balance, we don't need to be supermums we need to be happy, energised & chilled out mums! Take care of yourself, go to yoga but also go out for drinks ...it's all about balance!


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