real life

The 7 yoga moves that all mums need (but won't ever be taught by a yogi).

Let’s call it Mama-Sutra.

While sitting in a waiting room last week flicking through a glossy magazine, I came across a feature on postnatal exercises for new mothers. It was a mix of yoga and pilates inspired moves, focusing on the usual suspects: the stomach muscles and the pelvic floor.

As I looked at the smiling Lorna-Jane clad model who was demonstrating, I couldn’t help but think of all the other poses that should have been there too. I mean, I’m all for saluting the sun and impersonating a large dangerous snake (Cobra Pose for those not down with the yogis) and they’re fantastic for relaxation and some quality “me time” but sometimes a girl needs moves that are a little more practical.

You know?

And so, keeping in mind that I have absolutely no qualifications whatsoever in personal training or fitness, here are some of the life-inspired poses and moves for mums I’d add to the list:

1. The not tonight side plank.

To practice this pose, you’ll need to lie in bed in a straight line on one side with your back towards your spouse. This is helpful for nights when your significant other is hoping for a little after hours action and you’re so tired, you wouldn’t even be up for it if Ryan Gosling climbed over your balcony and said “Hey, girl, how about it?”*

(*May not be entirely true. Exceptions may be made under these circumstances.)

2. The reach and retrieve.

To perform this pose, you’ll need to lie on your stomach and reach forward with one arm as far as you can, engaging the core and feeling the stretch across the shoulders. This one’s useful for retrieving toys/food/dummies from under the couch or wedged under the bed and is best performed accompanied to the unrelenting, whinge of the child who’s missing the aforementioned item/s.

3.The baby balance.

This pose requires a baby and at least one important task you need to complete. Balance your child on your hip bone and perform small adjustments (an upward heave) to distribute weight evenly. This pose is useful when multitasking: preparing dinner/chasing a toddler/talking on the phone/doing your tax. Difficulty level will increase as baby’s weight increases and with the addition of further children.


4. The return to the womb.

To practice this pose, curl up into a tight foetal position, head to knees with your back nicely arched. This one is handy on two specific occasions: 1) when you’ve had a really really bad day, and 2) when one or all of your children (and the dog/cat/guinea pig) have ended up in your bed, there’s no room for you and all you can do is roll up in the corner and wonder if your health insurance covers chiropractic expenses.

5. The car seat twist.

To perform this pose, you’ll need a car, a correctly fitted car-seat and a uncooperative baby/toddler. Hoist child into vehicle feeling the stretch across the upper and middle back, wrestle with seat straps, score a kick to the face, and - to really master this move - try not to bump your head on the roof of the car on the way out.

6. The please sleep resting pose.

The correct technique for this one is to collapse, flat on your back, next to your refusing-to-sleep child. Tell mini sleep-refuser you’ll stay there alongside them. Lie very very still and engage in some deep breathing. Pass out. Wake up an hour later and hobble, disoriented, into your own bed.

7. The wine glass lift (aka salutations to the alcohol).

Equipment required for this pose include a wine glass and your preference of a red or white. This one can be performed cross-legged on the couch, sitting at the table, or even lying in the bath. Lift wine glass to your lips and relish the pleasure of not having to share said beverage with anyone under the age of 18 years. Lower.  And repeat.

Are there any other moves you’d add to the list?

Want more? Try this:

Every single “post-baby body” is different. Amen to that.

Welcome to the new rules of losing baby weight. Biscuits are good.

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