Help with yoga! - Mothering Forums
Fitness and Weight Management > Help with yoga!
naturalmama4's Avatar naturalmama4 10:17 PM 06-28-2012

For the past several years I've tried doing yoga on and off. I would really love to make it an everyday thing, but I'm just having trouble staying motivated and finding time. And since its just here and there, doing stretches and poses when I can or those to heal something specific I guess its not true spiritual yoga. I do notice a difference in the way I feel and think when I stick to it though, but it never lasts. A big part of the reason I have trouble sticking with it is my 4 kids (youngest a very rambunctious 2 yr old). 


If anyone has suggestions on a good routine/references/books/etc, that would help me get and stay in gear I'm all ears. I have an Iyengar yoga book that helps some and I love reading yoga journal, but it feels what I'm doing is so random I can't get in the groove. Also, my legs and back get so stiff and tight, and since I don't stretch them regularly they get sore instead of loose when I do stretch them. Is it best to let them rest or keep stretching when sore? 


Thanks in advance for any advice!

cynthia mosher's Avatar cynthia mosher 09:40 AM 07-01-2012

I love yoga but I'm no expert. I like Rodney Yee. Have you ever tried any of his workouts?


This thread has a number of recommendations too:

MrsGregory's Avatar MrsGregory 11:36 AM 07-05-2012


Maybe every day is too much?  Maybe you can aim to do it 5x a week, and just really enjoy it!

Or, if you want to just squeeze in a little every day, learn the basic Sun Salutation and do that a few times every morning.  Rodney Yee, mentioned above, has a nice little 15 minute morning routine available on DVD.  If I can find the time in the morning, I do like to do that one - it's so gentle, but really wakes you up.

Remember how good you'll feel afterwards.  That always motivates me to get on my mat.



ETA - the link isn't clickable for me, but if you cut and paste it works, I promise!

I'm not affiliated with the website, just a newly slavish devotee.

Millie Ivy's Avatar Millie Ivy 07:52 AM 07-06-2012

I think sometimes we moms try to do a full routine and then get overwhelmed when we don't have the time for that. But a daily personal practice doesn't have to be a full hour+ or anything. 


I second the recommendation to learn the surya namaskar (sun salutations). I like to do some easy warming up, then flow through surya namaskar a couple times, and by that time I often feel what my body needs, maybe I do some strong warriors one day, maybe another day I need some squats and pigeon pose for my hips.


My personal practice at home ranges anywhere from 5-10 minutes all the way up to 40 minutes, but hardly ever longer.


I'd recommend starting with surya namaskar, focus on just doing that for a week or two.  Then, if you like yoga journal go to the website and pick a pose or focus to work on, after your surya namaskar, a little bit every day for a week.  (every day could be 5 days a week, whatever.  But for me, it does help to do a very little bit every day and making it a habit. Like my coffee in the morning is. ;-))


Another thing to try is looking at the online sites that offer a lot of different practices.  I really like  It's 18 a month, but offers a huge array of classes from 15 minutes up and for all levels, different styles etc.  Getting to a studio might be hard with your little ones but if you can't get to a studio for an occasional class (which keeps you engaged, getting first hand help, and keeps the practice fresh) then I think something like this at home is a great alternative option. 


I'm a teacher, btw, and practicing at home is STILL something that is difficult for me, with my house and kids stuff going on at home.  I commend you for wanting to create this for yourself! 

Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 09:21 PM 07-09-2012
Originally Posted by naturalmama4 View Post

And since its just here and there, doing stretches and poses when I can or those to heal something specific I guess its not true spiritual yoga.



I'm a yoga teacher, too. And I also have trouble sticking with consistent personal practice. bag.gif


As far as spiritual yoga, my suggestion is to take a moment at the beginning of your practice to set an intention. It can be something as simple as being mindful of that fact that you are setting aside time to nurture your body and quiet you mind. Then take a few moments to breathe mindfully -- inhaling deeply, exhaling completely. Count how long your inhales and exhales last, and gently coax them to be more even -- balancing what you take in with what you give back out. Then maintain this deep, even breath while you do you stretches and poses. The breath really is the link between the conscious and unconscious. Mindful breathing is the difference, IMHO, between yoga and just stretching.

For your muscles that are sore rather than loose, don't take the stretches as far. Just take them until you feel that first tinge, and then breathe mindfully. That first little tinge is your edge, and skill in yoga is about how well you play your edges. Let your yoga become about how mindful you can be in a posture, rather than about how far you can take a posture.


What postures are making your back sore? A different posture or a more moderate variation of a posture might be more appropriate.

naturalmama4's Avatar naturalmama4 11:33 AM 07-10-2012

Sorry for the delay in the reply, we've been without power for the past 10 days due to a storm. But thank you all very much, very good information. I will definitely check out Rodney Yee and take a look at the links that were posted. And I do practice the sun salutation occasionally which helps wake my body. 


I would really like to attend a yoga class but with 4 kids and the fact that my husband works away from home for 3 weeks at a time its hard to get to a class. Especially since the closest one is 30 min away! 


There isn't a specific pose that hurts my back unless I just push myself too far (which I guess I'm doing when I get sore legs often). Its just when I wake up, whether I do yoga or not the day before) my back and legs especially are so stiff so its hard to do yoga first thing in the morning. Once I move around and loosen up its easier but by this time the kids are up and its nonstop til bedtime. Our kids are 8, 4 yr old twins, and 2 yr old by the way, so "mommy quiet time" doesn't last long! 


Thanks again for all the help so far!!

MWeiss's Avatar MWeiss 09:08 AM 07-11-2012

Naturalmama - I have the same problem. I love yoga (as terrible as I am) mainly for the stretching. I am in the process of losing my baby weight and have been jogging almost every morning. My legs get terribly sore and I would love to be able to consistently get to the gym for a yoga class, but that just never happens. For right now, I do very simple stretches every morning right when I get up and every night right before bed, just for 10 minutes or so. It doesn't seem like much, but its been about a month and the difference is amazing. It may not be the yoga I want, but its a simple routine to keep your flexibility up and in shape for when you can finally get to yoga! Hope this helps and good luck! :)

naturalmama4's Avatar naturalmama4 11:54 AM 07-12-2012

That's what I need to do too, stretch a little morning and night to keep my flexibility up. I guess I try to do too much on the rare occasions I have the time and energy to do yoga. And then I go too far and feel too sore to do anything the next day. 


After the power being out for 10 days I realized how cluttered my life is with useless stuff. I waste so much time on cleaning around stuff we don't use, cleaning up things we don't use that the kids have drug out for whatever reason, FACEBOOK!. My mind is cluttered with all the things I want to do but I don't because I'm trying to figure out whats the best thing to do first! I'm making it a point to de-clutter my house, my mind and my life of useless stuff so I'll have the time and energy to spend on my family and things I want to do. I think making a point to do a little stretching and meditation at least once a day, even for a few minutes, will help clear my head so I can clear my house! I had it in my head that in order for yoga to be effective, I needed to practice often and for a longer than a few mins. But I see from reading your replies that I'm not the only one struggling to find time for yoga! A pose here & there when I get a chance, or even just stretching will be enough if thats all i have time for.


Thanks again! 

Linda on the move's Avatar Linda on the move 01:22 AM 07-13-2012

Originally Posted by naturalmama4 View Post


I had it in my head that in order for yoga to be effective, I needed to practice often and for a longer than a few mins. But I see from reading your replies that I'm not the only one struggling to find time for yoga! A pose here & there when I get a chance, or even just stretching will be enough if thats all i have time for.


when I was in yoga teacher training, the master teacher guiding us lectured/encouraged us in the importance of personal practice. She made it clear that personal practice was the basis of being able to teach, but also encouraged us to keep our definition of "practice" very simple. The Yoga Sutra says that "effort towards steadiness of mind is practice."  She encouraged that on the days we don't feel up to yoga, we still get out our mats and sit on them, quietly, for a few minutes. Just watch our breath. Just be with ourselves and allow our minds to quiet. She encouraged us to listen to our own bodies about the ways of moving, stretching and breathing that would nurture us in the moment, and for the amount of time that was appropriate that day, even if that was 10 minutes.


One of my favorite quotes about yoga is "yoga is an act of kindness that we practice toward ourselves."  It helps me to think about my practice as simply taking a few minutes on my mat to be kind to myself.


But, even knowing all this, I still struggle for consistency.

naturalmama4's Avatar naturalmama4 10:19 PM 07-13-2012

Very wise words Linda, thank you!

Sofina Clara's Avatar Sofina Clara 12:31 AM 01-29-2013

Yoga is a form of exercise, meditation, and restorative breathing. When practiced regularly, it brings unity to the mind, body and spirit.Yoga is a powerful ecumenical system for helping children stay focused, centered and peaceful, which, in turns, helps them concentrate better, learn more and gain physical and mental health throughout their lives.

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