hi, welcome to my blog. If you haven’t come across me before, I’m Leah from Lakora Yoga and I help beginner Yogis gain flexibility and help them reach their pose goals through short specific classes so that busy people/ parents can fit them in and feel a sense of clarity and accomplishment.
Today we are talking about how you can find time to fit yoga in when you have kids. I’m guessing you have children if you are reading this so you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes it can be tricky so here is 10 ways to help.
1 – Understand its Different
Understand that your practice is going to change and look different. You are going to have different priorities. Your free time is going to be taken up with your children and you will have to fit it in when you can and that may not look like what you want it too. But you can still find some time and I’m going to show you a few ways that you can with the rest of these tips, but tip number 1 is so important, understand that it is going to look different. Not bad just different.
2 – Fit it in When You Can
Do it when you can. This may seem like a simple one but if your child is sat happily playing with something or watching tv, roll your mat out and try and get a practice in, even if that ends up being 1 sun salutation. I know this might seem frustrating, I know because I have been there but honestly trying to practice yoga in these conditions is actually going to make you a better yogi.
Look on the bright side. Yoga is all about the internal peace and not letting the outer world effect you in any negative way and if you can bring a smile to your child when they interrupt you instead of getting annoyed at them then hey, the yoga is working.
3 – Do Yoga With Your Kids
Do yoga with them. Now I have found this one tricky from the ages of 2 up until now. If I do yoga with Alexis I am getting jumped on which ends up in 1 or both of us getting injured. If this happens then maybe leave this step out but including your little ones in your practice and explaining it to them can create a great bond and its good to show them that self care is important. Try talking to them in a way that’s understandable to them, eg ‘mummy is doing yoga, yoga is really good for our bodies, can you move your body like this’ Don’t try to correct them just let them move their bodies freely.
Children usually have a better understanding of their body and they are great to watch, adults have had years of being told how to sit, stand, move and we actually lose the natural way of being. So if you get chance, do yoga with your kids as long as no one gets injured. If your looking for inspiration cosmic kids is great and there are loads of videos on YouTube.
4 – Early or Evening Practices
Early morning or evening practices. Either before the kids get up (I have heard this one so many times but honestly Alexis has always been an earlier riser usually 5.30 so there is no way I am getting up earlier than that) or once they have gone to bed. If you can do it before your kids wake up even if that’s just 20 minutes, it will really help you to start your day in such a great way. If you can’t try and fit in some before you go to bed. Again even if that is just 5 minutes of stretching, remember your practice is going to look different now but even a little bit of movement is really great for the body and you will feel amazing for it.
5 – Ask for Help
Ask for help! Ask your partner, parents, friends if they can watch your kids for you even if that is just 20 minutes. There’s something magical about practicing alone and not being interrupted, it definitely has a different feel then half-heartedly doing it while keeping an eye on your kids. Obviously do what you can but if there is a chance you can ask for help, then ask it. Your self care is important and that’s what yoga is all about. Remember your kids are always watching you. Letting them know that self care is important will also work wonders for them.
6 – Try Meditation and Breathing Techniques
Try different types of yoga including meditation, I listen to yoga Nidra every night while I go to sleep. I breastfed Alexis and she used to wake constantly in the night, it wasn’t until 3 that she started sleeping through and when she did I found that I struggled to sleep. Every night I listen to a yoga Nidra practice before bed, this is a deep relaxation meditation that helps you to get to sleep and stay asleep. It puts you into a deep rest.
I struggled for months thinking I didn’t want to rely on something else to get me to sleep and honestly I don’t know why, its amazing and I have the best sleep now. That is when the kittens don’t wake me up. Plus it still feels like you are practicing yoga, yes, it may not be the physical part of yoga but it definitely helps with the mind stuff.
7 – Use the House
Figure out poses that you can do around the house. This way it feels like you are getting in some practice even if it isn’t much. For example when I am cooking in the kitchen I will put my elbows on the kitchen counter and put my body into an L shape, stretching out the shoulders, great if you are working on backbends. Or if I have to pick something up from the floor, I will use my feet and test out my flexibility. If I’m having random back pain from holding Alexis or just from being a parent I will sometimes just hang out in a forward fold for a couple of minutes.
Doing little poses around the house will just keep the motivation going even if you can’t fit in a whole practice.
8 – Go to a Class
Go to a yoga class. Booking a class will give you more motivation to actually do it. Plus then you get a whole hours uninterrupted class. You can do the same with zoom as it will give you the motivation and ask for help to look after the children or understand that if you are practicing at home that it may just look slightly different. (basically, don’t watch others going into headstand and feeling like a failure when you have a child crawling on you, we are all in different stages). But trying to get out to a class is a great thing to do.
9 – Short Classes
Classes can be short, you don’t need an hours long class to do yoga. There are shorter classes out there or you can do your own. I know that it may not feel the same but the fact is your kids are not going to be little forever, you will eventually get that hours class back but for now do what you can. If you need some links for shorter classes I will link them below and these actually include breathing exercises as well which again is great when you have kids as they are really good for de stressing and you can do them everywhere and anywhere.
10 – Plan
Have a plan, make a schedule but make it realistic. Don’t make a plan to do hour-long classes every day, because you will only get disheartened if you miss a day because you didn’t have the time. Short classes can be really useful and knowing that you are sticking to a plan can help you to stay motivated and actually help you to do your practice. My blog last week was based on how to plan your yoga classes so if you haven’t go and read that one. Planning is a great motivator.
Thank you so much for reading today! I hope I have inspired you to get on the mat. I would love to know your thoughts, leave me a comment below or message me on instagram @lakorayoga