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  • Writer's pictureRosie Nicholas

The best way to reset body and mind in just 5 minutes

How are you feeling, right now? Are you upset with yourself because the 30 minute yoga practice you fantasised in your head didn’t happen today (nor did it happen yesterday either...)?. Are you giving yourself a hard time because you couldn't face going outdoors today, even though you longed for the feeling of a gentle breeze on your face and catching eyes with another knowing mum?

So you didn't get outside today to push your sleeping babe in the pram, but you know what, the warmth of your own bed while your little one slept was all too tempting. First things first, be gentle with yourself. You don't deserve that dose of critical self talk (would you treat a friend that way? Hell no!). And secondly, what if I told you that you could change your mood, energy and general outlook in just a few minutes? Now I've got you…

Viparita Karaniasana, or Legs up the Wall pose

This is a fantastic release for the lower back. If you’re currently holding your baby on your body for hours a day, and as a result find that your legs and back are sore, then this is for you. If your maternity leave is over and the combination of being crumpled over a computer whilst constantly bending over to pick up your little one is leaving you stiff and doubling over, then this is also for you!

Viparita Karaniasana is a restorative asana that can be practised as soon as postpartum bleeding stops (around two weeks after birth, but every woman is different). It can be practised on its own, anytime, without a warm up, and you'll receive the amazing benefits of an inversion such as stimulating and balancing the hormones and increasing blood flow. This revitalising pose also helps to facilitate deep breathing, lifts lethargy and negativity, and helps to shift the focus inward, allowing you to reconnect with yourself on a deeper level.

If you're in the postpartum period, or just want to get really comfy, grab yourself a cushion, pillow or (if you have them lying around) a yoga bolster and brick. Lay the props next to the wall with the brick on top, if you have one. The props give your lower back a yummy support - think of it like a squishy hug! And if your little one is older (around the 6 month mark) you can practice without them, but only if you feel comfortable to.

With your legs and hips facing one side of the wall as closely as possible, slowly turn into the pose by raising your legs up onto the wall, weight on your elbows, then slowly relax your back onto the floor. Place your arms and legs slightly apart, as you would in Savasana, and lengthen your neck. Relax your arms, feet and shoulders. Take a few deep breaths through the nose. And stay here as long as you can (between 5-10 minutes).

In this pose you can combine some of the other tools I've given you such as proper (conscious) breathing or mentally guiding yourself through a full body relaxation. You can even put on your favourite music or podcast and enjoy the state of relaxation!

Take your time coming out of the pose. Pause on one side and slowly push up to a sitting position. Do not go straight to standing.

Now notice how you feel, celebrate the fact that you just prioritised you, and make a mental note to do it again soon!

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