Thursday, 13 November 2008

Relax! Twelve Essential Yoga Tips to Help Working Mums Manage Stress

How many times during the day do you hear the words "... "Mum, can I have ...." "Mum, it's not fair" "mum, have you seen my .... Or the classic, "mum, I'm hungry"

It's tough being a working mum. You need super human skills to manage the varied and complex demands of parenting as well as coping with the fast-moving pressures of your job.
Some days, you wake up tried and exhausted from caring for your sick children, other days you go to bed tired and exhausted from rushing home from work to be on time to attend your daughter's Parent-Teacher's Meeting.

In the midst of all this responsibility, caring and sharing, it is very easy to run out of energy and feel emotionally drained and physically shattered.

Twelve Essential Yoga Stress-Management Techniques

In the long-run, to fully care for your family and fulfill your responsibilities at work, it is vital you make time during your day to boost your energy and care for yourself. Failure to do so means you run on "empty" and have little to give to yourself, your family and meet your work commitments. To keep your energy levels up, practice the following yoga exercises, massage tips and breathing practices throughout your day.

1. Hum. Humming in high or low pitch is an excellent way to achieve inner calm and clarity. Find a quiet place, sit comfortably. Breathe in and out, through your nose. If you wish, close your eyes. Place your little fingers in your ears. Take a steady deep breath in through your nose. As you breathe out gently "hum." You can hum in either a high pitch or low pitch. Breathe in and repeat this humming pattern for 3 - 5 more rounds. Release your fingers and sit quietly for a few moments.

2. Pretend to chew a large piece of gum, really chew this piece of gum, stretching your mouth and smacking your lips together. Chew for at least 30 seconds.

3. Massage your cheekbones, forehead and temples with your fingers and thumbs. Be aware of the texture of your skin as your gently massage your eyebrows, bridge of your nose and then walk your fingers around your ears and massage your ears.

4. Take deep breaths regularly through out the day. This will help to nourish and revive your spirit

5. Sit on chair, bend forward and hold your ankles or shins. Arch your back, relax and repeat 3 - 5 times

6. Raise both arms above your head. Place your left hand on your right wrist. Gently stretch to the right. Keep your body strong and straight. Breathe into the stretch. Switch sides and repeat.

7. Sitting on a chair, cross your left leg over your right knee. Place your right hand on the crossed knee. Gently turn your body to the left and look behind you. Allow your shoulders to be relaxed as you relax and breathe into the pose. Inhale. Release your arms and legs; return to centre. Exhale. Switch legs and repeat on the opposite side.

8. Have a loving bath. Add four to six drops of bergamot, lavender, ylang ylang, or rose essential oil to your bathwater. These aromatic oils are uplifting and help to refresh your mind.

9. Massage your shoulders. Squeeze the upper back and shoulders between your thumb and forefingers. Massage slowly and rhythmically.

10. Stand or sit in a comfortable position. Breathe in through your nose and shrug your shoulders up to your ears, slowly breathe out as you lower your shoulders. Repeat 5 - 7 times.

11. Smile and laugh often. Share happy thoughts and jokes with others. Laughter instantly elevates your mood and makes your eyes sparkle. You will feel more at ease in yourself and not worry so much about trying to fit in.

12. Sit or stand comfortably, scrunch your face up, like a dried prune. Open your eyes look upwards; open your mouth, stretch out your tongue and Roarrrrrr like a lion. Repeat until you feel powerful, calm and in control.

To help you manage your stress and give your best to your family and others, it is vital you make time to rest and recharge and care and nourish yourself. Make it a habit to regularly do these easy yoga exercises, massage tips and breathing techniques through out your day. You will feel energized, relaxed and raring to go.

Ntathu Allen, Hatha Yoga Teacher designs personal yoga exercise programmes for beginners. She helps you learn easy yoga postures which improve your flexibility, breathing practices to release stress and meditation techniques to soothe and calm your mind. To find out more go to:> and sign up for your free monthly yoga and health newsletter, "Healing for the Soul," full of wellbeing and holistic healing tips and; yoga exercises to energise and nurture your soul.


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