Healthy Habits Can Be Contagious, Too!
Updated: Sep 6, 2022
Maybe I'm the only one, but does your wellness journey feel like a trek up and down mountains? Switchback after switchback with no end in sight? 😅 It can't just be me, can it?
There are times when I feel like I'm crushing life..
You know, like that bitch. Nobody can get me down.👸
Then there are times when I want to crawl into a hole and disappear. Everyone everywhere hates me, I'm ugly, fat, and I'm all alone. 😫 I spend a lot of time adding up all my little accomplishments throughout the day to maintain perspective. But, sometimes I get fooled by distorted thinking, (more often than I'd like to admit.)
For the most part, I've felt like I've been struggling to get healthy. I've never been particularly fit or had great endurance. Even in the military, I wasn't very active.
And then when I entered motherhood, I had barely gotten the hang of taking care of myself and I had to figure out how a tiny human fit into the equation. 😬🤬
But it's pretty well known now that parents who practice healthy habits are more present and attuned to their children's needs.
You might think kids and yoga don't mix. Your yoga practice is supposed to be calming… kids not so much. But even kids who are rambunctious can learn yogic principles, such as mindfulness. As your kids grow up, they'll be able to use the principles in their everyday lives.
To get started out, try a few of these easy yoga poses with your little ones ⬇️
Standing Forward Bend
Try grabbing your ankles by bending forward at the waist. To make it easier, you can bend their knees. You're stretching your hamstrings, calves, hips, and strengthening your knees and thighs.
Warrior Ii Pose
Take one step back and turn your foot so your toes are facing outwards. Next, raise your arms parallel to the floor (one in front, one behind). Look forward over your fingers while bending the front knee. Do it again on the other side by reversing the feet. In addition to strengthening and stretching your legs and ankles, this pose also increases your stamina.
Downward-facing Dog Pose
This is probably one of the easiest poses for your kid to do. Enter this pose either by getting up from hands and knees or by bending forward with your palms on the ground and stepping back to create an upside-down V shape with your butt lifted. Besides stretching, this position also energizes you. Plus, the upside-down view is sure to make you and your little one smile!
Three-legged Dog Pose
The one-legged down dog is like the downward-facing dog, but with one leg extended up. It'll help strengthen your arms and improve your balance.
Wide-legged Forward Bend
Stand with your feet wide apart. With your hands on your hips, fold forward and place them flat on the floor shoulder-width apart. This pose stretches the hamstrings, calves and hips and because it’s a mild inversion, it offers a feeling of calmness, too.
You can start here for all kinds of poses, here's how. On your hands and knees, spread your knees hip width apart. You should put your palms directly under your shoulders with your fingers facing forward; your back should be flat.
Cat And Cow Poses
Warm up your spine with cat and cow poses. Cat pose: round your back and tuck your chin into your chest as you're in tabletop position. For cow, sink your belly toward the floor and arch your back. Try alternating between the two poses. (Meowing and mooing are optional, but highly encouraged!)
Sit back on your heels and gently bring your forehead in front of your knees for this pose. Let your arms rest alongside your body. It's a peaceful pose for kids that stretches their hips and thighs while calming their mind.
Sit in a cross-legged position or on your heels for this pose. Put the palms down on the knees and take a deep breath through your nose. Open your mouth and eyes wide and stick out your tongue. Exhale through your mouth with a "ha" sound like a lion's roar. For kids with lots of energy (or for adults with anxiety), it is a great kinesthetic release!
Improve your posture with this pose. Lie on your belly and raise your chest by squeezing your shoulder blades together and extending your arms behind the body. Your child may find it easier if they keep their arms down beside their body and push off with their palms.
Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Lift your butt and back off the floor, creating a bridge, while tucking your chin into your chest. Slide a pillow under your hips if you're having trouble lifting your pelvis off the floor. The pose stretches the shoulders, thighs, hips, and chest and makes the spine more flexible.
Happy Baby Pose
Hug your knees into your chest while lying on your back. Grab the outer part of your feet with both hands and rock side to side like a baby. Although this pose seems silly, it has a remarkably calming effect.
Lay on your back, arms and legs stretched out, and breathe deeply. If you can, hold this pose for five minutes. If you get cold easily, keep a blanket handy. This pose will help your child learn to relax and calm themselves.
My wellness journey has been profoundly impacted by small decisions and changes, and I'm sure it will for you, too! Until recently, when I thought about staying healthy, I didn't consider all aspects of of my health. Like many people around the world, I cared about how I looked instead of how I felt. 😎
But it's also important for you to take care of your emotional, mental, and social health. If you consider wellness as holistic—mind, body, and soul— then not only will it be easier for you to stay healthy but it will help you grow as a person, too! 🙌
Consider these tips for getting your health + wellness routine off to a good start:
Start your day mindfully: Mindfulness can help you have a better day and be less stressed. You'll feel more content and alive. Breathing deeply is easy and effortless, but will help get you into the right mindset for everything else.
Keep your immune system healthy: What you eat and drink has a huge impact on your immune system. A diet rich in different nutrients will help you stay healthy. (We like #elevatedoats 😉)
Choose your joy: Life can get hectic, which is why it's important to remember what things make you happy. Make a list of three-to five things that bring you joy to remind yourself what brings you peace during hard times.
Get moving: Exercise not only feels great but it has a ton of benefits. Some benefits include the ability to focus better and an improved mood. When you schedule exercise into your calendar and make it part of your routine, you'll soon find yourself looking forward to your next sweat session.
Start small and gradually build a routine that works for you. You'll notice that implementing quick and easy habits helps you live a healthier life in the long run.
What about you? What challenges have you had during your wellness journey?
Email me at email@example.com, I'd like to hear about it.