Dedicated solely to the light of our homes, Mother’s Day is a way to celebrate them for all the efforts, hardships and sacrifices they have done for us. Oftentimes, we as children overlook the amount of care and love that our mothers pour out at the expense of their own selves. And sometimes, even if they do not tell us, we know they are experiencing body aches and pains, as well.
So today, as a way to give back to the wonderful women who have brought us to this world, I will be sharing a few relaxation exercises that they can easily incorporate into their jam packed daily lives.
If you are a soon-to-be mom or a mom who has adult children already, I want to encourage you to set aside time for yourself today so you can take better care of your well-being. And, if you are a child or a husband, give your lovely ladies extra space so they can enjoy time on their own.
BEFORE WE START
Get into comfortable clothes. Prepare your yoga mat or a big towel and place it on the floor. Remember, all exercises should be done at a tolerable range and without extreme pain. The stretches might cause you discomfort at first, so you need to ease into doing them. We will begin by practicing deep breathing as we will incorporate this to all the exercises.
Note: Make sure that you don’t have any health conditions or musculoskeletal issues that may be aggravated by the exercises.
Deep Breathing Technique
- Lie flat on your back with both hips and knees bent, and feet flat on the floor (hook-lying position).
- Place your dominant hand on your belly and place the other on your chest.
- Slowly breathe in through your nose while driving the air into your belly. As you do this, you should feel your belly rise and expand on the sides like a balloon being filled with air.
- Slowly breathe out through your mouth while your lips are pursed or pouting. You should feel your belly slowly lowering as you breathe out.
- There should be more movement on the hand that is placed on the belly and little to no movement on the hand placed on the chest.
- Repeat this for 5 times.
Bound Angle Pose
This restorative pose is a great way to start.
- Sit on the mat. Begin with your spine straight and legs extended. Then, slowly bend your knees and draw your feet inwards.
- Press the soles of your feet together and let your knees drop to the sides. Clasp your big toes with your thumbs and index fingers, then sit up straight, aiming to lengthen your spine.
- You can close your eyes or gaze forward to calm your mind. Hold this pose for 5 breaths.
This is a good way to stretch the low back, shoulder and chest muscles.
- Kneel on the mat. Bring your feet together then separate your knees far apart.
- Rest your buttocks on your heels then slowly lower your torso in between your knees, while extending your arms forward with palms facing down.
- Relax your shoulders and keep your neck in neutral position.
- Stay in this pose for 5 breaths.
Cat and Cow
Cat and Cow is a gentle dynamic stretch that improves spine flexibility and mobility.
- Start by kneeling on all fours – kneeling with both hands and knees while keeping your neck and torso in neutral position.
- Move into the cat pose by rounding your back towards the ceiling and moving your chin towards your chest, while incorporating inhaling.
- Then slowly, move into the cow pose by arching your back, rounding your belly towards the floor and looking upwards, while incorporating exhaling.
- Do the cat and cow flow for 5 times.
This pose stretches your posterior chain – low back muscles, hamstrings and calves.
- Start by kneeling on all fours – kneeling with both hands and knees while keeping your neck and torso in neutral position. Spread your fingers, making sure to distribute the weight from your shoulders to the elbows, wrists and hands.
- Extend both of your legs, going into a high plank position while inhaling.
- Push the floor using your hands while lifting your pelvis towards the ceiling, arching your back (making an “A” with your body) and positioning your toes to face forward while exhaling. Try to flatten both feet on the floor as your muscles will allow. This is the downward dog position.
- Go back to the high plank position while inhaling and move into the downward dog while exhaling. Repeat for 3-5 times.
Upward Dog Pose helps stretch the chest and abdominal muscles, while strengthening the triceps and mid back muscles.
- Lie on the mat face down with elbows bent and palms facing downward, placing them close to your chest.
- Roll your shoulders backwards to engage your mid back muscles and rest the top of your feet on the floor.
- Starting from the chest, lift your torso off from the floor using your hands until you have fully straightened both of your arms, making sure to engage your triceps. Do this while inhaling.
- Once you’ve reached that position, slowly lower yourself by bending your elbows while exhaling.
- Do this flow for 3-5 times.
THERE YOU HAVE IT!
We would not be in this world, if not for our moms. We would have not grown up well (and fed well!), if not for them. They have always supported and guided us so we can be where we are at right now. Our moms have cared for us and pampered us, and it’s about time we give back the care they have greatly shown us. So, let us all give our moms space and time to do what they need to do for themselves. It might be a shopping spree or a trip to the spa or a 30-minute workout, it doesn’t matter! What matters is they can fully rest, recharge and recover every single day.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the amazing moms out there! We honor you today and everyday!
Article written by: Esther Dorcas Doroteo-Surio
BS Physical Therapy (PH) Registered Physiotherapist
Physiotherapist with Special Interest in Women’s Health
Course training in New South Wales, Australia
Unsure whether these exercise is suitable for you? Book a consultation with your physiotherapist today