Taking care of yourself will make you a better, more present parent. That’s where yoga comes in. Getting into the flow not only relaxes but also replenishes you, leaving you empowered, centered and ready to take on another hectic day. So when you’re feeling stressed, kick the kids out of the room—or have them join you—and try these poses.
Child's Pose1 of 12
From a kneeling position with your knees spread wider than your hips and your toes touching, stretch your arms and body out in front of you. Keep your head rested on your mat with your neck relaxed and focus on your breathing. Lengthen your spine with every breath.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds to a few minutes.
Downward Dog2 of 12
Starting on all fours, lift your knees off the ground and your hips up into the air. Begin with your heels off the ground, then stretch them or peddle your heels on and off the mat. Stretch your upper body from your spin through your arms to your fingertips, pressed into the mat. Relax your head between your biceps. If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees so your back stays straight.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds to a few minutes.
High Plank to Chaturanga3 of 12
Starting in a high plank with your hands in line with your shoulders and pelvis in line with your spine, keep your core tight and roll forward on your toes. Bend at the elbows using your biceps and triceps and lower yourself until you hit a 90-degree angle. Keep your shoulders away from your ears and your head in line with your spine.
Chaturanga to Upward Facing Dog4 of 12
From chaturanga or low plank pose, press up through your hands, straightening your elbows and opening and lifting your chest. Keep your gaze forward and your lower body lifted off the floor. Keep your shoulders moving away from your ears.
Standing Forward Fold to Chair Pose5 of 12
Exhale as you bend forward at the hips, lengthening the front of your torso and letting the crown of your head hang down. If your hamstrings or low back are tight, bend your knees. Hold this pose for a few deep breaths before standing all the way up and reaching your arms up over your head. Next, bend your knees and sit deep into a squat with your legs together, keeping your chest high and your gaze in front of you.
Hold the chair pose for 15 seconds.
Chair Pose Twist6 of 12
In chair pose, bring your hands together in front of your chest with your elbows out. Twist your upper body and bring the outside of your elbow to the outside of your opposite knee. Keep your knees in the same line. Feel this stretch in your upper back and the burn in your thighs before repeating this to the other side.
Warrior One to Warrior Two7 of 12
From downward dog, lunge your right foot forward between your hands and turn the left heel flat on the mat. As you inhale, lift up so the shoulders stack over the hips and fingers reach up overhead. The front toes point straight forward and the knee stays over the ankle, not past it. The back toes turn in at a 45-degree angle to keep the knee in proper alignment.
Next, from warrior one, open your shoulders and hips to the left and lower your arms so they're parallel to the ground and stretching towards the front and back of the room. For many, warrior two is a longer lunge than warrior one, so you may need to wiggle the back foot back slightly.
Hold this pose for 10 seconds before repeating the sequence to the opposite side.
High Plank to Side Plank8 of 12
From high plank pose with your hands, elbows and shoulders in line twist and raise one arm up into the air, stacking the legs and keeping your core tight for a side plank.
Hold this pose for 15 seconds before returning to high plank and switch sides.
Cow Pose to Cat Pose9 of 12
From all fours, take a deep inhale and drop the belly toward the floor as you lift the tailbone and collar bones, looking up towards the ceiling. Exhale and round your spine towards the ceiling as you tuck your tail down and move your chin to your chest.
Hold each position for five seconds and repeat through both for several breaths.
Table Top to Pigeon Pose10 of 12
From table top on all fours, bring your right knee up to your right wrist with your foot moving toward your left wrist. (If your hips are tight, your foot will be closer to your body.) Extend your left leg behind your body with your heel facing upwards and the front of your leg pressed against the mat. Walk your hands forward on the fingertips and lower your upper body to the floor. Rest your forearms and forehead on the mat.
Hold this pose for 60 seconds or longer before repeating on the other side.
Savasana11 of 12
Lying on your back, let your arms and legs drop open. Keep your eyes closed and focus on taking deep breaths and clearing your mind.
Hold this pose for three minutes or until your kids start nagging you for snacks again.