Insights, musings, inspirations and education to bring blissful change and transformation into your home...like I bring it into mine.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Yoga in the Bathroom for Moms and Anyone Else in a Pinch
In case you didn't catch one of my latest articles on marsocial.com, I thought it the perfect entry for my blog ~ so here it is:
Yoga Today - In the Bathroom - 6 Quick Tips
Every room in the house holds the potential for becoming a perfect practice zone, but perhaps no room more than the bathroom. Why? As the only place in the house sporting both a throne and a waterfall, it is clear this space was destined for royalty. And hey, as a divine being realizing yourself, you deserve nothing less. Today, we’re going to explore 6 quick yoga tricks you can do in your bathroom. Sometimes you don’t have another choice, especially if you are a busy parent.
As a mother of two young boys, often my only time “alone” comes when I’ve locked myself behind the bathroom door. Thanks to our body’s regular need to visit such location, it is perfectly understandable when mommy disappears into the washroom for several minutes up to ten or fifteen(sometimes showers are required).
If you are like me, I love the studio, absolutely, but as a single mother at this particular time of my life, I rarely have the opportunity to run off for hours at a time and nourish my body and soul as I would desire to. Practicing at home is usually my only method, and trying to get into postures while my one year old climbs all over me (or seven year old repeatedly crashes into me) is not always ideal.
I have had to get cleaver if I want to stretch and keep my yoga form in tact. Popping out of bed early and getting in a few sun salutations is sometimes possible, but the bathroom has actually become an ultra clever spot for getting in some much needed stretches in a pinch.
Yoga in the Bathroom trick number one – squat toilet feature. I know, TMI, but seriously, if you are going to stay in shape, keeping your colon running smoothly and the bandha locks functional is key. I found my squat-toilet stool at a flea market. Paid nothing for it. It’s the bomb.
In India it’s the way they poop. Yep. I said it. And I’ll tell you what, not only does it help digestion and elimination, it is great for your thighs, spine, belly and overall lower body to squat while you defecate. Please excuse the graphics.
Number two yoga in the bathroom trick -If your potty room is like mine, it is just about the size of an extended yoga mat. Perfect. I simply turn on the shower to cue young ones that mommy is jumping in for a quick rinse off. “I’ll be right out.” Water on, down to my undies, I stretch out for a quick round of the Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation (for a complete description see link below).
This takes me 2-3 minutes flat if I keep up the speed and do 5-7 sets of each of the five poses. Result: tone in my entire body for minimal effort and is followed up by a quick rinse in the shower to cleanse any hint at sweat that may occur (which is great by the way).
Third yoga in the bathroom trick is to keep a neti pot in there. Following (or preceding) the shower piece I toss a handful of himalayan salt(also kept in the bathroom) in my neti, fill with lukewarm water and rinse. This short but potent technique does more than cleanse the nasal passage, it helps to open the third eye and crown center which affords greater vision, a deeper connection to source and strengthens your ability to stay detached from the daily drama that inevitably occurs being mom – or anyone else for that matter.
Fourth yoga in the bathroom trick: Shower meditation with OM chanting. Standing under that stream of water in the bath is the perfect spot for a meditation. If you plug your ears while burying your head under the warm falls you can get a sense of inner space and tune into a realm beyond time and expectations. In the shower, meditation – or simple presence – can occur while you notice the water running down your skin, feel the texture of the soap and breathe deeply the steam as it collects around you.
Everyone loves to sing in the shower, for even if you have an otherwise inharmonious voice, the shower steps in with grace and picks up the slack. OM chanting in the shower is even more delightful than chanting outside the confines of your watery retreat. Allow yourself to follow the echo and deepen the resonance as you lather up. Spending just a few moments in the shower chanting OM (or any other sound you can imagine) helps to stimulate the lungs and open them up to receive deeper breath. It is great for the vocal chords and activates the throat chakra.
Fifth yoga in the bathroom trick: The cold water rinse. Yes, this is an ancient technique meant to stimulate the entire body and move the blood. It is also great for awakening the crown and keeping the anus nice and tight. Yep, the anus. What do you do? Well, after a nice hot shower, (proceded if desired by a loofa or natural bristle dry brush), hair wash and body scrub, turn the water to as cold as you can stand for at least 30 seconds.
With the crown tucked under the cold water you are prompting heightened neural functions and tapping on the door of higher consciousness. Just before turning off the water, tip your little booty toward the flow and give yourself a nice, cold water anal massage for 15-20 seconds. If you think it sounds weird, you haven’t tried it. And I promise, as you seem to “age” and especially if you’ve had babies, you want to do this. It is a goddess-send.
Final yoga in the bathroom tip: Self oil massage with balancing poses. Coconut oil massage is one of the best yoga/ayurvedic tricks I like to employ while stealing a little self-care bathroom yoga time. Massaging the body with oil after a shower (especially one accented with a quick cold water rinse) is the perfect way to balance your body doshas (ayurvedic term for constitutions), circulate blood and fluff your auric field.
While massaging, it’s great to kick one leg up into a balancing pose and find some core strength. Don’t forget to hit those tender spots on your feet and ankles, helping to trigger acupoints and move stagnant energy. I like to apply oil to my entire body, including the face, and while doing so, repeat some positive affirmations or goals for the day. It is a great place to look yourself straight in the mirror and say “I love you, thank you for being you.”
By the time your kids are pounding on the door demanding apple slices or your otherwise missed presence, you’ll feel like the top of the world. Even if you don’t have kids and instead, have a single person busy life, yoga in the bathroom is a great way to start the day out right. It turns an ordinary cleansing routine into a spiritual practice that plants you firmly in yourself, ready to face whatever comes your way!