It was the end of the day. Well actually, it was only 5 pm, but I was ready to call it a day. My back was crookedly bent from clearing the never-ending clutter of toys on the floor. My neck was stiff from being my daughter’s favourite nap-time pillow. And after chasing my two rugrats non-stop, my legs had given up on me and were ready to march themselves to bed with a hot water bag. Being a mom is physically exhausting. You have to contend with little powerhouses of endless energy who keep you on your toes all day long. There are times when I think baby care should be registered as a sport for the next Olympics. After all, you need the strength and stamina of a trained athlete, agility and balance of a gymnast and the patience and perseverance of a cross country runner.

Ask any mother, it gets harder and harder to keep up with the young ones. Which is why you need a plan to get fit. To stop feeling like a tightly wound coil all the time, you need a holistic plan to strengthen your body and your mind, like yoga.

Why yoga is ideal for all mothers

The beauty of yoga is that anyone, yes anyone, can do it. You don’t need equipment. You don’t have pre-requisites (well you cannot be a small child). One can do yoga in the comfort of our own home. All you need is comfortable clothes, a yoga mat and you’re good to start. If you’ve done yoga before, you know how good it feels right after your very first session. Your body feels limber and supple, and after a few more sessions, your motherhood-inflicted aches and pains slowly start to diminish. However, to get the most out of yoga, you need to be regular and consistent. Carve out a daily time slot, and stick to it. Your body will be grateful.  

Just remember, yoga won’t fix your health issues in isolation. You need a holistic plan of regular yoga exercises, and only then will you see improvement. Each of the asanas listed below offers more than one benefit, to create a routine for yourself using a combination of poses and techniques.

Note: If you have never practised yoga, it is ideal to start with a trained instructor.

Benefits of yoga for mothers

1. Strengthens and energises

If you find yourself slumping down into a horizontal state post lunch, you need a pick me up. Yoga asanas will help you build stamina and keep up with your children and the never-ending tasklist. Instead of reaching for that cup of caffeine, try these poses to help you feel refresh, energised and ready for another round of dodge ball with your kids.

Navasana or boat pose:

    • Sit with your knees bent, use a mat if required, feet touching the floor
    • Take a deep breath, lift your feet off the mat
    • Bring your knees close to your chest
    • Straighten your knees slowly, while keeping your toes at eye level
    • Keep your arms straight and parallel to the floor
    • Hold the position, as you take 5-10 deep breaths
    • Repeat, or hold for longer

How it helps: strengthens the core muscles, helps with balance, posture, stamina and back pain.


Utkata Konasana or goddess pose

  • Stand with your feet apart (2-3 feet distance) and facing sideways
  • Take a deep breath, lower your hips into a sumo squat
  • Extend your arms and bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle, spread your fingers
  • Keep your back straight and your abdominal muscles tight
  • Hold for 5-10 breaths

How it helps: Strengthens the leg and hip muscles, as well as your back, chest and arms. Also, boosts blood circulation.

Adho Mukha Svanasana or downward facing dog pose

  • Stand with your feet apart (hip-width distance)
  • Lower your body till your hands touch the ground
  • Move your feet back, till your body resembles an inverted ‘V’ position
  • Keep both hands and feet firmly on the ground
  • Hold for 5-10 breaths

How it helps: Improves upper body strength, stretches the spine and back, increases blood flow to the brain.

2. Calms you down

Sometimes (conservatively speaking), motherhood can make you feel like you’re a pressure cooker that’s just one whistle away from blowing up. There’s just so much to do, your life is spinning out of control and you’re tempted to sell your kids on the internet so you can have some peace of mind. Instead, take a deep breath, close your bedroom door, and launch into one of the following techniques to help you relax.

Sitali Pranayama or the cooling breath

  • Sit on the yoga mat with your legs crossed, back straight and chin parallel to the floor
  • Form an oval-shaped opening with your mouth. If you can, roll your tongue so that it forms a ‘U” shape. Otherwise, keep your tongue flat on the floor of your mouth
  • Slowly inhale through your mouth (don’t worry if you make a ‘hissing’ sound)
  • Raise the tip of your to the roof of your mouth, and then close your mouth
  • Your mouth will feel cool. Then slowly exhale through your nose
  • Repeat 5-10 times

How it helps: Has a cooling effect on your mind and body. It’s effective when you’re feeling hot, overwhelmed or irritable.

Brahmari Pranayama or the bumble bee breath

  • Sit on the yoga mat with your legs crossed, back straight and chin parallel to the floor
  • Close your eyes, you can even use your hands to cover them
  • Take a deep breath through your nose
  • Hold, and then slowly release through your nose, but keep your mouth closed and make a humming or buzzing sound as you exhale
  • You can also cover your ears to magnify the buzzing sound in your head
  • Repeat 5 – 10 times

How it helps: the vibrations of the buzzing sound soothe an anxious mind and body.

Anuloma Viloma or alternate nostril breathing

  • Sit cross legged, use yoga mat if required, back straight & chin parallel to the floor
  • Close right nostril gently but firmly with your thumb, and inhale with your left nostril
  • Close left nostril with middle & ring fingers; open right nostril and exhale slowly from right nostril
  • Inhale slowly from the right nostril while left is still closed
  • Close right nostril gently with thumb; open left nostril and exhale slowly from left nostril
  • Do this for 9-11 counts

How it helps: Has a host of health benefits like maintains blood pressure and improves blood circulation. It also increases oxygen supply to the brain and boosts positive thinking.

3. Helps you sleep better

After the first year of waking up for night feeding, it’s hard to get back into a pattern of deep sleep. If you are a mom who struggles with bouts of insomnia or you’re unable to switch off that brain from worrying at night, here are some asanas that will help you get a good night’s sleep, and more importantly wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.

Balasana or child’s pose

  • Sit in a kneeling position, use yoga mat if needed
  • Stretch your arms out in front of you and lower them to the floor, while keeping your back slightly arched
  • Rest your hands on the mat, while you feel a stretch in your back
  • Hold for 5-10 breaths

How it helps: Stretches out the leg and back muscles, helps to reduce stress and anxiety.

Janu Sirsasana or head to head pose

  • Sit with your legs straight, use a yoga mat if required
  • Either bend one leg, so that your foot is facing your pelvic floor; or keep both legs straight
  • Slowly lower your body, while stretching your arms till they reach your toes
  • Your head should touch your knees
  • Hold for 5-10 breaths

How it helps: Calms the mind, relieves anxiety and stretches the spine, shoulders and leg muscles.

#4 Helps combat signs of ageing

As mothers, our focus is so laser sharp on raising our kids, we forget we matter too. Just because you’re a mother doesn’t mean it time to let the ageing process settle in without a fight. Luckily, yoga comes to the rescue here as well. Offering a few poses that make the most of what mother nature gave you while holding back the effects of father time.

Viparita Karani or legs up the wall pose

  • Perform this asana a few hours after you have eaten
  • Place your yoga mat close to a wall
  • Your hips should touch the wall when you’re lying down, while your legs rest against the wall so that your body is in a 90-degree angle
  • Keep your head and neck in a relaxed position
  • Hold for 5 minutes, you can close your eyes and do some light breathing exercises while you wait

How it helps: Has many health benefits, but also offer an anti-ageing effect as it increases the blood flow to your face.

Simhasana or lion’s pose

  • Sit in a kneeling position, with your knees slightly apart
  • Place your right ankle over your left ankle
  • Reach forwards and place your hands facing down on the mat in front of you
  • Inhale, and stretch your tongue till it comes out of your mouth, trying to touch your chin
  • Keep your eyes open and fixed between your eyebrows or your third eye
  • Exhale through your mouth, while making a ‘ha’ sound

How it helps: Improves the blood flow to your face, tightens skin and reduces thin lines.


Yoga is meant to be practised as a preventive measure, not curative. The more you do it on a daily basis, the more you will reap the benefits. Whether you’re a mother shuttling between home and office, or a stay at home mom who’s juggling several things at once, you will help you. Just create a regular routine and stick to it. You owe this to yourself. So please, start today!