Secrets of Zen Every Mom Should Know

by Inga Yandell

Moms don’t fit a mold, they can be explorers, athletes, entrepreneurs, scientists, artists…but they all face the same challenge—making time for themselves.

Balancing roles of profession and parent is an art that moms must master, or at the very least embrace as a learning curve.

Melisa Deane-Casses, yoga instructor, author and proud mother of three, shares three secrets to creating mindful ‘mom’ moments.

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As a working mum, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Here are three daily practices that I use to reconnect with what’s important and to ground myself in the present.

1) Reduce the number of things on your “to-do” list.

I used to have 20+ things on my to do list each day. Being pregnant with my third child has forced me to re-evaluate where I spend my energy. Now, 5-8 things make it onto my daily list. At the end of the day, I know I accomplished a few things, and I don’t beat myself up for not running myself into the ground trying to be Wonder Woman.

2) Practice 4-7-8 Breathwork, also called “Relaxing Breath”.

Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, where the roof of your mouth meets your teeth. Inhale, silently through your nose for four counts. Hold your breath for seven counts. Exhale, through your mouth with a whoosh sound (try pursing your lips) for eight counts. Do four rounds of this breath, twice a day for a month. After a month, increase to eight rounds. You’ll feel relaxed right away. This techniques helps reset the nervous system and acts like a natural relaxant.

3) Create a Ritual.

I have a collection of seashells my grandpa got deep sea diving when he was a kid. Every night, I take one of them and place it in my hand and pick one thing I am the most grateful for that day. I love this ritual because it makes me run through all the things that I have to be grateful for that day. One grateful thought spirals into another and the list multiplies. Many days can seem uneventful, but this nightly routine forces me to remember all wonderful things that happened during the day. The phone call with a friend, having money to fill my gas tank, five extra minutes of snuggle time with my daughter, my husband did the dishes, a warm shower, starting a good book, cooking with homegrown veggies. I pick the one thing I am the most grateful for, and hold my shell and say Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I fall asleep feeling connected to the people I love and grateful for the abundance in my life.

Melisa Deane Casses is a writer and yogini. She is passionate about the study of yoga and empowering others to be their best selves. She has been teaching yoga and fitness since 1999. She is the author of Yoga: A Manual for Teachers and Practitioners. Her work has been featured in SYLE Baltimore, Bare Essentials, Towson Patch, MidWeek Magazine and The Oahu Island News and other publications. Melisa teaches 200-hour and 300-hour teacher trainings in Yoga for Health & Fitness, based on Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga methodology. She lives in Towson, Maryland with her daughters and husband. E-RYT-500, MS Global Leadership. www.makamovement.com.

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Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
Inga Yandell

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